Cabinet Harvey Law Group

CANADA - Startup Visa

WHAT IS THE CANADA START-UP VISA?

The Canadian Start-up Visa Program is designed for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas who will spur economic growth and entails the consequent commitment from a designated organization. This program requires a minimum financial commitment of CAD190,000 and grants permanent residency in Canada. Applicants may apply for Canadian citizenship after 3 years.

  • Procedure

    Typical processing time for the work permit application 8-12 weeks

  • Family

    Dependents included:
    - Spouse or common law partner
    - Children under 22 years old who do not have a spouse or a common law partner

  • Citizenship

    After 3 years of permanent residence

  • Investment

    Minimum financial commitment of CAD 190,000

FAQ

WHAT IS THE CANADA START-UP VISA PROGRAM?

The Canada Start-up Visa (“SUV”) Program offers entrepreneurs and their families the opportunity to obtain permanent residence status upon developing a qualifying innovation business in Canada with support from a designated entity.

The program requirements are as follows:

  1. The Proposed Venture is a Qualifying Business

A venture is considered a qualifying business under the SUV program if, at the time the commitment is made:

    1. the applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the venture outstanding at that time; and
    2. the designated organization and the applicant jointly hold more that 50% of the voting rights in the business; and
    3. the applicant’s intention is to have a venture:
      1. in which the applicant provides active and ongoing management from within Canada;
      2. for which an essential part of its operations is conducted in Canada;
      3. that is incorporated in Canada.
  1. Commitment Confirmation from a Designated Entity

To support the fact that the proposed venture involves an innovative business idea that has the potential to compete on a global scale and can create jobs for Canadians, the applicant must receive one of the following:

  1. An investment of at least $75,000 from a designated angel investor group;
  2. An investment of at least $200,000 from a designated venture capital fund; or
  3. Acceptance into a business incubator program by a designated business incubator.
  1. Language Requirement

The applicant must have a minimum level of CLB 5 in English or French

  1. Settlement Fund Requirement

The applicant must show that he has the financial resources to support himself and his dependents. For further information on the settlement fund requirement, Link

WHO QUALIFIES AS A DEPENDENT ON THE SUV APPLICATION?

The spouse and children of the applicant may qualify as a dependent family member in the SUV application. Note that children of the applicant may qualify as dependants if they

  • are under 22 years old and
  • don’t have a spouse or partner.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ATTAINING A PERMANENT RESIDENCE STATUS IN CANADA?

A permanent resident in Canada has the following legal rights:

  • Right to live, work and study anywhere in Canada permanently;
  • Right to access most social benefits, including public healthcare coverage; and
  • Right to apply for citizenship if certain conditions are met;
  • Right to be protected under the Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

WHAT ARE THE GENERAL APPLICATION PROCESSING STEPS UNDER THE BUSINESS INCUBATOR STREAM?

  1. The designated business incubator conducts due diligence assessment on the applicant’s qualifications
  2. The applicant confirms his interest to work with the designated business incubator
  3. Submission of work permit and permanent residence applications
  4. Once the work permit application is approved, the applicant may travel to Canada to activate the work permit and work with the designated business incubator on the venture
  5. On approval of the applicant’s permanent residence application, the applicant and his dependent family members could obtain permanent residence status in Canada.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL PROCESSING TIME?

  • 8-12 weeks for processing of work permit application
  • 33 months processing of permanent residence application

DO I NEED TO TRAVEL OR RESIDE IN CANADA AS PART OF THE SUV APPLICATION PROCESS?

There is no residence requirement under the SUV program. However, since the program requires that the applicant provides active and ongoing management from within Canada and that the essential part of the business is conducted in Canada, the applicant may be required to stay in Canada to satisfy these program requirements.

DO I NEED TO SHOW THE SOURCE OF FUNDS FOR THE SETTLEMENT FUNDS OR FUNDS I PUT INTO MY BUSINESS?

No. Applicants are only required to show that they have sufficient settlement funds to meet the program requirements. No proof of source or path of funds are required.