How to Apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program
The Canada Startup Visa Program was created to help foreign entrepreneurs relocate to Canada and start their own companies. After thoroughly checking the program’s eligibility criteria, the government has approved a limited number of startup visas each year for international investors who meet specific requirements. If you want to start your career in the technology industry, then applying for a Canada startup visa may be worthwhile. The program aims to allow startups with no more than $500,000 in gross annual revenue to stay in Canada for up to five years without fear of losing their visas. If you have an idea for a new internet-based business and believe Canada is the right place to launch your company, apply now.
The Canada startup visa program is designed to help to qualify small business owners to achieve greater visibility of their operations and increase their chances of success. To be eligible, a company must: > Be incorporated in Canada or have a valid certificate of incorporation; > Have at least one employee; and > Be incorporated with the primary purpose of conducting business in Canada. To qualify for this program, you'll need to fill out an application process which requires: o A questionnaire; and o A criminal background check. You also have the option to register your startup online through a secure website or third-party service provider. If you choose the service provider option, you'll be asked to provide personal information about yourself and contact information for at least two people who can vouch for your startup's credibility and reliability.
What is a Start-up visa?
A startup visa is a special visa issued to allow entrepreneurs to establish a new business in Canada. The startup visa program is part of the efforts by the Federal government to support small and medium-sized enterprises and create more opportunities for all Canadians to participate in the growth of their hometown economy. The program is designed to help people get greater visibility of their operations and increase their chances of success. To be eligible, a company must: Set up a minimum of one office and one representative office. Have at least one employee. Be incorporated in Canada or have a valid certificate of incorporation; Have at least $500,000 in gross assets, and Be combined with the primary purpose of conducting business in Canada.
What are the requirements for the Canada Startup Visa Program?
The Canada startup visa program does not have a minimum net worth requirement. However, you must be able to demonstrate that your startup has a good chance of success and will be able to sustain itself. The following are some of the requirements to be considered for the Canada startup visa program: You must show that your business has a good chance of success and will be able to sustain itself. The Canada startup visa program will consider your business's financial health and viability. You must also show that your business meets specific requirements, including having a plan to get to profitability within a year, staffing and budget to get you to profitability, and a reasonable chance of success.
Do I Qualify for the Canada Startup Program?
To qualify for Canada’s Startup Program, you will initially have to meet eligibility requirements for a Canadian visa.
Eligibility requirements for a Startup Visa
If you qualify for a Canadian visa, you will also have to meet the specific criteria for a Startup visa. Those are:
- You must have a qualifying business.
- You must have a support letter from a designated organization.
- You must have sufficient funds.
- You must meet the language requirements.
For your business to qualify, it must meet these requirements:
- All business owners (a maximum of five) must hold at least 10% of the company’s voting rights.
- The business owners and the designated organization must keep 50% of the company’s voting rights.
What is a designated organization?
If you want to open a business in Canada, you must first get the support and investment of a designated organization.
A designated organization is an organization that the Canadian government has established to cooperate in the Startup visa. These organizations can invest in and support new businesses through the Startup Program. They are divided in:
- Venture capital funds
- Angel investor groups
- Business incubators
You should research the different organizations and see the best fit for your startup. Then, you should contact any organizations you find suited and see whether they are interested in investing in your company.
If you get the support of a designated organization, it will give you a Letter of Support. Once you have the letter, you can apply for Canada’s Startup Visa program. You will have to attach the letter to your application. Your designated organization will send a completed Commitment Certificate directly to the IRCC.
If you receive support from more than one organization, they will have to join and send the IRCC a joint Commitment Certificate and provide you with a joint Letter of Support.
Sufficient funds for a Canadian Startup visa
When you get to Canada, you will need enough funds to provide for yourself or any family members coming with you.
You won’t receive any financial support, so you will have to bring enough money to live in Canada until your business starts to get financial gains.
You will need a minimum of $12,669 for yourself and approximately $3,400 for each additional member.
Language requirements for a Canada Startup visa
To live in Canada, you have to be able to communicate in either or both of its official languages: English and French.
To prove your proficiency, you will have to take a test before you apply and attach the results along with your application. Canada lists approved agencies on the IRCC page, such as IELTS or CELPIP for English, TEF Canada, or TFC Canada for French.
You must reach at least the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either language. You will be tested on your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills.
How to Apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program
The application process for the Canada startup visa program is very similar to that for other international business classifications, such as the H-1B and the J-1. However, it is essential to note that the startup visa program is different from the general business visa program in that it is aimed at helping small businesses get greater visibility of their operations and increase their chances of success. To be eligible, a company must: Be incorporated in Canada or have a valid certificate of incorporation; Have at least one employee; and Be incorporated with the primary purpose of conducting business in Canada.
How long does the Canada Startup Visa Program take?
The Canada startup visa program takes about two years to complete the initial selection process and apply for a visa. Once your application is complete, the program runs a selection process to decide who will receive a startup visa. The program is open to all companies and individuals, regardless of race, country of origin, or religion. Your startup may be selected for one, a few, or all available visas.
How to Apply for a Canada Startup Visa
If your application is approved, you'll have to pay the application fee, which is $495 for individuals and $8,495 for corporations. You'll also have to pay an assortment of payments, including a biometrics fee of $75, a document verification fee of $25, a security deposit of up to 25% of the total, and inspection fees. You'll also have to pay applicable taxes on the amount of money received and any profits.
Compile the document file
You will have to “Validate” the documents, print and sign them, and complete your application package. This will include all the necessary documents and fees.
The documents required for a Canada Startup visa include:
- The standard documents are needed for any Canada visa application.
- Copies of travel documents/passports. They must show the name and date of birth, passport number, the date of expiry, changes made to the title, birth date, expiry date, etc.
- Proof you have passed the language proficiency test.
- The Letter of Support from your Designated Organization.
- Birth certificates.
- Marriage certificate or divorce/annulment certificate. (If applicable)
- If married more than once, provide documents for each marriage.
- Death certificate for former spouse/common-law partner. (If applicable)
- If you have a common-law partner: Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409 – original) and proof you have lived together for a minimum of 12 months (it could be proof of shared apartment lease, shared bills, shared address on documents, etc.)
- Information on your child, such as birth certificates, adoption papers, or proof of custody. (If applicable).
- National IDs or family or household registry/book. (If applicable)
- Police Certificates and Clearances. They should be from every country/territory you’ve lived in for six or more months.
- Pictures according to Canada’s requirements.
- Fee receipts.
Application Forms needed for a Startup visa application
- Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008]
- Additional Dependants/Declaration [IMM 0008DEP]
- Schedule A – Background/Declaration [IMM 5669]
- Schedule 13 – Business Immigration Programs – Start-Up Business
- Additional Family Information [IMM 5406]
- Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union [IMM 5409]
- Separation Declaration for Minors Travelling to Canada [IMM 5604]
- Supplementary Information – Your travels [IMM 5562]
- Use of a Representative [IMM 5476]
You will have to mail the completed application to the address you are provided with.
Is there a maximum amount of funding eligible?
The Canada startup visa program does not have a maximum amount of funding for consideration. However, if you are selected for the program, you will have to supply documentation to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your proposed business for three months.
What's involved in applying for a Canada Startup Visa?
You must: File a startup visa application with the Canadian Embassy or consulate in your country. Pay the required fee and submit the required documents. Wait for the consular visa office to evaluate your application. If selected, the embassy or consulate will forward your application to the visa office to determine if you have the required permission to work in Canada.
What can happen to prevent you from applying for a Canada startup visa?
In case of success, you will be expected to publicize your business through advertising and social media. You must have a well-established customer base. Your business must be able to show that it is profitable. In addition, you must have the proper permits in place to operate your business. You will not be eligible for this visa if any of the following apply: you are using the H-1B or the J-1; you are a national of a country that has not met the criteria for membership in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), or you have been indicted for a felony or a crime that is considered a national security threat.
The Canada startup visa program is designed to help to qualify small business owners to achieve greater visibility of their operations and increase their chances of success. To be eligible, a company must: Be incorporated in Canada or have a valid certificate of incorporation; Have at least one employee; and Be incorporated with the primary purpose of conducting business in Canada.
To qualify for this program, you'll need to fill out an application process which requires: A questionnaire; and A criminal background check. You also have the option to register your startup online through a secure website or third-party service provider. If you choose the service provider option, you'll be asked to provide personal information about yourself and contact information for at least two people who can vouch for your startup's credibility and reliability.