What is Canada's Start-Up Visa Program?
The Start-Up Visa Program is a Federal government-led initiative that offers the opportunity for early-stage companies and their management to relocate / soft land in Canada to support their North American expansion plan.
Candidates can initially come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canada-based investor, before qualifying for permanent residence once their business is up and running.
Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:
can create jobs for Canadians
can compete on a global scale
There are three types of private-sector investor:
1. Angel Investor
2. Venture Capital Fund
3. Business Incubator
What Is a Start-Up Visa Program Designated Entity?
A designated entity is a Canadian private sector angel investor, venture capital fund or business incubator.
The required commitment must meet the following criteria:
A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups totalling $75,000.
A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000.
A designated business incubator must accept the applicant into its business incubator program.
Keiretsu Forum Canada is a designated organization for the program. Its members have supported and funded over 90 new-to-Canada companies with high growth potential, making it the Start-Up Visa Program's most active Angel Investor organization.
The program is sector-agnostic and is open to all countries.
What Are the Candidate Eligibility Requirements?
The basic candidate eligibility requirements for the Start-Up Visa are:
Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support from a designated entity.
Sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds.
Proficiency in English or French at minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level