Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) enables foreign entrepreneurs to acquire permanent residence in Canada through business immigration. Individuals with groundbreaking start-ups or established foreign enterprises can utilize this initiative to permanently move to Canada with other founding partners (up to 5 partners), given they satisfy the program’s additional criteria.

The start-up Canada visa program further extends an opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs to establish themselves in this attractive country and elevate their businesses. This program not only streamlines the application process but also offers a range of advantages tailored to bolster and enrich your entrepreneurial experience in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria For Canada Start-Up Visa

Here is the set of conditions established by Canadian immigration authorities for entrepreneurs aiming to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the SUV program:

  • Foreign individuals must obtain a Letter of Support or investment commitment from a Designated Organization in Canada.
  • Every applicant must meet the minimum language proficiency in English or French at CLB level 5.
  • Each foreign individual must possess a minimum of 10% of the shares in the start-up. Collectively, foreign individuals and their Designated Organizations must hold over 50% of the total shares (voting rights) in the start-up venture.
  • Each applicant must have adequate funds to settle in Canada, ranging from $12,960 to $34,299, depending on the applicant’s family size.

Additionally, to succeed in this program, entrepreneurs should be ready to fulfill the following fundamental criteria:

  • Access to capital to fund your start-up venture, generally around a minimum of $200,000 per applicant.
  • Ownership of an innovative or successful business generating scalable and sustainable revenue or with solid market validation.
  • Attainment of an upper-intermediate level of proficiency in English and French language(s).
  • Possess highly specialized knowledge or unique experience in your field or a solid managerial background.

Explore the eligibility criteria for Canadian citizenship on our website.

Canada Start-Up Visa Vs. Other Business Immigration Programs

There are various business immigration programs available in Canada for entrepreneurs looking to move to the country, apart from the Canada start-up immigration program

Review our chart below to compare these programs and grasp the advantages and disadvantages of each program.

Criteria Start-Up Visa Intra-Company Transfer Program C11 Work Permit for Entrepreneur Self-Employed Category LMIA Pathway
Ownership Structure At least 10% The company in Canada must be owned by a foreign company or by the same group of individuals with similar voting rights At least 50% 100% At least 50% depending on the location of relevant work experience
Business Idea/Concept Innovative, highly scalable, and high revenue-generating business Entrepreneurs with successful companies in their home country can establish similar operations in Canada Unique business that generates jobs, stimulates the economy or transfers knowledge/skills to Canadians Engagement in self-employed enterprises within specific creative fields associated with art, culture, and sports, or agriculture Small or medium businesses in Canada (e.g., convenience stores, cafes, restaurants, nail salons, etc.)
Timeframes for Relocation (Work permit) Country-specific, usually 3-6 months Country-specific, usually 3-6 months Country-specific, usually 3-6 months Timeframes for relocation (Work permit)  Stage 1: LMIA: 3+ months Stage 2: Work permit: usually 3-6 months
Minimum Investment Between $10K-50K to pay Designated Organizations (admin fees for the Letter of Support). Investment in business: around $200,000  Based on the type of business, entrepreneurs should generally have access to a minimum of $100,000 or more. Based on the type of business, entrepreneurs should generally have access to a minimum of $150,000 or more. Applicants should have access to at least $50K+ Cost of business purchase (generally $150K+) 
Language Skills CLB 5 Not required for a work permit Not required for a work permit Not required, but strongly recommended CLB 5 Not required for a work permit
Timeframe for Permanent Residence Current processing time: 3+ years Given the backlog and number of applications submitted: 5+ years  Utilizing the Express Entry pathway after completing 1 year: 8 months to 1 year (a total of 2 or more years). Utilizing the Express Entry pathway after completing 1 year: 8 months to 1 year (a total of 2 or more years). 2-4 years Utilizing the Express Entry pathway: 8 months to 1 year.
Risk of Rejection 25% (as per official statistics) Depends on business. In our experience between 12%-20% Depends on business. In our experience between 12%-20% Varies greatly depending on the applicant
  • Depends on business. In our experience 5%-10%

 

How To Obtain a PR Visa in Canada through the Start-Up Visa Program?

The following are the four steps to obtain a PR through the Canada start-up visa program:

Step 1: Obtain a letter of recommendation from a reputable firm

It is essential to secure a letter of recommendation from a designated Canadian-based investor. The letter serves as evidence that the organization will finance your idea and assist you in establishing your business in Canada.

The absolute minimum for your start-up is:

  • 200,000 CAD if seeking support from Canadian venture capital funds
  • 75,000 CAD if an angel investor contributes.
  • No investment is required if you join one of the business incubator groups.

Step 2: Fulfill the language requirement

  • You must demonstrate to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Service that you can communicate effectively in English or French. This entails passing an approved language test conducted by a designated agency with a CLB of 5 or higher.

Step 3: Business ownership criteria

  • To apply for a start-up visa in Canada, you must have a qualifying business. Your company must have a minimum of five owners at the time of application. Each applicant must possess at least 10% of the voting rights. Additionally, applicants and the designated organization must collectively hold more than half of the company.

Step 4: Bring sufficient funds for Canadian settlement.

Since the Canadian government does not offer financial aid to start-up visa recipients, ensure you have enough funds to settle. You must demonstrate that you possess adequate money to support yourself and your dependents upon your arrival in Canada.

The settlement funds for the Canada start-up visa incubator are described as follows:

Number of Family Members Funds Required (in CAD)
One  $13,310
Two  $16,570
Three  $20,371
Four  $24,733
Five  $28,052
Six  $31,638
Seven  $35,224
For each additional family member $3,586

The Canada start-up visa distinguishes itself from the Canada Self-Employed Visa as it does not mandate a minimum investment. However, you must possess adequate funds to settle in Canada.

Learn the process of obtaining a  Canadian work permit by exploring detailed information on our website.

Average Processing Time For Canada Start-Up Visa 

The processing duration for the Canada start-up visa varies based on the situation, but the average documentation and processing timeframe is 6-12 months. However, depending on the conditions, the immigration authorities may take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for processing.

What Are The Fees Required For a Canada Start-Up Visa?

  • Fee for an individual applicant (CAD 1575) + Permanent Residency Charge (CAD 500) = CAD 2,075
  • Fee for Dependent Child (CAD 225)
  • Fee for Supplementary Applicant (Spouse) (CAD 825) + Permanent Residency fee (CAD 500) = CAD 1,325

Get Experienced Advice Before You Apply for Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program

Chaudhary Law Office can assist you in bringing your startup business to Canada alongside your family and business partners. While you concentrate on developing your startup idea, we concentrate on facilitating your permanent residence in Canada. Our experienced immigration lawyers in Canada are ready to navigate the complexities of immigration, offering tailored solutions to suit your specific needs. Take the first step towards realizing your Canadian entrepreneurial dream. 

Contact us today at 416-447-6118 for experienced advice and seamless assistance in navigating the start-up visa program. 

FAQs

How do I get a Canadian Start-up visa?

To obtain a Canadian start-up visa, you need to follow a few key steps:

  1. Secure a letter of recommendation from a designated Canadian organization. Ensure that your startup idea is innovative and scalable. Meet the language proficiency requirements of a Canada start-up visa by taking an approved language test.
  2. Fulfill the business ownership criteria and demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to settle in Canada.
  3. Submit a complete application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and await processing.

How much money is required for a Start-up visa in Canada?

If you choose a venture capital fund as your chosen investment mechanism, it is essential to secure a letter of recommendation and a CAD 200,000 investment by leveraging your business plan to qualify for a start-up visa. The Angel investor group mandates a minimum investment of CAD 75,000. Fortunately, you don’t need to acquire financing through the Business incubator program; however, clearance from the entity under the Canada start-up visa remains mandatory.

How long does it take to get a start-up visa in Canada?

The processing time for a start-up visa in Canada can vary based on individual circumstances. On average, the documentation and processing time may take 6-12 months. However, depending on the conditions, the immigration authorities may take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for processing.

How easy is it to get a start-up visa in Canada?

The ease of obtaining a start-up visa in Canada depends on various factors, including the uniqueness and scalability of your business idea, your ability to meet language proficiency requirements, and the fulfillment of business ownership criteria. While the process involves several steps, having a well-prepared application and meeting all requirements can enhance your chances of success. The assistance of legal professionals, like the Chaudhary Law Office, can further streamline the process and increase the likelihood of a successful application.

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