Donald Trump’s move to end a similar program in the U.S. is driving candidates to Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program.
Federal government figures show 200 Start-Up Visa Program candidates have been approved for Canada permanent residence since February.
These 200 candidates have created 130 new businesses in Canada through the program.
Trump’s move to quash the start-up provision of the U.S. International Entrepreneur Rule has resulted in several countries pushing programs to pick up candidates no longer able to start businesses in America.
Canada, given its nearby location and friendly business environment for start-ups, is among the most popular.
The Start-Up Visa Program was introduced in April 2013 as a five-year pilot project. It was made permanent on March 31, 2018.
It grants Canadian permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs.
The program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them with the Canadian private sector businesses, (angel investor groups, venture capital funds or business incubators).
Applicants to Canada’s Start-Up Visa program must meet four basic eligibility requirements:
- Obtain a commitment from a designated entity in the form of a Commitment Certificate or Letter of Support;
- Have sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds;
- Have completed at least one year of post-secondary education;
- Demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English or French through standardized testing (Canadian Language Benchmark level 5).
The required commitment from a designated entity must meet the following criteria:
- A designated angel investor group must confirm that it is investing at least $75,000 into the qualifying business, or two or more commitments from designated angel investor groups totaling $75,000; OR
- A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business or two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totaling $200,000; OR
- A designated business incubator must confirm that it is accepting the applicant into its business incubator Program.
In order to qualify, the intended business must be incorporated and carrying on business in Canada at the time the commitment is made and:
- The applicant owns a least 10% of the voting rights in the corporation; AND
- No other person holds 50% or more of the total amount of voting rights in the corporation.
Up to five applicants may have their application for permanent residence supported by the same business investment.
Applicants can apply for a short-term work permit on the basis of their Commitment Certificate if the designated entity supports such a request.
What Are The Designated Venture Capital Funds Under The Start-Up Visa Program?
- BDC Venture Capital
- Celtic House Venture Partners
- Extreme Venture Partners LLP
- Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP
- Impression Ventures
- Information Venture Partners Management Inc.
- Innovation Platform Capital International LP
- iNovia Capital Inc.
- Lumira Capital
- Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation (o/a Innovacorp)
- OMERS Ventures Management Inc.
- Pangaea Ventures Ltd.
- PRIVEQ Capital Funds
- Real Ventures
- Relay Ventures
- ScaleUp Venture Partners Inc.
- Top Renergy Inc.
- Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
- Version One Ventures
- Westcap Management Ltd.
- Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.
What Are The Designated Angel Investor Groups Under The Start-Up Visa Program?
- Canadian International Angel Investors
- Ekagrata Inc.
- Golden Triangle Angel Network
- Oak Mason Investments Inc.
- Southwestern Ontario Angel Network
- Southwestern Ontario Angel Group
- TenX Angel Investors Inc.
- York angel Investors Inc.
What Are The Designated Business Incubators Under The Start-Up Visa Program?
- Alacrity Foundation
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
- Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
- Food Processing Development Centre
- Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
- Calgary Technologies Inc.
- Creative Destruction Lab
- Empowered Startups Ltd.
- Extreme Innovations
- Genesis Centre
- Highline BETA Inc.
- Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
- Invest Ottawa
- Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
- Launch Academy
- LaunchPad PEI Inc.
- NEXT Canada
- Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
- Ryerson Futures Inc.
- Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
- Spring Activator
- The DMZ at Ryerson University
- TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
- Waterloo Accelerator Centre
- York Entrepreneurship Development Institute
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