After a successful three-year pilot program, Canada made its start up visa program permanent in 2018. Since then entrepreneurs from over 26 countries have got visas issued under this category.
Canada start up visas are beneficial for entrepreneurs as they speed up the application process as well as for the country that gets a new venture to generate employment and business. Here’s what you need to know about immigrating to Canada with a start up visa.
Canadian Start Up Visa – Eligibility
Eligibility criteria must be met for this visa category.
- Qualifying business: To be eligible, you must create a business that you are a full or part owner. There may be up to 5 owners for each company. You must have at least 10% of the voting rights on your own and 50% of the voting rights between you and the designated organization.
- Letter of support: You must have a letter of support from any of the designated venture capital funds, angel investor groups or business incubators. The requirement is as follows
|Type Of Investors||Fund In Canadian Dollars|
|Angel investor groups||$75,000|
|Venture capital funds||$200,000|
|Business incubator||Accept the applicant in the incubator program|
- Language requirements: You must be able to converse in French, English or both languages. To prove this, you will need to clear a language fluency test.
- Funding: You must also have sufficient funds to support yourself in Canada. The minimum required is:
|Number Of Family Members||Funds Required In Canadian Dollars|
|Every additional person||$3,560|
Note that if you are carrying cash worth more than CAN $ 10,000 on entering Canada, you must declare the same to the immigration officer.
Getting A Letter Of Support
The first thing you need to do to get a letter of support is to create a business plan. This can then be presented to qualified supporters. Some organizations may ask for an in-person presentation while others may accept mailed in business plans. Each organization has its own review process and you must follow up individually with every organization.
Documents Required For A Canada Start Up Visa
The key documents required to apply for a start up visa are:
- Generic application form for Canada immigration (IMM 0008)
- Dependent declaration (IMM 0008DEP)
- Schedule A background declaration (IMM5669)
- Supplementary information on travels (IMM 5562)
- Schedule 13- business immigration programs – start up business class (IMM 0008 – schedule 13)
- Additional family information (IMM 5406)
- Use of representative (IMM 5476)
- Copy of the first and last pages of your valid passport
- Proof of language proficiency
- Letter of support
- Copy of proof of identity
- Copy of marriage/divorce/ annulment/ death certificate of a former spouse as applicable
- Copy of children’s birth certificate if applicable
- Police clearance certificate
- Proof of passing the medical examination in the 12 months prior to submitting the application
- 2 passport-sized photographs of the applicant and each dependent
- Proof of settlement funds
Any document that is not in English or French must be submitted with a translation.
Submitting The Application
All the required forms can be downloaded from here.
The forms can be downloaded and filled in on the computer. It is important to answer all the questions truthfully and completely. Once you have filled in the application, click on the Validate button to generate a barcode page/pages. You can then print a copy of all the forms. Write your name, the date and sign in the designated space. The forms and supporting documents can be arranged with the barcode page/ pages on the top.
This can then be submitted at an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Office. This may be a visa office or the Canadian embassy.
All applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 years must submit their biometric photographs and fingerprints.
It can take up to 18 months for your Canadian start up visa to be processed and approved. In the meantime, you can apply for a temporary work permit to work in Canada or set up your business.
Processing Fees For Canadian Start Up Visa
Applications will be accepted only after the processing fee has been paid. The specifics are as follows:
- Processing fee to submit your application: $1,575
- Processing fee to submit your spouse/ partner’s application: $825
- Right of permanent residence fee per person: $500
- Processing fee to submit your dependent child’s application: $225
- Biometrics fee: $85 per person or $ 170 per family of 2 or more people
It is advisable to pay the right of permanent residence fee at the initial stage of submitting the application to avoid delays in processing. The following are exempt from this fee:
- Dependent children
- Principal applicants who are dependent children of Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Protected persons
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