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Eight Things to Know About Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program

Canada is known for creating a supportive economic environment that welcomes successful entrepreneurs looking for the next opportunity to start a business. The Start-Up Visa program has been designed to encourage such people to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency and set up shop in Canada.

It is important to note that this visa class does not apply to applicants wanting to settle in Quebec.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Start-Up visa, the applicant must have all the following:

  • A Qualifying Business
  • A Letter of Support and a Commitment Certificate from a designated entity
  • Proof of sufficient transferable and available settlement funds, that exclude any investments in the business made by the designated entity
  • Proof of meeting the minimum language requirements in English or French

Support and Commitment from A Designated Entity

The essential commitment from a designated entity must meet the following conditions:

  • A designated angel investor group confirming that it is investing at least $75,000 in a qualifying business.  It could also be two or more designated angel investor groups confirming that they are together investing a total of at least $75,000 in the business, or
  • A designated venture capital fund confirming that it is investing at least $200,000 in a qualifying business or two or more designated venture capital funds confirming that they are together investing a total of at least $200,000 in such a business, or
  • A designated business incubator which confirms that it accepts the business into its program.

Letter of Support and Commitment Certificate

A Letter of Support is only valid for 6 months from the date of issue. The application for residency must therefore be received by IRCC within 6 months of the Letter of Support being issued.

The Commitment certificate is usually sent electronically to IRCC from the designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator along with the term sheet/client agreement.

The entire process of applying for a Start-Up Business Visa may easily become overwhelming. We’re happy to speak to you about the process and help you through it. Contact Us today!

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