Canada is recognized worldwide as one of the most coveted countries to stay in. Its citizens are privy to some incredible benefits that rarely any other nations can match. Recently it has also gained prominence as an attractive hotspot for founders and entrepreneurs thanks to the Canadian government’s attractive Start-Up Visa Program!
This visa program is popular for incentivizing entrepreneurs from around the world to invest in the country and gain residence, with a path to citizenship.
In this article, we will explore what makes Canada a great option for entrepreneurs, what the benefits of Canadian Start-Up Visa are and the intricacies of the application procedure. Let’s start with:
What is a Start Up Visa in Canada?
The Canada Start-Up Visa Program, or SUV for short, is a government endorsed pathway for international entrepreneurs and businessmen who want to register their own start-ups in Canada. This program was initially launched a decade ago in 2013, and has been highly successful in streamlining the visa and citizenship process for investors ever since.
The Star-Up Visa program has been instrumental in transforming Canada into a hub for technological innovation and economic growth. This is because it was designed specifically to attract businessmen, founders, entrepreneurs, and other such international talent to the country. It serves as a win-win for all parties involved as it allows investors to take advantage of Canada’s manifold opportunities, while also aiding its growing economy by creating jobs.
|1. Why is Canada Good for Foreign Direct investment?||2. Start-Up Visa Program Benefits||3. Canada Startup Visa Requirements|
|4. How to Apply for a Start-up Visa in Canada?||5. How Can You Gain Citizenship By Investment In Canada?|
1. Why is Canada Good for Foreign Direct investment
Canada boasts a booming economy with a great growth rate and promising future. Moreover, the government’s investor-friendly fiscal regulations make it a great choice for entrepreneurs, businessmen, founders, and investors. It has a scalable market and a wide range of investment opportunities to lure investors.
Let’s understand why Canada is a lucrative destination for investors.
- Robust Growth-Oriented Economy
Canada’s economy is incredibly stable and resilient in the face of downturns or black swan events such as global economic uncertainty. Economists predict a high growth rate for the Canadian economy going forward, making it a safe investment marketplace.
Moreover, this robust economy is built on pillars of strong financial institutions, and responsible fiscal policies. Its abundance of natural resources also contribute to its financial stability making it a reliable environment to invest in.
- Easy Access to North American Marketplace
Another distinct advantage of investing in Canada for investors is its proximity to America- the biggest economy in the world. Its strategic position offers investors with access to the large North American marketplace.
This is especially advantageous for entrepreneurs as they can tap into a huge customer base, thereby providing a significant sales boost to their new business or start-up.
- High Quality of Life
Canada is renowned for offering its citizens an incredibly high quality of life. Whether it’s for you or for your family, Canada knows how to take care of its people. Investing in Canada allows investors to gain citizenship, and access all their incredible facilities on offer.
A well-funded healthcare system with skilled doctors and state-of-the-art medical facilities, globally recognized universities, and a relatively crime-free and safe environment are just some of the amazing advantages of investing and living in Canada.
Moreover, the country’s cultural ecosystem boasts immigrants from all over the world, making it a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. A warm and inclusive society with an accepting nature, Canada ensures individuals get a high quality of life for themselves as well as their families.
2. Start-Up Visa Program Benefits
Some benefits of this visa program are that it is a quick, trustworthy and reliable option. Lot’s of investors have taken this route and successfully begun their new lives as citizens of this great nation. Moreover, the beauty of this program is that the whole family of the foreign investor can be eligible for citizenship and included on their application. While this will raise the amount required – including the settlement funds that will need to be disclosed – the Visa scheme itself doesn’t place any limit on how many members are eligible to apply.
Additionally, the Start-Up Visa Program leads directly to the applicant receiving their Permanent Residency permit from the government. This enables them to benefit from most of the advantages as a local citizen, except for the ability to vote or participate in any political office. The foreign individual as well as their family members can access healthcare benefits, subsidized tuition fees, social security and much more!
Furthermore, unlike the other government visa schemes, such as the Entrepreneur visa program, the Start-Up Visa program doesn’t link an investor’s PR to the performance of their business. This is a massive advantage as some start-ups can take a long time to turn profitable.
Lastly, this visa program presents investors with a seamless and streamlined path to citizenship after spending 3 years in the country. It is an easy and straightforward option that most founders and entrepreneurs take advantage of.
3. Canada Startup Visa Requirements
While the program offers exciting benefits, let’s look at whether you are eligible for it. To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program, foreign investors need to meet a few requirements first. Only upon satisfying these can they apply for PR through this visa program.
There are four main requirements to be met. Let’s explore these eligibility criteria.
- Securing a Letter of Supoprt from a Registered Organization
First and foremost, all foreign investors must secure a letter of support from a designated and registered Canadian venture capital firm, an angel investor fund, or a business incubator. This is fundamental to your application’s success and is a key eligibility requirement.
To do this, applicants must present their start-up ideas to these designated organizations and convince them that it is worth supporting financially. If the pitch goes successfully, the applicant will then receive this letter of endorsement and financial support from the organization. This letter needs to be included in your visa application.
- Investors Must Have A Qualifying Business
Secondly, foreign investors must also demonstrate that the business idea or start-up is a qualifying entity. This means that the start-up should be innovative, scalable in potential, and most importantly, have the capacity to create jobs in Canada.
Moreover, the investor must also hold a minimum of 10% stake in the company, with full voting rights. With the designated fund endorsing the applicant, their total investment shareholding must be a minimum of 50% of the business.
- Language Requirements and Proficiency
Applicants need to undertake a standardized language proficiency test from a registered agency to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility requirements. The foreign investor must secure a minimum of level 5 on the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark). This could be in either language, English or French.
- Proof of Funds (Enough Money)
Investors applying for this visa need to show that they the pre-requisite sufficient funds to support their families and themselves while they reside in Canada during the early stages of their business.
The amount will vary depending on each individual application, and factors in aspects such as lifestyle and number of family members. But a ballpark figure for a family of four requires approximately $25,000 CAD.
4. How to Apply for a Start-up Visa in Canada
All immigrants investing in Canada are eligible for the permanent residency permit, and eventually, the chance to become citizens. Upon successfully meeting all requirements listed above, the applicant can then proceed to submit their application. And the Start-up Visa Canada processing time for approval is between 12-to-16 months.
Successful applicants will be granted their PR, and are set on their journey to becoming Canadian citizens. Let’s look at the steps an investor needs to follow to streamline their process.
- Secure the Letter of Support and Fill Out Visa Application
As mentioned earlier, obtaining that letter of commitment from a designated organization is key for your visa application. It is a letter that showcases the business’ potential.
- Language Tests and Settlement Records
Once an applicant has secured the endorsement letter, they need to gather the remaining documents such as proof of language proficiency, record of settlement funds, and other important supporting documents.
These records must be placed in a sealed envelope and signed by the applicant. Upon submitting the documents, they will need to pay the application fee, which is a maximum of $170 CAD.
- Security Checks and Medical
Successful applicants as well as their family members will then be called in for security checks, background assessments and medical examinations.
- Potentially Give an Interview
While it is not standard procedure, it is also not uncommon to be called in separately for an interview with an immigration officer. This will be one on one and usually is required when some more information is needed that isn’t sufficiently provided on the application.
- Receive Visa and Eventually Apply for Canadian Citizenship
If everything goes smoothly, the foreign investor receives his permanent residency permit. This grants them all the same rights as a Canadian local except voting rights. Upon serving three years in the country, the entrepreneur can then choose to apply for citizenship. This will grant them a second passport as well as the ability to hold public office.
4. How Can You Gain Citizenship By Investment In Canada
Getting your Canadian citizenship typically takes anywhere between three to five years in its entirety. To get citizenship via investment in this country, any foreign individual must first gain the PR permit (Permanent Residency) permit. Only then can they be allowed to apply for citizenship.
Thankfully, the Canadian government’s immigrant friendly policies offer multiple citizenship via investment programs for foreign nationals. This citizenship scheme allows individuals to get their Canada PR initially through investment and work their way to becoming a Canadian citizen in the future.
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