Business Immigration Class

A central objective of the Canadian immigration system is to promote economic growth and development. Foreign nationals who seek to come to Canada to start a business may benefit from the Canadian business immigration programs and apply for permanent residency through this stream. Qualified immigrant entrepreneurs may live in any province in Canada except for Quebec. The following article will provide a brief overview of the three main requirements to apply under the start-up business class, namely : (1) commitment from a designated entity; (2) language proficiency; and (3) settlement funds.

Commitment from a designated entity

To apply under the business class start-up visa program, an applicant must have a business plan or proposal that intends to pursue in Canada. This proposal must also be endorsed by a designated entity meaning: 

  • A private sector organization must provide a letter of support explaining its investment commitment to helping you start your new business project. This Commitment Certificate must be directly provided to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 

Furthermore, the letter must emanate from a designated list of capital funds, angel investor groups or business incubators approved by the government of Canada. The letter of support is valid for 6 months. As such, the permanent residence application must be submitted within six months of receiving the letter of support. The amount of financial support may depend on the capital fund. The requirements for each type of entity are provided below:

  • A designated angel investor group must provide a minimum investment of CAD 75,000 in an eligible business or a combination of two or more angel investor groups must provide at least CAD 75,000 in your business.

  • A designated venture capital fund must provide a minimum equity investment of at least $ 200,000 in a qualifying business or a combination of venture capital funds must provide an investment of at least $200,000 in your business.

  • A designated business accelerator must confirm its acceptance of successful candidates into its program.

Foreign entrepreneurs can benefit from Canada investment visa. Provincial nominee programs may also benefit any business in Canada

Language requirement

As foreign entrepreneurs, proficiency in one (or both) of Canada’s official languages is essential. Language proficiency must be at least at a benchmark level 5 in all four areas set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens in French. The areas of assessment are listening, speaking, reading and writing. Proof of language proficiency must be submitted in the permanent residence application. Applicants may submit the following tests as proof of language proficiency:

  • Canadian English Language Index Program General Test (CELPIP)

  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

  • In French, applicants may submit the Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF) or

  • The Test de connaissance du français (TCF).

Settlement funds 

The third requirement to settle in Canada for business immigrants is to demonstrate that you have the necessary funds to live in Canada for yourself and your family. The amount of funds will depend on the number of applicants and where you plan to settle in Canada. Furthermore, the amount must be funds that are readily available and free from debts or other obligations. A letter from your financial institution must be provided outlining the funds in your bank. This letter must include:

  • The financial institution’s name and letterhead

  • The contact information (address, phone number, and email)

  • Your name 

  • Your outstanding debts 

  • Information on your bank and investment accounts including 

    • Account numbers

    • Date of opening of the account

    • Balance of each account

    • Average balance for the past 6 months

It is recommended to research the city and province in which you intend to settle to have an idea of the amount of funds required. Also, funds above CAD 10,000 in cash (money notes, securities such as stocks, or treasury bills, and negotiable instruments such as cheques, bank drafts or money orders) must be declared to Canadian officials at the port of entry. 

Qualifying business and commitment from the designated entity: ensuring you meet the requirements

Under the business start class, eligibility requires the applicant to have a qualifying business. The criteria to meet set out by the Government of Canada are the following: 

  • The applicant holds at least 10% of voting rights attached to the shares of the corporation at the time of the application

  • The applicant and the designated entity jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights at the time of application.

There must also be a commitment between the applicant and the designated entity (angel investor group, venture capital fund, business incubator) to establish and incorporate the qualifying business in Canada. There may be consideration for incorporating the business upon the applicant’s obtention of permanent resident status.

Why choose AKM Law for your immigration process

Choosing AKM Law to prepare your entrepreneur immigration application is a strategic move toward confidently realizing your strategic projects. As a premier immigration law firm, we specialize in navigating the complexities of start-up visa applications, offering tailored solutions to entrepreneurs like yourself. Our experienced immigration lawyers deeply understand the unique challenges and requirements of securing a start-up visa, and we leverage this expertise to craft a compelling and comprehensive application on your behalf. With a personalized approach, we take the time to understand your business concept, goals, and aspirations, developing a customized strategy to highlight the strengths of your start-up and address any potential concerns. We prioritize efficiency and accuracy throughout the process, meticulously preparing all necessary documentation and guiding you through each step with clear communication and support. Our proven track record of success in securing start-up visas for our clients underscores our commitment to delivering results. Entrust AKM Law with your start-up visa application, and embark on your entrepreneurial journey with the confidence of having a trusted legal partner dedicated to your success.

Express Entry - AKM Law - Toronto Immigration Law Firm
Express Entry | AKM Law | Toronto Immigration Law Firm

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