Canada is currently seeing a steady increase in the number of new permanent residents through the Start-Up Visa Program.
Last year, the total number of new permanent resident approved admissions got to 510, more than double the 250 received in 2018.
The figures have been steadily rising over the past five years for the program, which offers Canadian permanent residence to eligible immigrant entrepreneurs.
The significant rise seen in the Start-Up Visa Program in 2018 and 2019 could be down to the program being made permanent in March 2018. Initially, it had been a three-year pilot program.
The program targets innovative entrepreneurs and connects them with private sector investors in Canada who in turn help establish their start-up business.
Previously, candidates can come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canada-based investor, before qualifying for Canadian permanent residence once their business is in operation.
There are three types of private-sector investors: an angel investor, a business incubator and a venture capital fund.
- A designated angel investor group have to invest a Minimum of $75,000 into the qualifying business. Applicants can also be eligible with two or more investments from an angel investor groups totalling $75,000.
- A designated venture capital funds should confirm that it is investing a minimum of $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also be eligible with two or more commitments from designated venture capital fund totalling $200,000.
- A designated business incubator have to accept the candidate into its business incubator program.
Candidates with a qualifying business must obtain a Letter of support and Commitment Certificate from a designated entity, proof they have sufficient settlement fund and be proficient in French or English at minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level 5.
They could then apply for a short-term work permit to start working in the business.
For the candidate to be eligible for Canadian permanent residence, the business must be incorporated and located in Canada, the candidate must own at least ten (10) per cent of the voting rights, and no other person can hold fifty (50) per cent or more of the voting right.
If an entrepreneur or business owner has a strong start-up business project, it will take about 4-6 months to secure a commitment certificate/letter of support from designated entities. Once a letter of support is received, the application for Canadian permanent residence can be lodged. It will take approximately eighteen (18) months to finalize the application to visa issuance.