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Entrepreneur Applications for Permanent Residence in Canada

The Canadian government announced in October 2015 that Canada wants entrepreneur immigrants. Canada’s new 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.

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 as an entrepreneur and receiving immediate permanent residency. Qualifying for this program requires the following:

  • You will have to prove that a Canadian "angel investor" is committed to your business idea
  • You will have to pass standard health and security checks
  • You will have to demonstrate the ability to communicate fully in English or French. Applicants will need to take an IRCC approved language test and hit the CLB 5 benchmark in one or both languages
  • You must have at least one proven year of study at a post-secondary institution
  • You will need to demonstrate that you have adequate income to support yourself while establishing the business (as well as your family if you have one immigrating with you). You cannot borrow this money from another person. You will need to prove you have this when submitting the application.

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 collabourating with several groups. IRCC 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 IRCC 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.

Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

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Evelyn and her team are amazing resources. Evelyn has been fantastic to work with and has supported me on various projects I’ve worked on and has been a great support to the people I work with. Ackah Business Immigration Law is my number 1 choice when it comes to immigration support.

– Sean Alley, Human Resources Generalist

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