Who Qualifies for a Start-Up Visa?

Want to start a business in Canada? You may be eligible to immigrate through the Start-Up Visa Program.

The Start-Up Visa Program targets entrepreneurs with skills to establish businesses in Canada that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale.  

To be eligible for this program you must meet the following requirements:

Have a Qualifying Business: 

At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation. The applicants & designated organizations must also jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation.

Voting Rights: The right of a business owner to vote within a company.

At the time you receive your permanent residence you provide active & ongoing management of this business from within Canada, an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada and the business is incorporated in Canada.

Get a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization:

A designated organization is a business group that is approved to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-Up Visa Program. Each organization has a set of criteria for business proposals, and they choose which proposal to review. If the organization decides to review your business proposal, it will assess the potential of your idea and if they choose to support it they will give you a letter of support. You can find a list of designated organizations here.

To get a letter of support you will need to contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support and convince them that your idea is worth supporting.

Meet the Language Requirements:

You must take a language test from an approved agency and meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening and writing.

Bring Enough Money to Settle:

There is no financial support for new start-up visa immigrants so you will need to submit proof that you have the money to support yourself and your dependents. 

The amount needed depends on the size of your family and it changes every year. You can find the most current amounts here.

If you meet all the requirements above, you may qualify for a start-up visa. You can find out more about the qualification process here. Not sure if you qualify or need help applying? Contact one of our professional immigration consultants today!

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