Start Up Visa Changes

The new Start-Up Visa Program grants Permanent Residency for foreign entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada. The successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they will receive funding, guidance as well as expertise. For the foreign entrepreneurs, the program has been expanded to include business incubators who can help nurture start-ups into successful Canadian companies.

  • In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:
  • Have received a letter of support from a government-designated organization;
  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
  • Have completed at least one year of post-secondary education, during which the applicant was in good standing at their educational institution;
  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
  • Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec; and Pass Canadian security and medical clearances.

Start Up VisaStart-ups can get funding from angel investors or venture capitalists here in Canada or incubators can also help them look for possible sources of funding.

“Our role is in fact to provide the best quality business advisory support and other resources that we can to all businesses,” said Michael Donahue, vice president of the Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI).

Alexander said “Canada, with our strong cities, with our strong business climate, with our low taxes, with our commitment to entrepreneurship, is open to business, is a good place, is a great place to start your business.”

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has designated a number of venture capital funds and angel investor groups to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.

Successful applicants are required to secure a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. If coming from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the investment must be at least $200,000. If coming from an angel investor group, it should be at least $75,000. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money. If their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, individuals granted permanent residency through this program will retain their permanent resident status.

The Start-Up Visa Program is on pilot for five years and is limited to no more than 2700 applicants per year.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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