Canada Entrepreneurs Visa
Canada, with one of the most business-friendly economies in the world, is a hugely attractive country in which to develop and build a new business idea.
If you’re looking to immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur in the Canadian economy, the government of Canada, as well as certain Canadian provinces, present some enticing options.
- Start-up Visa Program
The Start-Up Visa Program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada. Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada. With the Start-Up Visa, Canada is targeting entrepreneurs who have the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs.
- Quebec Entrepreneur Program
The Quebec Entrepreneur category of Canadian immigration was designed to allow qualified business owners and managers the opportunity to obtain Canadian permanent residence, provided that they can effectively create or acquire an agricultural, commercial or industrial business in the province of Quebec.
- Provincial Entrepreneur Programs
Canada’s provinces offer a range of entrepreneur categories within their Provincial Nominee Programs. Through one of these categories, immigrant entrepreneurs can settle in a specific province.
FEDERAL STARTUP VISA
The Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program
The Start-Up Visa program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada.
The program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada. Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.
The purpose of this program is to recruit innovative foreign national entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and drive economic growth.
In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:
- Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
- Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
- Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec;
- Pass Canadian security and medical clearances;
- Prove your business is supported through a designated organization; and
- Show your business meets ownership requirements.
No more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has designated a number of venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubator organizations to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.
Successful applicants are required to secure a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. If coming from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the investment must be at least $200,000. If coming from an angel investor group, it should be at least $75,000.
Applicants do not need to secure any investment from a business incubator. However, applicants must be accepted into a Canadian business incubator program.
Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money. If their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, individuals granted permanent residence through this program will retain their permanent resident status.
Evidence of Commitment
In order to demonstrate that the applicant has obtained support from either a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator, the investor organization must submit a completed Commitment Certificate directly to IRCC. This document includes information regarding the agreement between the applicant and the investment organization. Its purpose is to summarize the relevant details of the commitment between the investment organization and the applicant.
In addition, the applicant will receive a letter of support from the investment organization, which the applicant will need to submit with their application for permanent residence. If there are two or more applicants as part of the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization can be conditional upon one or more “essential persons” receiving their permanent residence. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified as essential to the business by the investment organization. If for any reason the application of an essential person is refused, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be refused.
If there are two or more applicants as part of the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization can be conditional upon one or more “essential person(s)” receiving their permanent residence. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified as essential to the business by the investment organization. If for any reason the application of an essential person is refused, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be refused.
Support from Multiple Organizations
Applicants may receive support from multiple designated organizations, known as syndication. In this instance, all entities involved must be identified. Together, the designated organizations will provide IRCC with a single Commitment Certificate and one Letter of Support will be provided to the applicant(s).
As soon as a designated venture capital firm invests in a business, the minimum total investment amount that must be invested in that business is $200,000, even if a designated angel group also invests in the same business.
If the business receives support from at least one designated angel group, but not designated venture capital groups, then the minimum total investment amount that must be invested in that business is $75,000.
Peer Review Process
In order to protect this pilot program against fraud, a peer review process has been included. It is designed to make sure that the deals made between the investment organizations and foreign national entrepreneurs are legitimate. An immigration officer may ask for a commitment to be independently assessed by a peer review panel. These panels have been established by an industry association that represents the type of investment organization making the commitment. For example, in the case of an angel investor group, the National Angel Capital Organization would be responsible for establishing the peer review panel.
Alternatively, if the group making the commitment is a venture capital fund, Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association would be responsible. While the peer review can be requested if the immigration officer believes that it would assist them in making a decision, they can also be initiated on a random basis. The assessment made by the peer review panel is not considered binding on the immigration officer. It will only confirm that the investment organization has carried out the proper checks and investigations according to industry standards. It will not provide an opinion on the wisdom or feasibility of the proposal in question.
The Peer review examines the level of due diligence that was performed by the designated organization and:
- ensures that the company has been or will be incorporated in Canada;
- ensures that business ownership has been verified and satisfies program requirements;
- ensures that the designated organization has considered the viability of the proposed business model, assessed the business venture’s management team and verified the ownership of the intellectual property;
- makes sure the focus of the business is on a high-growth potential product and/or service; and
- validates, for business incubator applicants, acceptance into an incubator program.
As this is a pilot program, it will only process a maximum of 2,750 applications per year. Moreover, the duration of the program is limited to five years. If this pilot program proves successful, the Canadian Government may choose to establish the Start-Up Visa Program permanently before the end of the five-year period.
If you would like to ascertain your eligibility for Canada visa, you can book an appointment for initial consultation with our Canada Immigration experts. Call us on +91 9633 746454 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quebec Business Immigration – Entrepreneur
The Quebec Entrepreneur Program grants qualified business owners and managers the opportunity to obtain permanent residence in Quebec provided that they can effectively create or acquire a business in the province.
The Quebec government began accepting 25 new applications under Stream One and 35 new applications under Stream Two of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program on November 1, 2019. The in-take period will continue until September 30, 2020.
Quebec’s Entrepreneur Program selects eligible foreign nationals with a business in Quebec.
About the Quebec Entrepreneur Program
Entrepreneurs interested in immigration to Quebec can apply under one of the program’s two streams.
Stream One is focused on new businesses or startups established in the province with the support of a business incubator / accelerator or university in the province.
Stream Two is focused on owner-funded and operated businesses.
The Quebec Immigration Ministry the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) says that entrepreneurs interested in obtaining permanent residence in Quebec must be 18 years of age or older and must operate a business in accordance with the requirements of the Entrepreneur Program. While candidates can obtain additional points for French language proficiency, it is not required in order to apply to the program.
All Quebec Entrepreneur Program applicants must submit a business project. This project is an important factor in the assessment of an application. Following the initial assessment of an application, Quebec entrepreneur candidates will be expected to attend a selection interview. The selection interview is the final step to completing the application process under the Quebec Entrepreneur Program.
All Quebec Entrepreneur applicants must demonstrate the intention to reside in Quebec.
Requirements for Quebec Entrepreneur Program: Stream One
Foreign nationals interested in applying under Stream One of the Entrepreneur Program will need to obtain the passing score of 41 points under all factors in the Quebec Economic Class selection grid for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program in order to be considered for selection.
Candidates under Stream One of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program can obtain points for factors such as education level, areas of training, age, language proficiency in French and English, and stay and family in Quebec. There are no additional points awarded for applicants with a spouse or common-law partner.
The following are the minimum requirements for meeting the cut-off threshold for the program:
Secondary school general diploma
Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency
Provide a service offer from an enterprise incubator / accelerator or university entrepreneurship centre and demonstrate successful evaluation of the business project
Requirements for Quebec Entrepreneur Program: Stream Two
Foreign nationals interested in applying under Stream Two of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program will need to obtain the passing score of 81 points in all 13 factors under Quebec’s Economic Class selection grid to be considered for selection.
Candidates under Stream Two of Quebec’s Entrepreneur Program are awarded points for factors that include education level, areas of training, age, language proficiency in French and English, and stay and family in Quebec.
The following are the minimum requirements for meeting the cut-off threshold for Stream Two:
Secondary school general diploma
Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency.
Demonstrate a successful evaluation of the business project.
Deposit for startup
Provide a start-up deposit of $300,000 for a business in the metropolitan area of Montreal and a deposit of $200,000 for a business outside the metropolitan area of Montreal.
Holds and controls, alone or with the accompanying spouse or common-law partner, at least 25% of the equity of the enterprise he or she creates or at least 51% of the equity of the enterprise he or she acquires. The value of an applicant’s financial contribution must be equal to or greater than the amount that must serve to start up the business project.
Minimum net worth
Have at least financial resources of $900,000
While the applicant can operate the business with a spouse or common-law partner, there are no additional points awarded for an applicant with a spouse or common-law partner.
The MIFI requires candidates applying under Stream Two to provide a performance guarantee deposit of $200,000 that is refundable if certain conditions are met.