The research center StartupBlink releases a report every year about the changes in startup ecosystems worldwide. This year’s Global Startup Ecosystem Index has put Canada 4th in the ranking. Let’s see about Canada’s startup visa program: the road to permanent residency and a growing business.
Cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal rank in the first 50 cities in the same global ranking.
The country puts great emphasis on supporting startups financially. To this end, there are loans, grants, credits, and tax breaks to encourage startups. In addition, many non-profit organizations and communities contribute to help the startup ecosystem grow. Their programs aim to help entrepreneurs in the country.
If you are an entrepreneur planning to start a new business, you may consider Canada ‘s Startup Visa Program. The program offers permanent residency, work permits, and potential citizenship to international applicants.
What are the Benefits of Canada Startup Visa?
- Canada Investment Visa offers advantages to both the main applicant and their family members. It provides a work permit and permanent residence in the country.
- Even if your business fails, you can maintain your permanent residence.
- Citizenship becomes available after you complete three years of residency in the country. Canada allows dual citizenship as well.
- You and your family can benefit from healthcare services and the education system in Canada.
- Your spouse and children under the age of 22 can be eligible for the program.
- It is a fast-track program aiming to approve applications within weeks.
- You can create a network with private sector businesses such as business incubators or angel investor groups.
- The Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative program helps companies in Canada.
Requirements To Get Eligible for the Program
Firstly, your business needs to be innovative and provides job opportunities in Canada. You need to indicate this in your application. Also, your business needs to be competitive in terms of global scale.
You need to provide a letter of support from a designated organization. The investor organization must state in the letter that it will fund you.
The language requirement is another crucial issue. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) require you to prove language proficiency. You may need to prove this in English, French, or both.
The next step is meeting the ownership requirements. If it’s a single business, there can be five owners maximum. Each needs to hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights. In addition, the designated organization and you (and other applicants if there is) together must own more than 50 percent of the voting rights.
You need to prove that you can maintain yourself and your family when settling in Canada. To do this, you must prove that you have sufficient funds for this. For each family size, there is a minimum requirement for available funds. Note that there won’t be financial support by the government for this. Also, be prepared to spend around half of your pay on household expenses. They include utilities, transportation, food, insurance, and so on.
You need to follow the steps below to be qualified for Canada Investment Visa.
Find an Investor and Get the Letter of Support
You need to find a business incubator, a Canadian angel investor group, or a venture capital fund. Note that at least one of them must accept investing in your startup. When they get it, you’ll receive a letter of support from them. After you receive the letter, you can apply for Canada Investors Visa.
Take the Language Test
The next step is to take a language test in an IRCC-approved agency.
For English, you need to get:
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in listening and speaking, and 4 in reading and writing.
For French, you need to get:
- Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) 5 in listening and speaking, and 4 in reading and writing.
Prove that You Meet the Education Requirement
You are required to have completed at least one year of study at a post-secondary institution. You need to provide your diploma, certificates, and such documents to prove this.
Prove that You Have the Sufficient Settlement Fund
Check the required funds for each family size from IRCC. It is always better to bring more than the minimum amount, just in case.
Medical and Security Clearances
This is a must for both you and your family members. They are necessary to find out if there is a threat to the country. Also, a serious health condition may be a burden to the healthcare system. This is why you are subject to these clearances.
- For you as the main applicant, the fee is 1,540 CAD (Canadian Dollars)
- For your spouse, the fee is 1,040 CAD, and
- For the dependent child, the fee is 150 CAD.
There will also be legal fees that may change depending on the firm.
In short, Canada’s Startup Visa program is an opportunity for entrepreneurs around the world to grow their businesses. The country attracts people with its quality of life and support for new businesses. It is a favored destination thanks to the quality education as well. Studying in one of the top-ranking universities can also benefit your children.
We hope you enjoyed the article.