Canada has a program to grant permit for start-ups in the country. It aims to recruit dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world, bring them to Canada, and equip them with the resources they need (including money) to establish businesses that employ Canadians.
The program designed by Canada for start-ups/entrepreneurs encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to develop their start-ups in Canada. Successful applicants can tie up with private companies in Canada and receive help on funding and guidance on running their business.
The entrepreneur wanting to immigrate must have the support or sponsorship of a specified Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor or business incubator to qualify for permanent residence.
The IRCC has designated specific venture capital funds, investor groups and business incubators to be part of this program.
Under this program, candidates can come to Canada on a work permit which is sponsored by their Canada based investor and then apply for permanent residence once their business is established in the country.
However, this program has clear rules on the ownership and shareholding requirements for a start-up to be eligible for the permit.
To be eligible you must:
Start-ups that succeed in getting through this program must be able to get the minimum required investment. If it’s from a venture capital fund, the minimum investment should be USD 200,000. If the investment is from an angel investor group, the investment should be at least USD 75,000. Applicants must also be a member of a Canadian business incubator program.
Applicants need not invest their own money in the business. Individuals who are granted permanent residence through this program will retain their permanent residence even if their start-up is unsuccessful.
Qualifying for a work permit and later permanent residence under the Start-up Visa Program
After acquiring the Commitment certificate from a designated entity, the candidate can apply for a work permit.
To be eligible for permanent residency, the applicant must be actively involved in the management of a business in Canada that must be incorporated there. At the very least, the core company operations must take place in Canada.
The commitment letter or letter of support will take roughly 4 to 6 months if the entrepreneur has a viable business proposal. After receiving this letter, the candidate can apply for permanent residence. The processing time for permanent residence is estimated to be 18 months.
The program to grant permit to start-ups doesn’t require applicants to invest their own money in the business. This program can be a pathway to permanent residence for immigration candidates who want to be entrepreneurs.
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