What is the Business & Entrepreneurs Program?
Startup Visa Class
Business managers and business owners with experience looking to immigrate to Canada as a start-up have several options in becoming permanent residents. If you have a great startup idea and would love to develop it overseas, then the Canadian startup visa program is right for you!
Unfortunately, there is currently no program to immigrate to Canada by investment. Instead, Canada welcomes entrepreneurs from around the globe and offers world-class infrastructures and business programs to help entrepreneurs strive.
Choosing to immigrate to Canada as a start-up will provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need through Canada’s generous incentive programs, prime business environments and access to a large talent tool to drive entrepreneurial success.
Why Should You Consider immigrating to Canada as a Business?
Immigrating to Canada as a business means entrepeneurs gain access to Canada’s G7 economy supported by a federally regulated banking system. Canada’s economy is very diverse by nature. With a booming high-tech industry, abundant natural resources, access to both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Canada offers unique business experiences for a range of sectors. If the Canadian startup visa program is not suitable for you, there are many of the provinces that have Provincial Nominee Program for entrepreneurs. Visit our section on the Provincial Nominee Program for more information.
Where should I settle down when immigrating to Canada as a start-up?
Most people will be familiar with the big Canadian cities: Toronto in Ontario, Montréal in Québec, and Vancouver in British Columbia. Historically, these three hubs have attracted most of the Canadian startup visa program immigrants. But did you know that many other provinces offer the same quality of life, sometimes at a lower cost and with great business opportunities?
Canada’s Atlantic province offers a laid-back way of life. Some may say that the most friendly Canadians can be found in the Atlantic provinces. If you are looking at immigrating with the Canadian startup visa program, take a look at the four Atlantic provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland have some of the most emerging economies in Canada. Having world-class seaports infrastructures can support any business wanting to do international trading. Also, you can connect to Montréal and Toronto with a short two hours flight.
The cost of living in the four provinces is lower than in other parts of Canada and can be an excellent way for families to settle down and grow cost-effectively.
Ontario and Québec
These two provinces account for most of the Canadian population, with the two of the biggest cities: Toronto and Montréal. Both provinces’ economies flourish in technology, insurance, manufacturing, aircraft, and aerospace industries.
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is the financial center of the country. The Toronto Stock Exchange is where Canada financially trades with the world. In addition, Toronto is a very diverse and multicultural city that offers big-city life with infrastructures and amenities that will help you prosper when you immigrate under the Canadian startup visa program.
Montréal is part of Québec, the largest French-speaking population in North America. Many big companies choose Montréal for their business. Notably, the city has a large high-tech industry and hosts many international headquarters and some of the biggest entertainment companies such as Ubisoft, Cisco, Cirque du Soleil, or even the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Further west in Canada, you will find Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. The latter is probably the most famous with its beautiful city of Vancouver, the 3rd largest city in Canada. Between the four western provinces, you can be sure to find the right place to settle under the Canadian startup visa program.
The provinces’ economies differ significantly from one to another. For example, Saskatchewan would be a great choice for farming as it is the sixth wheat producer in the world. British Columbia’s top sectors are real estate, wholesales, and retail trading. While Alberta’s economy relies significantly on natural resources such as mining, gas, and forestry. Finally, Manitoba’s economy is centred around mining, agriculture, and transport. Make sure to read up on these provinces and their sectors before you apply for your Canadian startup visa.
Who Can Apply for the Canadian startup visa program?
You and up to four of your business partners can settle down in Canada with the startup program. All of the members will need to meet the conditions of the Immigration Canada startup program for the business to qualify.
All business members will apply for the Canadian startup visa program visa and include their family members for permanent residence in Canada.
Family members are considered as:
Your spouse: the person to whom you are legally married.
Your common-law partner: the person (either sex) you have commonly lived in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 months.
Your dependent children: must be under 22 years old and not married or in a common-law relationship.
If approved, all family members will be granted a permanent residence visa under the Canadian startup visa program.
What are the requirements to apply for the Canadian startup visa program?
Once again, there is no way to immigrate to Canada by investment. You and your partners must have a qualifying business to qualify for the Canadian startup visa program.
A qualifying business means that you created the business to meet the following conditions:
When you get a commitment letter or confirmation from a designated organization:
Each of the business partners holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the business;
The business partners and the designated organization together hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to the business.
At the time you receive your Canadian startup visa for permanent residence, each business partner must:
Play an active and ongoing management role of the business from within Canada;
An essential portion of the operations of your business happens within Canada;
Your business is incorporated in Canada.
How can I get a letter of support from a designated organization?
You must get a letter of support from a designated organization to qualify for the Canadian startup visa program. A designated organization is a business group that has been approved for investment settlement to support your startup business.
You will need to do the following:
Contact the organization to find out how to get its support for your business;
Convince the organization that your startup idea is worthy of investment;
Secure a letter of support from the designated organization to invest in your business.
How you will pitch your idea will depend on each organization since each has its own requirements. When you reach an agreement with a designated organization, you will receive the letter of support that you will need to include with your Canadian startup visa application. The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to IRCC.
For a list of all the designated organizations, please visit the IRCC website.
What are the language requirements for the Canadian startup visa program?
Each business member applying for the Canadian startup visa must demonstrate that they meet the following Canadian Language Benchmark in one of Canada’s official languages: English or French.
The Canadian startup visa program language benchmark is 5 in all bands: writing, speaking, listening, reading.
Do I need funds to resettle in Canada?
Resettlement funds are a requirement that all business members must meet to have the Canadian startup visa approved. In addition, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family members in Canada for the first six months after you arrive.
The resettlement funds requirements are calculated based on the applicant’s family size. You must meet the resettlement funds requirements before applying for permanent residence, and you must maintain them throughout the application process.
For example, a family of 4 including would need around CAD $25,000.00 to settle down in Canada with the startup visa program. The resettlement funds requirement is revised each year by IRCC.
How can I apply for the Canadian startup visa program?
You and your business partners will need to complete the application package by filling all the forms, paying the fees, and submitting it to IRCC.
Each applicant will need to complete biometrics enrollment and pay the appropriate fees.
The process can be tedious and confusing. Therefore, teaming with the right reputable Canadian immigration consultant can help you realize your dreams. Don’t waste valuable time with paperwork and procedures. Instead, hire the right professional and bring your business further.
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