The Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program
The Start-Up Visa program provides permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs thereby assisting them to have their business establishment in Canada.
The program helps immigrant entrepreneurs to root their business in Canada. Capable applicants approach private sector organizations in Canada, where they can secure funding, assistance and expertise in opening and operating their business in Canada.
The moto of the program remains to boost the job availability and economic growth of Canada through the innovative foreign entrepreneurs.
To be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must secure the following conditions-
- Meet language proficiency requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
- Have funds to settle down in Canada;
- Must plan to settle down in a province except the Province of Quebec;
- Pass Canadian security test and medical exams;
- Prove that your business is supported through a designated business organization; and
- Show your business secures ownership requirements too.
- Only five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of a single business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.
- IRCC or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has designated a number of venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubator organizations to be a part of the Start-Up Visa program.
- Applicants are supposed to make a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. If the applicants come from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the investment must be at least $200,000. If they come from an angel investor group, it should be minimum $75,000.
- Applicants need not secure any investment from a business incubator. However, applicants can be a part of Canadian business incubator program.
- Applicants do not need to invest their own money. Considering that their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, candidates allowed permanent residence through this program will retain their permanent resident status.
Evidence of Commitment
In order to validate the fact that the applicant has obtained support from either a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator, the investor organization requires to submit a completed Commitment Certificate to IRCC. This document shares information about the agreement between the applicant and the investment organization. Its purpose remains to state all the important details of the commitment between the investment organization and the applicant.
Moreover, the applicant will receive a letter of support from the investment organization, which the applicant should submit with their application for permanent residence. If there are two or more applicants participating in the same business venture, the commitment favour made by the investment organization can be totally conditional upon one or more “essential person” receiving their permanent residence. An essential person is someone who has been specifically recognized as important to the business by the investment organization. If the application of an essential person is refused due to some emerging issues, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be rejected.
Support from Multiple Organizations or Syndication
At particular instances, multiple designated institutions support the applicants. In this case, all entities involved must be recognized. Together, the designated organizations will submit a single Commitment Certificate to the IRCC and one Letter of Support will be provided to the applicants.
If a designated venture capital firm invests in a business, the minimum total investment amount that must be invested in that business is $200,000, irrespective of the fact whether or not a designated angel group also invests in the same business.
If the business receives support from minimum one designated angel group, and no designated venture capital groups, then the minimum total investment of $ 75,000 must be invested in that business.
Peer Review Procedure:
To protect the pilot program of Start-up visa from fraud, a peer review process has been installed. It is to make sure that the deals made between the investment organizations and foreign national entrepreneurs are legal. A peer review panel might assess the entire commitment. These panels have been installed by an industry association that demonstrates the type of investment of the organization making the commitment. For example, in the angel investor group instance, the National Angel Capital Organization is to be held responsible for installing the peer review panel.
However, if the group making the commitment is a venture capital fund, Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association are to be held responsible. The peer review can be requested if the immigration officer believes that it would assist them in making conclusive decisions. They can also be initiated randomly. The assessment made by the peer review panel is not at all supposed to be binding on the immigration officer. It is to ensure that the investment organization has performed the proper checks and investigations to meet the industry standards. It does not opine on the feasibility of the proposal in question.
The Peer review examines the success of the designated business organization by :
- Ensuring that the company has been or will be incorporated in Canada;
- Ensuring that the business ownership has been examined and secures program requirements;
- Ensuring that the designated organization has taken into account the viability of the business model that was offered, assessed the business venture’s management team and also examined the authority of the intellectual property;
- Ensuring that the business aims at a high-growth potential product and/or service; and
- Validating business incubator applicants, accepting into an incubator program.
The duration of the program is five years. Being a pilot program, it will only process a maximum of 2,750 applications per year. If this pilot program becomes successful, the Canadian Government might choose to establish the Start-Up Visa Program permanently before the end of the five-year period.