Canada has been proving its competitive startup ecosystem since the launch of the Startup Visa program. The 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Index also emphasizes this effect on attracting foreign talents.
In the same report, Canada ranks 4th among the total of 100 countries. Criteria like number of startups, number of accelerators, supporting organizations, employee numbers and such have been determinative.
Forbes senior editor Amy Feldman stated that around 200 startups have emerged after the program. All the foreign entrepreneurs have obtained their permanent residence in the meantime.
Besides creating a business opportunity in Canada, you’ll also receive a work permit and permanent residence. Citizenship is also possible after staying in Canada for three years.
Before being approved for permanent residence, you can come to Canada through your work permit. The support of your designated investor organization is also needed for this.
Getting your Canada startup visa will take around 18 months after receiving a letter of support. The designated investor organization prepares the letter to prove that it supports you and invests in your business. Getting this letter will take between four and six months.
First of all, note that it is usually preferable to get help from business consultants and business immigration lawyers. In this way, they can supervise if your business meets the required terms and conditions in Canada.
After you make up a viable business plan, you’ll find an investor organization to support you. You need to find at least one to be able to apply for the program. The organizations include venture capital funds, angel investors, and business incubators.
Each of them needs to invest in different amounts. You can see the minimum amounts they need to invest in your startup project.
- A designated venture capital fund: Needs to invest at least 200,000 CAD (Canadian Dollars) into the qualifying business. It’s also possible to qualify with two or more commitments from venture capital funds. The total amount must be 200,000 CAD.
- A designated angel investor group: Needs to invest at least 75,000 CAD into the business. It’s also possible to qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups. The total amount must be 75,000 CAD.
- A designated business incubator: Needs only to accept the applicants into its business incubator program. There’s no minimum amount it must invest in.
Unlike many other entrepreneur programs, Canada Investment Visa does not require any management experience.
Furthermore, there is no age limit to apply for the program. As long as you have a viable business plan, you can apply for it anytime.
You can apply for the program alone, or with up to five entrepreneurs including you. In this case, you need to own at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business. Furthermore, no other applicant can own 50 percent or more of the voting rights.
All five applicants can get permanent residence. However, some of them can be essential to the business. If such applicants get rejected or leave, all other applicants will get rejected.
If you have a spouse and children under 22, they can also apply with you.
Note that for each member, there is a certain amount you need to secure. In this way, you prove to the government that you can maintain your family when settling in Canada. The settlement funds need to be unencumbered.
When a designated organization accepts you, they need to submit a letter of support and a commitment certificate. They are necessary to demonstrate that they accept your business and agree to invest.
Also, your startup business must create job opportunities for Canadian residents.
Getting a good score on the language test is another must. You can prove your proficiency in English, French, or both.
The same report says that globally, Canada ranks 3rd: in Education Technology, and Energy and Environment Technology.
Cities in Canada like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal rank in the top 50 cities globally.
One of the successful examples of these startups is Applyboard. Founded in 2015, the startup now employs more than 500 people.
In short, Canada Investors Visa offers certain opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. It is possible to settle in the country and even become a Canadian citizen after a certain period.
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