Canada’s immigration department has launched a Start-up Visa Program for young, skillful, qualified and ambitious entrepreneurs with a will and desire to set up base for their businesses in Canada and settle down over a period of time.

Entrepreneurs should be willing and able to do the following.

  • Create new employment opportunities for the Canadian public.
  • Set up a business that meets international standards and is globally competent.
  • Break away from the tried and tested. Come up with an innovative and unique business plan.

Canada is just about the best destination for any start-up. The following reasons would clear any lingering doubts.

  • Tax rates are lower than in most countries and the country scores high on account of corporate tax stability
  • Canada ranks among the top 10 countries in most living standard indices
  • Canada is a cost efficient country for businesses
  • The country is one of the strongest economies in the world and ranks 10thin GDP terms

Eligibility Criteria for Start-up Visa Program

Applicants must ensure the following eligibility requirements are met before putting up an application for this visa category.

The Business Idea must be supported by a Designated Organization in Canada

It is essential to secure a Letter of Support from a designated organization and the same must be attached as a part of the application failing which the application may be refused.

Business must meet Ownership Requirements

  • Each applicant must possess at least 10% of the voting rights in the said business.
  • The applicants and the designated organization must jointly own at least half of the business’ total voting rights.
  • A single business may have no more than 5 owners.

Meet the language requirements

The minimum level of (CLB) 5 must be attained by the applicant in the Language Proficiency Test and the result must be annexed with the application.

Proof of sufficient Money

You need to have enough money to suffice for yourself and settle your family in Canada as the Government would not provide financial support to the Visa holder.

Application Package

On receipt of the Application Package, submit the form, duly signed and filled as per the format, at the receiving center.

Application Fees

You are bound to pay the processing fee for your application as well as for family member named in the application. Check the fee structure before submitting the application.

Right of Permanent Residence Fee

You are also liable to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee for yourself and your spouse (or common-law partner) in case of approval. You must ensure that the fee is paid before you acquire permanent residency. The amount will be refunded in case of rejection or cancellation of the application and also if you do not move to Canada.

Other Fees

In addition to the 2 mentioned above, you are required to pay the fees for your medical exam, police certificate, language testing and for using the Visa Application Centre’s services.

Things to Consider

Before you put up the application, ensure sure that you:

  • sign the application and all other supporting forms
  • Affix all supporting documents
  • Answer any questions that were asked
  • Pay all the fees as required

An incomplete form or one with any missing documents would be sent back to rectify these errors. To avoid the lengthy delay and inconvenience associated with it, abide by the document checklist before submitting the application.

Apart from this, the applicant, to avoid any other delay and start the application process on time, must also ensure that he follows these steps:

  • Affix the barcode page and any other related pages
  • Print the barcode page
  • Validate the Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008] online.

Things to Consider While Preparing for Your Arrival

It is always advisable to plan your arrival in Canada or in any country for that matter, well in advance. You should know what documents are mandatory to seek admission into Canada. Here’s a brief list of the most vital documents.

  • Valid private passport and all essential travel documents. Note that the passport must be a regular, private passport. You cannot migrate to Canada on a diplomatic passport.
  • Valid permanent resident visa for yourself and your spouse or partner
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)

All these documents will be checked and verified at the Immigration by the concerned officer. Your date of entry will be verified so ensure that the country before the expiry dates of these documents. Also note that the permanent resident visa comes with a specified date which is not extendable.

You will also be interrogated, though politely, by the immigration officer to verify that you meet the eligibility criteria set for Canadian Immigration. You will be asked to produce the proof of sufficient money as mentioned above. The officer is authorized to deny you entry to Canada if your documents are incomplete or fake and also on account of providing insufficient information.

Disclosure of funds

It is mandatory for you to inform the CBSA officer if you enter the country carrying more than CAN$10,000 with you. You have to specify the source of the funds and the purpose for carrying such an amount and a failure to do so would invoke a fine or may even lead to a seizure of your funds. Your funds may include:

  • Cash
  • Stocks or securities that you own
  • Debentures, bonds and treasury bills.

Money orders, traveler’s cheques