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Do you have an innovative business idea that could create jobs and want to immigrate to Canada? If so, the Canada Startup Visa Program might be right for you.

Launched in 2013, the Canada Startup Visa aims to encourage entrepreneurial immigration to Canada by offering permanent residence to those who open qualifying businesses in any Canadian province or territory (other than Quebec).

What Is the Startup Visa Program and What Are the Eligibility Criteria?

The Start-Up Visa Canada helps foreign nationals establish their businesses in Canada by connecting them with designated Canadian investors. With support from one of these designated investors, immigration candidates can obtain temporary work permits to come to Canada and launch their start-up before qualifying for permanent residency.

To meet the conditions required to obtain a Canada start-up visa, interested candidates must:

  • Have an approved plan for a qualifying business
  • Submit a Letter of Support and Commitment Certificate from one of three qualifying designated entities:
    • Angel investor
    • Venture capital fund
    • Business incubator
  • Have proof of enough funds to settle in Canada. These funds must be unencumbered (free of creditor claims or liens) and can not be borrowed
  • Meet minimum language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark level 5) in either English or French

In addition to the Start Up Visa Canada criteria, candidates must also undergo a medical exam and provide police certificates. These documents are not required for the initial application process, but they are necessary before receiving approval.

How Do I Get A Startup Visa?

The first step towards obtaining a Canada Start Up Visa is preparing a viable business plan. The Canada Start Up Visa Program is superior to many other global entrepreneurial immigration initiatives in that the candidate has near-absolute freedom in their choice of business, provided the business meets the following criteria:

  • The immigration candidate must control at least 10% of the proposed business. Up to 5 applicants may apply jointly provided they will each hold a minimum of 10% of the company and no outside organization owns more than 50% of the business
  • The business proposal has secured the minimum required financial commitment from a qualified entity:
    • $200,000 from a venture capital fund
    • $75,000 from an angel investor
    • Acceptance into a business incubator program (no financial commitment required)

Once the business proposal has received approval, candidates may compile and complete their Start Up Visa applications subject to the other conditions mentioned above.

How Can I Get an Entrepreneur Visa for Canada?

In addition to the Canada Start Up Visa Program, each province and territory operates its own Entrepreneurial Immigration Program. Popular programs include:

  • BC Regional Pilot Program

  • BC Entrepreneurial Immigration Base Category

  • Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

  • Manitoba Business Investor Stream

  • Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

  • New Brunswick Business Immigration stream

  • Newfoundland and Labrador The International Entrepreneur

  • Nova Scotia Immigration Entrepreneur Stream

These programs are separate from the Canada Start Up Visa Program, and each will have its eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for Canada’s Start-Up Visa from India?

Applicants that meet all of the criteria can then submit a paper-based application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Along with the application, a candidate must include the following:

  • Copy of travel documents
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Letter of Support
  • Certificate of Commitment
  • Identity documents
  • Police certificate
  • Photo
  • Proof of settlement funds
  • Application fees

Once submitted, it can take between 12 and 16 months to process your application.

The team at Elaar Immigration provides a full range of immigration consulting services to clients worldwide. We have helped thousands of families gain permanent Canadian residency thanks to our industry knowledge, attention to detail, professional dedication, and long-term support. Wherever you are in your journey towards immigration to Canada, our consultants can help ensure your dream becomes a reality.

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