Startup Visa

Find out if you qualify

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is designed for skilled immigrant entrepreneurs willing to build innovative and competitive businesses in Canada. If your start-up business is able to attract the support and seed funding needed from a designated organization in Canada, you may become a successful applicant who can acquire Canadian permanent residency as part of the process.

This program is not available for those who are interested in establishing a business in Quebec.

Eligibility requirements

1. You must have a qualifying business

At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization your business has to meet the following conditions:

  • each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time, AND
  • applicant(s) and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time.

Once you receive your permanent residence status, the business must be incorporated in Canada and you must provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada. An essential part of the operations of the business also needs to happen in Canada.

2. Your business must successfully obtain a letter of support from a designated organization in Canada.

Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money for this Canadian immigration program. However, to apply for the Start-up Visa Program, your business idea or venture must secure an investment from at least one of the following designated organizations:

  • Venture capital funds: You must get at least one Venture Capital Firm to agree to invest a minimum of $200,000
  • Angel investor groups: You must get one or more Angel investors to agree to invest a minimum of $75,000.
  • Business incubators: You must be accepted into one of the business incubation programs approved by the IRCC.

If an organization chooses to support your business idea, it’ll give you a Letter of Support that’s mandatory to meet the eligibility requirements for the Start-Up Visa Program.

3. You must meet the Program’s language requirements

To apply for a Start-Up Visa, you must show that you have reached Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in either English or French in listening, reading, writing and speaking. To prove your language skills, you must take a language test given by an agency that is approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and include the results with your application.

4. You must have enough money to settle and live in Canada

When you apply, you need to give proof that you have the money to support yourself and your dependents before you make any money from your business. The program does require the applicant to have settlement funds of roughly $10,000 U.S. ($13,000 CAD) plus under $2,500 U.S. ($3,000 CAD) per additional family member. You can’t borrow this money from another person. 

Next step: Peer Review Process

If the IRCC needs more information before making a decision, an independent peer review may be needed. This review can also be requested on a random basis.

What is a peer review?

In order to protect this pilot program against fraud, a peer review process helps ensure that your activities are in line with industry standards. Your industry association will assemble a panel of experts to conduct the review.

The panel of experts will notably:

  • assess the level of due diligence that was performed by the designated entity and whether it is consistent with industry standards
  • assess the terms of the commitment (including the investment made by the designated organization, the services to be provided by the designated organization and any fees to be charged to the applicants) and whether these terms are consistent with industry standards
  • ensure the focus of the business is on a high-growth potential product and/or service.

The findings of the peer review panel are assessed with the rest of the information presented in the application to make a final decision on the case.

How Kadri Law Can Guide you Through the Process

If you have an innovative business idea that you need helping bringing to fruition, we can help you from the ground up as you build your new business.   And along the way, we can help you realize all of your Canadian immigration objectives.  So if you want to know all of the possibilities that lie ahead, contact the business immigration team at Kadri Law.  We will help you determine whether you could qualify for the Start-Up Visa program or any other business immigration program offered in Canada. We will walk you through the process, from the very early stages to the final peer review, if needed.  We will also go through all of the levels of assistance Kadri Law offers to help you take an idea for a business and build it into a real life business. 

Through startupcentral.com we offer every level of business advisory and support services an entrepreneur could possible need to succeed.  We know that Entrepreneurs are not all the same and that some require more support than others.  At Kadri Law, we customize that support to meet the needs of every entrepreneur we represent

Additionally, our services are enhanced by our leading team of professionals and advisors, with each specialist dedicated to a particular discipline or industry sector.  As such, we have a unique ability to offer both entrepreneurs and investors with broad-based business consulting, advisory and management support during the many phases of doing business in Canada. And rest assured, we are accessible and right by your side at every step of the process. 

For Investors and Entrepreneurs new to our region of Windsor Essex, we offer unique Business Immigration Support Service Packages that can be completely customized depending on the level of support you require.   These industry leading services reflect our decades of experience in investment strategy and business consulting.

Kadri Law can assist entrepreneurs from the very early stages of building and launching new business in Canada to the management and operation of that business once it becomes operational.  The business immigration team at Kadri Law attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world who utilize our services to help expand their foreign business into Canada or to launch their idea for a start-up business in Canada.  

We promote the region of Windsor Essex as a region that can help propel businesses to succeed.   We offer a wide array of business advisory and support services to help these entrepreneurs launch and accelerate their businesses in Canada.  We are proud to work with passionate entrepreneurs from a very broad spectrum of experience and who are dedicated to investing in the Canadian economy, creating jobs in Canadian communities, and relocating to live in Canada as business immigrants. 

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