Canadian Startup Visa to become Permanent

The Canadian government announced that the Startup Visa program would now become a core part of the country’s immigration policy starting in 2018.  Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen made the announcement at the DMZ in Toronto. A few talking points about the announcement

  • The Canadian government is planning to turn the “Start-up Visa Program” started in 2013 into a permanent part of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) policy.
  • Start-up Visa Program offers permanent residency to foreign entrepreneurs who agree to bring their companies to Canada.
  • In its first four years, 117 people have received startup visas, representing 68 companies.
  • A candidate for the program must have a commitment from any one of a set of qualified Canadian investors – so-called angel investors, venture-capital companies and startup incubators.

Official overview of Start-up Visa Program – Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:

  • are innovative
  • can create jobs for Canadians
  • can compete on a global scale

Do you have an innovative business idea? If you can get support for your idea from one of the designated organizations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada.


How can you qualify to get a Start-up Visa? (official link)

Your application to come to Canada through the Start-up Visa program will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Four requirements must be met. You must :

  • have a Letter of Support from a designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator
  • meet the ownership requirements for a qualifying business
  • get scores of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in all four categories for either English or French, and
  • have an adequate amount of money to settle and provide for the cost of living prior to earning an income.

If these requirements are met, your application will be reviewed based on IRCC’s standard admissibility criteria, including health, criminality and security. We may request an independent peer review to ensure that due diligence was performed by the designated organization that issued your Letter of Support.

Find out more about these eligibility requirements (link).


Media roundup of the announcement


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