Canada welcomes successful business people who are seeking new opportunities and challenges. The Business Immigration Program is designed to encourage and facilitate the admission of these individuals. Both the federal and provincial/territorial governments welcome business immigrants and offer services to help immigrants start a business and settle in Canada.
A start-up business must be a new business intended to be operated in Canada which meets the criteria of a qualifying business, meaning that the new start-up business has received a commitment from:
– a designated angel investor group confirming that it is investing at least $75,000 in a qualifying business or two or more designated angel investor groups confirming that they are together investing a total of at least $75,000 in such a business;
– a designated venture capital fund confirming that it is investing at least $200,000 in a qualifying business or two or more designated venture capital funds confirming that they are together investing a total of at least $200,000 in such a business; or
– a designated business incubator confirming that it is accepting the applicant into its business incubator program.
Note: An investment is defined as “buying shares or other forms of equity in the applicant’s business” and therefore, convertible debt or convertible debenture is not permitted.
An angel investor group/venture capital fund/business incubator designated by the Minister and eligible to issue commitments under the Start-up Business program.
A qualifying business meets the following requirements:
A corporation that is incorporated in and carrying on business in Canada is a qualifying business if, at the time the commitment is made, both of the following are true:
-Each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
-Applicants and the designated entity jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
In order to qualify for the Start-up Business Class, a business should be incorporated and carrying on business in Canada at the time the commitment is made. However, consideration will be made for a qualifying business whose incorporation is conditional upon the attainment of permanent residence by the applicant(s).
A “commitment” is an agreement between the applicant and the designated entity to establish and incorporate a qualifying business in Canada. The designated entity must be one which appears in the list of designated private sector businesses. Proof and details of this agreement will be submitted in the form of a term sheet/client agreement along with the Commitment Certificate for the purposes of processing.
A person who has been issued a permanent residence document based on their application as a member of the Start-up Business class
A designated angel investor group
A designated venture capital fund.
A person who is considered to be essential to the business and who has been identified as essential by the designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator on the commitment certificate and Letter of Support. If the application for an essential person is refused for any reason, all other applications related to that commitment will also be refused.
A term sheet/client agreement (Signed by the designated entity) in combination with a Commitment Certificate completed by an authorized member of the designated entity, binding the applicant to a designated entity. (See angel investor network, venture capital fund or business incubator above).
A commitment sent electronically to IRCC from the designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator along with the term sheet/client agreement.
Letter of Support
A letter given to the applicant by the designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator which the applicant must include with their application
For your application to be eligible for processing, you must:
-have received a Letter of Support from a designated entity
-meet the language requirements
-have sufficient settlement funds (transferable and available funds, free of debts or other obligations and excluding any investment made by a designated entity into their business)
Note: No more than five persons may be part of a single commitment from a designated business entity. If your commitment has more than one person related to the business proposal, an application for each person named in the Commitment Certificate must be received before final decisions will be made on any of the applications. The following information will help you determine if you meet the eligibility criteria indicated above.
The following information will help you determine if you meet the eligibility criteria indicated above.
Note: If you do not meet all of the criteria described above, do not submit an application under the Start-up Business Class, as your application will be refused.
Important information. It is important that you make a careful assessment before you apply because certain fees, such as the processing fee, are non-refundable, even if your application is refused.
What are the requirements for applicants under the Start-up Business Class?
Your application to come to Canada under the Start-up Business Class will be assessed on a pass/fail basis against three requirements. The three requirements are:
Requirement 1: Commitment from a Designated Entity
Requirement 2: Ability in English, in French or both
Requirement 3: Settlement Funds
If you meet all three requirements indicated above, then you may qualify to immigrate to Canada under the Start-up Business Class.