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Canada’s Startup Visa program- pathway to permanent residence

Posted on May 29, 2020
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Canada’s Startup Visa program

Canada’s Startup Visa program seems to be a popular option for permanent residence in Canada. Under this program, 510 candidates received a PR visa which was double the PR numbers issued in 2018 which was 250.

If the same trends continue the numbers will only increase in 2020. In fact, the number of PR visa issued through this program has been increasing steadily over the past five years.

Canada Startup Visa Program

In addition, the Startup Visa program provides permanent resident visas to eligible immigrants starting a business in the country. The Startup Class is another name for this visa program.

 Candidates can come to Canada under this visa program on a work permit supported by their Canadian-based investor and then apply for a Canadian PR visa once their business is established in the country.

This initiative supports immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their Canadian startups. Effective applicants may link up with Canadian private-sector investors to obtain funding assistance and guidance on running their company. The three kinds of private sector investors they can approach are:

  • Venture capital fund
  • Business incubator
  • Angel investor

Startups that succeed in getting through this program must be able to make the minimum investment required. If the contribution is from a venture capital fund, the minimum investment will be USD 200,000. The investment should be at least USD 75,000 if the investment is from an angel investor group. In addition, applicants must be a member of a Canadian business incubator program.

Eligibility requirements for a startup visa

  • Have proof that the business has the necessary support from a designated entity in the form of a Certificate of Commitment and letter of support
  • Have a qualified business
  • Have the required proficiency in English or French
  • Have completed post-secondary education for at least one year
  • Have ample funds to settle in Canada and support dependent relatives
  • Must have cleared the necessary medical tests and security requirements

Start-Up Visa Program Business Ownership Requirements

  • The intended business must be incorporated and run in Canada.
  • The nominee must hold at least 10 percent of the corporation’s voting rights.
  • No shareholder can possess 50 percent or more of the corporation’s voting rights.

 Requirements to qualify for a permanent residence visa

The candidate must have a Certificate of Commitment from the designated entity.

The candidate must be fully involved in managing the business in Canada that must be incorporated in the country in order to qualify for a permanent residency. At least an essential part of the business operations must take place in Canada.

Processing time for PR visa under the Startup visa program

If the entrepreneur has a viable business idea, it will take between 4 to 6 months to get the letter of commitment or letter of support. Once that letter is received, the candidate can apply for a PR Visa. The PR visa will take about 18 months to process.

The program targets innovative entrepreneurs and connects them to Canada’s private sector investors, who will help them set up their start-up business. It is also a pathway for entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residence in Canada.

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