Business Visa Canada

Business Visa Canada

According to the latest World Bank annual ratings, Canada is ranked 22 among the 190 countries in the world in the ease of doing business index. It is a country that has immense natural resources, stable government, solid infrastructure, strong communication network and an extremely skilled workforce. If you would like to immigrate to Canada as an investor, Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is an initiative that allows entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada to set up their business. The business that you want to build in Canada should be innovative, create jobs for Canadians and should have the capacity to compete globally.

    Canada Business Visas

    1. Canada Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Visa.
    2. Canada Self-Employed Persons Visa.
    3. Canada Start-Up Visa.

    Canada Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Visa

    This program replaced the federal Canada Immigrant Investor Program and provides a route to permanent Canadian residence for individuals with a legally acquired net worth of $10 million or more. Additional requirements include a mandatory investment in IIVC Fund of $2 million for a period of 15 years with no guarantee of a return. Wealth acquired through inheritance and value of primary residence are not eligible considerations for this program.

    You’re also required to obtain a due diligence report that assesses whether your net worth was acquired through the required legal means. This report can be obtained from one of the following organizations:

    • Deloitte Forensic Inc.
    • BDO USA, LLP
    • KPMG LLP
    • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP
    • Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc.
    • EY

    Canada Self-Employed Persons Visa

    The Self-employed Persons Program allows self-employed people to immigrate to Canada permanently. To be eligible for this program, you must have relevant experience in athletics or cultural activities and be willing and able to contribute significantly to the athletic or cultural life of Canada.

    Relevant experience means that you have at least two years being self-employed in cultural activities or athletics, or have taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level for the same amount of time. For either, you must have at least 2 one-year periods of being self-employed and/or participating at a world-class level.

    Eligibility for the Start-Up Visa Program:

    If you want your business to be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, then you must:

    • Have a qualified business that meets certain criteria
    • Letter of support from a designated organization
    • Pass language requirements 
    • Have enough money to finance your business

    Have A Qualified Business That Meets Certain Criteria:

    A business that qualifies for the Start-up Visa Program meets the following criteria.

    • When you get a commitment from a designated organization, each applicant should hold voting rights of at least 10% or more attached to all shares of the corporation. A maximum of 5 people can apply as owners
    •  Applicants for the visa and the designated organization should jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all the shares outstanding at that time.
    • After you receive permanent residence, you should provide business within Canada and the business should be managed from here as well.
    • A part of the operations happens in Canada
    • The business should be incorporated in Canada.

    Letter of Support from a Designated Organization:

    To apply for the Start-up Visa Program, your business should be supported by one or more designated organizations. VC Firms, Angel Investor groups and Incubators are considered as designated organizations. These are essentially business groups that are approved to invest or support start-ups in the Start-up Visa Program.

    These designated organizations can have their own criteria and choose to offer a Letter of Support at their own discretion. When they assess your business proposal, they gauge if it has potential and calculates its chances of success using various parameters.

    Please find the list of designated organizations from who you should get a letter of support.

    Venture Capital Funds

    You should secure a minimum investment of $200,000 from any of the below VC firms.

    • BCF Ventures
    • BDC Venture Capital
    • Celtic House Venture Partners
    • Extreme Venture Partners LLP
    • Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP
    • Impression Ventures
    • 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.
    • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund

    Angel Investor Groups

    One or more investors connected to these Angel investor groups should invest a minimum amount of $75,000 in your business.

    • Canadian International Angel Investors
    • Ekagrata Inc.
    • Golden Triangle Angel Network
    • Keiretsu Forum Canada
    • South-eastern Ontario Angel Network
    • TenX Angel Investors Inc.
    • Oak Mason Investments Inc.
    • VANTEC Angel Network Inc.
    • York Angel Investors Inc.

    Business Incubators:

    Any one of the below incubators should accept you into their program:

    • Alacrity Foundation
    • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
      • Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
      • Food Processing Development Centre
    • Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
    • Creative Destruction Lab
    • Empowered Startups Ltd.
    • Extreme Innovations
    • Genesis Centre
    • Highline BETA Inc.
    • Innovacorp
    • Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/an Innovate Niagara
    • Invest Ottawa
    • Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
    • LatAm Startups
    • Launch Academy – Vancouver
    • LaunchPad PEI Inc.
    • Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
    • NEXT Canada
    • North Forge Technology Exchange
    • Platform Calgary
    • Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
    • Ryerson Futures Inc.
    • Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
    • Spring Activator
    • The DMZ at Ryerson University
    • Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
    • TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
    • VIATEC
    • Waterloo Accelerator Centre
    • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

    What Do You Need To Do?

    Contact the above organisations to see the process involved in getting its support. Pitch your business idea to them, show your proposal where you explain how your idea can thrive in the Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem.

    If the designated organization likes your plan, then they will offer a letter of support. They will also send a commitment certificate directly to the Canadian government.

    Passing Language Requirements:

    If you want to have a successful business in Canada, it is imperative that you are fluent in either one of the official languages of Canada- English or French. You must meet the minimum level of proficiency in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all of these four areas: speaking, reading, listening and writing.

    For the start-up business visa canada, there are only a few agencies who do language testing.


    CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program. Take the CELPIP-General test.

    IELTS: International English Language Testing System
    IELTS has two options for the reading and writing tests, take the “General Training” option.


    TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français

    TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français

    Have Enough Money To Finance Your Business:

    There is no support given to start-up visa agreements by the Canadian government. In fact, when you apply, you need to show proof that you have money to support yourself and your dependents.

    How to Apply For the Start-Up Visa Program:

    • Fill out the Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008]
    • Gather the supporting documents mentioned in the document checklist
    • Put the identification and supporting documents in a sealed envelope
    • Include the signed document checklist as the cover page for your application

    Ensure that you include all the forms, signatures, language test results, proof of payment of the processing fees and supporting documents. If any one document among these is found to be missing, your application will not be processed.

    Application and Biometric Fees:

    The application fees usually include the processing fee for you and your dependents, Right of Permanent Residence fee, biometrics and third-party fees which includes police certificates, medical exams, and language testing.

    Submit Your Application:

    Ensure that you have answered all the questions, attached all the supporting documents, signed on your application and the accompanying forms and attached a copy of your payment receipt to your application. You should send your application to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Centralized Intake Office. If there is a document missing, then the application will be sent back to you. You need to make the necessary changes and send it back again.

    If your application is approved, then you will be issued a permanent resident visa.