The Canadian government announced on October 2015 that Canada wants entrepreneurs! Canada’s Start-Up Visa is the first of its kind in the world, linking immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations that have expertise in working with start-ups:
Canada's Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:
- are innovative
- can create jobs for Canadians
- can compete on a global scale
Do you have an innovative business idea? If you can get support for your idea from one of the designated organizations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada.
There are many reasons why Canada is the best place to build your business. Canada's advantages include:
- a strong economy
- low taxes
- low business costs
- excellence in research and innovation
- a high quality of life
Successful applicants to this program will be able to immigrate to Canada as Permanent Residents with no conditions attached to the success of their business.
Naturally, it is not as easy as proclaiming yourself an entrepreneur and receiving immediate permanent residency. Qualifying for this program requires the following:
Clearly, this means that the first step is to obtain your financial commitment by an angel investor and the Canadian government has revealed its dedication to making this program a success by collaborating with several groups. CIC is aligned with Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, the National Angel Capital Organization and the Canadian Acceleration and Business Incubation Association to identify the participating private sector organizations. A full list of designated organizations is made available at their website.
You will also want to spend time speaking to an immigration expert who is familiar with the new Start-up Visa program, and all other forms of visa programs.
Eligibility and Next Steps
Once you have the commitment in hand and a formal letter of support, you will need to prove that your business actually meets the formal ownership requirements. Currently, up to five people can apply for a visa as the owners of a single business. They must each have ten percent control and the designated organization (the angel investor) along with the applicants must have more than 50% voting rights as well. This must be shown when submitting the application along with the financial ability of the applicants.
You can obtain an application package from the CIC online, and it can be completed using a computer. You can learn about this at the Start-up Visa application page.
Naturally, it does take a lot of planning, and the first step is to be sure you can obtain solid financial backing and support through a designated organization. Once you have that letter of commitment, it is simply a matter of meeting the visa eligibility guidelines. Then you can be on your way to business ownership in Canada as a Permanent Resident.
Evelyn Ackah is a Canada immigration law expert and founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Immigration law is becoming more complex and challenging every day. Immigration applications can be refused due to minor oversights and omissions that can delay or negatively impact your business or your family reunifications plans. By not using a lawyer you can be putting your business and your family at risk.