The Start-up Visa Program Canadian immigration

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Canada’s Start-up Visa Program helps immigrant entrepreneurs to establish businesses in Canada by allowing foreign business owners and their families to apply for permanent resident status. While waiting for their permanent residence, foreign entrepreneurs who have applied to the Start-up Visa Program are eligible for a temporary work permit, allowing them to travel to Canada to launch their business.

Since launching as a pilot program in 2013, the Start-up Visa Program has admitted hundreds of immigrant business owners to Canada, with the number of admissions increasing each year.

How to Apply for Canada’s Start-Up Visa from India

How to Apply for Canada’s Start-Up Visa from India

Tech start-ups are booming in India and means the country is replete with companies that could benefit from access to Canadian and American markets through Canada’s Start-Up Visa program.

Bain and Company, a management consulting firm to Fortune 500 CEOs, pegs the number of start-ups in India at almost 80,000 in its India Venture Capital Report 2020.

“The start-up ecosystem in India remains robust and is rapidly growing,” wrote Arpan Sheth, head of Asia-Pacific Technology, Vector, and Advanced Analytics at the firm, with the report’s other authors earlier this year.

“Between 2012 and 2019, the number of start-ups in India increased by 17 percent each year, while funded start-ups’ compound annual growth rate increased faster at 19 percent during the same period,” they wrote.

Start-up Visa for foreign entrepreneurs

The Start-up Visa Program is ideal for entrepreneurs with an existing business that is ready for investors. In order to be eligible to apply to the Start-up Visa Program, applicants must have already created their business and secured commitment from a designated Canadian business investment organization or incubator.

How to qualify for the Start-up Visa

There are four major requirements that entrepreneurial applicants must meet in order to apply for a start-up visa.

1. Have a qualifying business

To be considered a qualifying business, entrepreneur applicants must have created a business in which each applicant for immigration holds at least 10 percent of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation. Up to five newcomers can apply together as owners. As well, the applicants and the designated organization must jointly hold more than 50 percent of the total voting rights.

In order to secure permanent residence through the Start-up Visa Program, applicants must ensure that the business becomes incorporated within Canada with essential activities taking place in Canada through the active management of the foreign entrepreneurs.

2. Secure commitment from a Designated Entity

Before applying to the Start-up Visa Program, foreign entrepreneurs must secure the commitment of a designated organization that will support the business’ development in Canada.

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Interested applicants can consult the above lists to find potential matches for their business venture. An designated organization’s commitment is demonstrated through a Letter of Support which must be included as part of the application. Letters of Support are valid for six months from their date of issue.

3. Prove ability in English or French

All applicants for the Start-up Visa Program must demonstrate proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, either English or French. To qualify for the program, candidates must show results from an approved language test demonstrating ability at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5 or higher. The test results must be less than two years old at the time of application.

Canadian immigration authorities currently accept English test results from the following test providers:

Test results from either of these two French tests may also be submitted:

4. Meet IRCC’s proof of funds requirement

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Number of family members Required funds (in CAD)
1 (single applicant) $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $16,135
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
For each additional family member, add $3,492

How to apply to the Start-up Visa Program

Start-up Visa for Canadian investors

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