One of Canada’s national priorities is immigration. The government’s 3-year plan brought more than 300,000 people to the country last year, and hopes to bring 341,000 in 2020 and 350,000 in 2021. Immigrants help stimulate economic activity, facilitate cultural exchange, and serve as informal ambassadors of Canada’s public systems to their countries of origin.
However, Canada is particular about who it wants to come and live or work within its borders. 6 in 10 immigrants are invited by officers because their backgrounds show that they have the potential to make a positive impact on the Canadian economy.
Aside from skilled workers and individuals who can fill in-demand professional roles, the country is also looking for entrepreneurs to set up businesses. If you are a small business owner, Canada’s Startup Visa program might be for you.
What You Need to Qualify
Let’s say you decide that you want to apply for this program. You cannot just make a business plan and present this to the immigration bureau. Entrepreneurs who qualify for this scheme are fast-tracked for residence and citizenship for their ability to provide jobs and significantly contribute to commerce in Canada.
Before you consult with Canadian immigration services, learn as much as you can about the visa for entrepreneurs. The government has four general requirements for people who want to apply for this type of visa.
Support of a local investor organization
Research Canadian venture capital funds, angel investor groups, or business incubators that are willing to vouch for your business. Each group has its own priorities, so make sure you are pitching to one whose goals align with yours. Visit these groups’ websites to see what they have supported in the past and what they require in proposal packets. Some places require fully developed business plans, while others will not.
You must get support from a local group before proceeding with other steps. If a group likes your idea, they will give you an official Letter of Support. You must bring this when you apply for a Startup Visa; you cannot apply for your visa if you don’t have this letter.
On their end, the group that vouches for you will send a Commitment Certificate to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This basically tells the CIC the relevant details of your partnership. In case you have multiple backers, the organizations can syndicate their Certificate and the Letter they will send to you.
1. Proof of your language proficiency
To apply for a Startup Visa, you need to be able to speak in English, French, or both. Your language skills must be exhibited through a test administered by an IRCC-approved agency. The minimum is a Language Benchmark of 5 in speaking, reading, listening, and writing in either language.
2. Qualifying business
This means that the enterprise you will bring to Canada should belong largely to you. Ownership of the business is determined in two ways.
Firstly, if you are part of a corporation and are applying as a group, each applicant must have 10 percent or more of the voting rights to the shares of the corporation. Up to five people can apply as business owners under this rule.
On the other hand, there is also ownership when you and the designated organization have more than half of the total voting rights in the company.
3. Settlement funds
Most immigrants to Canada have to present proof that they have enough resources to support themselves after they arrive in the country. The Canadian government does not give financial support to Startup Visa holders.
Because of this, having settlement funds is important to cushion the transition period. The government requires different amounts of settlement funds for different types of immigrants. You should research the funds required for your specific scheme.
Canada is always listed among the top countries for quality of life. With its progressive values, strong healthcare system and vibrant regional cultures, the country does provide immigrants plenty of reasons to stay. When considering relocation to Canada, consult with local immigration consultants. They will be able to give you reliable, timely advice for your move.
If you are looking for an immigration service in Toronto or other parts of Canada, book an appointment with us today. Our team of specialists have more than 25 years of experience helping individuals move to Canada. Contact us today to learn more!