Start-Up Visa

Start-Up Visa Program is chosen by eligible entrepreneurs as a path to Canadian permanent residency

Start-Up Visa Program of Canada has been successful while previous programs fell short in bringing high-calibre business owners with the abilities and qualities for business success.

Although the number of candidates coming to Canada through the Start-Up Visa Program has decreased, those that do are highly qualified people that bring with them substantial human capital, including age, education and language skills.

Start-Up Visa Program candidates are considered to be better than those accepted through Canada’s previous Entrepreneur Programs on human capital and also in regards to business success.

The Start-Up Visa has actually been admired and imitated by various other countries. This is another example of Canada’s innovative and flexible immigration approach.

Through the Start-Up Visa, Canada can quickly attract some of the smartest talents in the world, match them with local investors to turn their business ideas into reality.

Start-Up Visa Program was originally launched as a pilot program. It became permanent in 2018, and since then is getting stronger. The program intends to recruit innovative business owners to Canada and connect them with private sector investors (venture capital funds, angel investor groups or business incubators) to assist them to build their businesses. Candidates can come to Canadian on a work permit prior to obtaining permanent residency. In 2019, the total number of new permanent residents coming to Canada through the Start-Up Visa Program reached 510. It is more than double the 250 new permanent residents welcomed in 2018. In the past five years, this number has been steadily increasing.

Stakeholders reported that an essential advantage of the program is the timely processing of initial work permits and permanent residence applications. It usually takes around 4 to 6 months to obtain a commitment certificate or letter of support from the designated entity in case a business owner has a viable start-up business project.

The application for permanent residence can be submitted when the support letter is granted. It takes about 18 months to complete an application for the issuance of a permanent resident visa.

The survey shows that Start-Up Visa Program candidates become successful in Canada in terms of growing their businesses, bringing more investment, establishing networks or selling businesses for profit.

From the perspective of Canadian immigration, (IRCC), the program is less expensive than the previous Entrepreneur Programs. With Start-Up Visa Program private sector investors select candidates based on the feasibility of their business ideas. The IRCC visa officer used to do it in the previous program.

Although the number of candidates is increasing rapidly, the number may still be small. Candidates coming to Canada through this program are of great value to the Canadian economy and have achieved success in the business environment. As the number of candidates grows, the Start-Up Program will surely become an increasingly important program in the field of Canadian immigration.

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