Immigrant entrepreneurs are flocking to Canada under the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program, which allows each applicant to pool his or her resources with those of four others for a qualifying business, in record numbers.
The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals the country was poised to welcome more than twice as many immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV as 2023 came to an end than Canada had received the previous year.
Qualifying businesses must get a commitment from a designated organization and each applicant must hold at least 10 per cent of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at the time of application.
Applicants and the designated organization must also jointly hold more than 50 per cent of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at the time of application.
Permanent residence is granted to the owners of these businesses provided they provide active and ongoing management of their business from within Canada, are an essential part of the operations of the business in Canada, and the business is incorporated in Canada.
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The designated organizations that either invest or provide support to the qualifying business have their own intake and review processes to determine which proposals they will support. Sometimes the business owners have to submit a detailed business plan. Other times, the fledgling entrepreneurs must make an in-person presentation of their business concept.
A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups totaling $75,000.
Venture Capital Funds Must Invest At Least $200,000
A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000.
A designated business incubator must accept the applicant into its business incubator program.
It is up to the immigrant investor to develop a viable business plan that will meet the due diligence requirements of these government-approved designated entities.
“If you reach an agreement with a designated organization, it will send you a letter of support. You need to include this letter when you submit your application to us,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on its website. “This is the proof you need to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting your business idea.
“The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to us. We’ll use both your letter of support and the organization’s commitment certificate to assess your application. Please note, we may ask you for more business information in order to take a final decision on your application.”