I’d like to continue with a blog regarding the federal Start-Up Visa program in Canada that was originally posted on September 23, 2022. Specifically, I’d like to answer two important and frequently-asked questions about the program, as well as provide an example of a successful business concept.
First, the key for success in this program is ultimately answering the question of whether the applicant can propose an innovative business concept to interest a designated organization. So, what is an “innovative business concept”?
Innovative start-up business concepts are typically built around a new technology or improvements to existing technology such as an application, software as a service (SaaS), blockchain, etc. or an entirely new concept. The businesses are usually founded by applicants themselves who have the drive to turn their vision into a reality or change the business model of an existing industry to bring it into a new era through their ideas and previous experience and education.
Next, who or what exactly are these “Designated Organizations”, and what role do they play in the application for permanent residence?
Designated Organizations are business groups that have been approved by IRCC to support foreign national applicants to start a business in Canada through the Start Up Visa program. This support can be provided through three main ways:
- A direct investment of at least $200,000, if the organization is a designated venture capital fund, or
- A direct investment of at least $75,000, if the organization is a designated angel investor group, or
- Acceptance into a business incubator program, if the organization is a designated business incubator.
There are currently 75 designated organizations as of today, broken down into the following types:
- 25 venture capital funds
- 8 angel investors
- 42 business incubators
The organizations choose which business proposals to review and accept, and each organization has its own intake process for proposals with different criteria used to assess them. For example, the applicant may be asked to present a business concept in person as a presentation or submit a formal business plan by email.
If an organization decides to support client’s business idea through an incubator program, they will accept the client to join a training program and provide a Letter of Support after completion. The letter of support is essentially the crux of the entire permanent residency application and is required before the applicant can apply for the Start Up-Visa program.
Finally, I would like to provide an example of a past successful client’s business concept. In this client’s application, they developed a platform for IT professionals, in particular in the interactive tools and technology sector, to share their portfolios. The showcase of media work includes detailed information about how the work is created, with users being able to learn from each other and create an online community to drive traffic of the platform. Other users can visit the platform and hire those who are willing to offer their services, and paying (subscribed) users will also be able to access more content such as educational articles, videos, and other resources. This concept was accepted by a designated organization, and in turn they provided a letter of support which the client used to then apply for permanent residency in Canada.
I hope the above example application and the answers to two frequently-asked questions can help you understand more about the Start-Up Visa program in Canada. If you have any further questions about this program, we have experts ready to help you through this pathway ready to help. Until next time!
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