Canada’s Start-up Visa Program offers permanent residency to foreign entrepreneurs who agree to bring their companies to 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 program was launched in 2013 as a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for qualified entrepreneurs looking to start a company in Canada. It was introduced as a five-year pilot project and is set to be made permanent on March 31, 2018.
The purpose of this program is to recruit innovative foreign national entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and drive economic growth. The program offers permanent residence status to an entrepreneur provided a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group has made a significant investment in their business. The pilot also allows a business incubator to accept the candidate into their program and facilitate the establishment of their start-up business in Canada.
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.