Consider Immigrating Under Canada Investor Visa

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Avantika and Sandeep, Kiran and Kaveri. They were a foursome who have been together in school and college. When Avantika started talking about them moving to Canada, Kiran and Kaveri started thinking about Canada Investor visa. Though both had similar profiles, there was one major difference in their professional profile and, the goal for their careers. Kiran and Kaveri were entrepreneurs, running their own business. And they wanted to be entrepreneurs, continue to be business people. Are they eligible to move to Canada? Will they be able to launch their business in Canada and be successful?

So they began their research and discovered that they could immigrate under the  Canada investor program, which would allow them to move to Canada by starting a business and creating jobs. Now, they wanted to understand the business environment and the culture of Canada. One way to do that was to move to Canada on a temporary work visa, which has a fast- track-two-week processing time for eligible candidates.

Can Kiran and Kaveri get Canada PR on investment?

Image courtesy Government of Canada website

Under the Start-Up Visa Program, Canada welcomes successful business people such as Kiran and Kaveri, who are seeking new opportunities and challenges, and have the skills to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, and can compete on a global scale. The program aims to attract investments that would augment the economy and provide employment opportunities and is one way to obtain the Canadian PR on investment.

Under this, they can start a business similar to the one they are already running in India or launch a different enterprise. They can even get support from organizations in Canada to make their business a success.

The pathway is available under both the federal and provincial/territorial governments which offer services to help immigrants start a business and settle in Canada. The provinces run their own programs and are constantly updating their program and the requirement for immigrants based on their labour market needs. Each provincial program has different requirements including the nature of the business and the amount of investment required.

Your management team can upstart your business

An entrepreneur is always looking for skilled and trusted partners who could provide support in growing the business. Some applicants may consider building a new team of partners with skills that they require a daunting task. Others may just want to continue with the team that they have already built and are comfortable with. This issue has been addressed in this pathway where the applicant is allowed to bring up to 5 people as part of the entrepreneurial team. The designated organization (we will talk about what is a designated organization a little later in this article) will decide who is essential or non-essential to the business and decide on who will be eligible to come in as part of the entrepreneurial team.

Processing time for Canada Investor Visa

The current Canada investor visa processing time for the start-up visa program is 12 to 16 months. However, under this stream, one can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building the business while the application for permanent residence is being processed.

Canada investor visz processing time
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Here is how the Start-Up Visa Program works

To apply for the Start-Up Visa Program, the business idea, one should have a viable business idea that can augment the Canadian economy and has the support of designated organizations. The designated organizations are business groups that are approved to invest in or support possible start-ups by potential immigrants, through this Program.  Here is a list of designated organizations under each category:

Venture capital funds
Angel investor groups
Business incubators

There are four eligibility requirements for the Canada Investor visa. These are in addition to the general admissibility requirements to enter Canada.

  1. The applicant must have a qualifying business.
  2. He or she should have a letter of support from a designated organization. (Please refer links above for a list).
  3. Applicants should meet the language requirements, and
  4. They should have enough money to settle and live in Canada. This amount depends on the size of the family and the applicant has to provide proof that he or she has sufficient funds to take care of the family until their business starts making money in Canada.

4 Requirements for Canada Investment Immigration

Canada investment immigration
Image courtesy: IRCC Facebook page

1. Qualifying business

What is a qualifying business? A qualifying business a business that meets the conditions that IRCC has articulated here. This comes into play at two levels. One is at the time the applicant gets a commitment from a designated organization and At the  time the applicant receives the permanent residence. And the second is by the time the applicant receives the permanent residence. By that time the applicant should be providing active and ongoing management of the business from within Canada, an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada and the business is incorporated in Canada.

Canada investor program
Image courtesy: IRCC website

2. Support from Designated Organizations

Second is the support from a designated organization. The process of obtaining support from designated organizations is almost similar to seeking a loan or financial participation from any other organization.  However, in order to obtain the Canada investor visa, the applicant has to convince the designated organization that he or she has a business idea that is worth supporting.

If the business plan is approved and an agreement is reached, the designated organization will send you a letter of support, which is your proof that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting the business idea. This letter should be enclosed along with the application. The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to IRCC which will use it along with your letter of support to assess the application.

3. Official Language Proficiency

The third requirement is language proficiency which is mandatory for all immigration classes. Canada has two official languages – English and French. Almost all immigration applicants are asked to take a language test from an approved agency to prove their language proficiency in speaking, reading, listening and writing either English or French. Business visa applicants must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in one of these languages in all these four areas of speaking, reading, listening and writing.

4. Enough Money to Settle

Having sufficient funds to immigrate under the Canada investor program is an important eligibility criterion. It is essential to know how much is enough money to be eligible for a Start-Up Visa. When one applies, they have to provide proof that they have sufficient funds to take care of themselves as well as their family members, until their business starts making money. The amount depends on the size of the family and is updated on IRCC website regularly.

Canada Investor Visa – How is the Application Reviewed?

The applicant is reviewed at three levels. First, the designated organization(s) that you seek support from will review the viability of your business proposal. Next is by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada which will review the  immigration application, to make sure that all eligibility criteria are met.

Canada investor program
Image courtesy: IRCC website

The third and final level  is when the application may also be subject to an independent peer review process. This is designed to protect against fraud and to ensure that your activities and those of the designated organization are in line with industry standards for this type of support.

Now it is time to check what documents you require and how to apply for the start-up visa. Here is the application package which includes an instruction guide and a document checklist (PDF, 372KB). All the best!