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Start-up Visa Program Has Come To Stay!

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Business Immigration to Canada, Start-Up Visa Program, Permanent Residence and Start-Up Visa Program

Start-up Visa Program Has Come To Stay!

The Canadian Start-up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world, launched in 2013 by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), to link innovative immigrant entrepreneurs with Canadian experienced private sector organizations that have expertise in working with start-ups.

Innovative entrepreneurs are those who have the expertise to turn their ideas into successful companies or those who have the potential to build dynamic companies that can compete with other companies on a global scale.

The Start-up Visa Program was introduced to support innovative entrepreneurs to become Canadian permanent residents with no conditions attached to the success of their business, after they partner with a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group that will make significant financial commitments to their business idea, or after a business incubator has accepted them into their program.

The program was meant to run for up to five years. However, due to its successful track record, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen announced that the program has come to stay and would now become a core part of Canada’s immigration policy starting in 2018.

To qualify for the program, you must meet the four requirements, which include:

  • having a Letter of Support from a designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator
  • meeting the ownership requirement for a qualifying business
  • getting the scores of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 5) in all four categories in either English or French
  • having an adequate amount of money to settle and provide for the cost of living prior to earning an income

Although you are not required to invest any of your own money to apply for a start-up visa, you must however, be able to secure the minimum investment fund from a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group that has been named as a participant in the program, as follows:

  • $200,000 if the investment is coming from a designated Canadian venture capital fund
  • $75,000 if the investment is coming from a designated Canadian angel investor group
  • You do not need to secure any investment from a business incubator but you must be accepted into a Canadian business incubator program

Upon meeting the above requirements, your application will be reviewed based on IRCC's standard admissibility criteria on issues such as health, criminality, security as well as making a request for an independent peer review to ensure that due diligence was performed by the designated organization that is issuing a Letter of Support to you. For more information on the Startup Visa Program, click on http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/index.asp


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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It is one thing to earn a living; it is another thing to make a difference in the world.

This is our formal thank you note to Evelyn Ackah and the Ackah Law Team for all the effort they put into helping us navigate and finally resolve the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration back in the spring of 2012.

A friend referred us to Evelyn; he assured us that Evelyn would take good care of us. Our friend was confident we were in good hands and said Evelyn would do her very best to help us and she did! At the time we did not know that his referral would go far beyond finding us help. Slowly we realized that it would become our own personal story of how we received grace and were reminded of the power in paying it forward

We wrote a detailed page of our dilemma, explaining how we came to be in the position we were in (overwhelmed with the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration and the uncertainty that we faced as a young family in Calgary). Evelyn agreed to take on our file with her team. They found the time to personally call us and listened intently and understood the details of what we were dealing with. They gave us their time, an honest opinion and provided clear direction which proved to be invaluable advice. Months went by but in time, we received word from Ackah Law that the Immigration office had finally reviewed our file and a decision had been made allowing our family to finally put the immigration matter to rest. We were finally able to focus again to live our lives without fear or pending doom.

Looking back now, even the sun appeared to shine a little brighter that day. At first we didn’t know whether to bake them a cake, drive out to meet their team, find their offices and personally thank them with a mighty hug or simply cry out to the heavens in thankful relief. Instead we emailed them to express our heartfelt thank-you and we hoped that they would know deep in their hearts just how grateful we were for all of their help.

Even though we relied on emails and phone conversations to communicate with them that year, we will always remember their constant professionalism, their kindness and understanding at a time that brought us so much pain not to mention fear. As if all their hard work wasn’t enough, Evelyn then then casually mentions that all their work was done pro-bono! We were thoroughly humbled!

To this day we are still eager to share how wonderful they all are as human beings but even more than that, we continue to pay it forward in honour of them, their service to us and their continued dedication in helping others.

Eternally thankful

– The Brummunds

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