How to Apply for a Startup Visa in Canada in Three Easy Steps

February 16, 2022 |

Do you consider yourself a dynamic entrepreneur with a unique company concept in mind? If that’s the case, the Canada Startup Visa (“SUV”) could be the key to a new life in Canada. Since the program’s inception in 2013, qualified business founders and their families have been able to apply for permanent residency in Canada in a single step.

First step: Finding a Designated Entity to Support Your Application

To apply under the SUV program, an applicant must demonstrate his commitment to building a globally competitive business in Canada. SUV applicants must get support from an experienced IRCC recognized business entity. This will help them get their innovative firm off the ground in order to demonstrate such a commitment.

Over 60 Canadian-approved entities are currently capable of assisting international entrepreneurs in growing their startups into fully functional businesses. While some are investor groups, others, such as business incubators, can help projects at the conceptual stage.

Regardless of the type of company you choose to work with, we recommend that you only work with those who:

(i) have a proven track record of nurturing successful businesses in your field of work, and

(ii) have in place a comprehensive due diligence process for assessing SUV candidates’ qualifications.

IRCC does not require designated entities to use a specific approach to evaluate SUV candidates’ qualifications. However, they do require SUV applicants to demonstrate, upon request, that they received the designated entities’ endorsement to apply under the SUV program. That applies only after undergoing an objective due diligence process that meets industry standards.

Step 2: Demonstrating that you have the necessary experience to lead your company’s development

Besides obtaining support from an IRCC designated entity, immigration officers frequently review the information SUV applicants have provided in their immigration files. Their resume and IMM0008 Schedule 13 (“Schedule 13”) determine if the applicants have the necessary knowledge and/or experience to develop their proposed ventures.

If you want to use the SUV program to develop an advanced computing system, you need experience working with computers or high-tech products. If not, the immigration officer may doubt your ability to lead your proposed venture. As a result, they will deny your permanent residence application.

To avoid a situation like this, we advise SUV applicants to carefully construct their resumes and Schedule 13s. 

A well-written resume and Schedule 13 should not only highlight the SUV applicant’s education, experiences, and professional network. They should also demonstrate that the applicant is aware of his inherent weaknesses. Consequently, he or she has developed actionable plans to help overcome the anticipated challenges in the startup journey.

Step 3: Demonstrating That You Are Serious About Developing The Business You Proposed

Last but not least, the SUV program is based on the expectation that applicants will contribute to the advancement of Canada’s economy and technological frontier by operating their innovative startups in the country.

It is important to note that IRCC may reject an SUV application if the applicant doesn’t seriously engage in the business he has proposed to develop.

This could happen if an SUV applicant has spent little time working on the endeavor from within Canada. Moreover, it can happen if he has not been directly involved in the development of his firm as claimed.


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