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The Start Up Visa Program, also known as the SUV program, is
a Canada immigration option for qualified entrepreneurs. It connects innovative
entrepreneurs with private sector investors in Canada, focusing on individuals
who have the potential to establish their business in Canada. The program
allows immigrants to enter Canada on a work permit, supported by a designated
Canadian investor. Once their business is fully operational, they can then
apply for permanent residence in Canada. During the application process, they
can also apply for a temporary work permit to enter Canada and start building
To be eligible for the Start Up Visa program, a candidate
must meet four requirements. These include having a business that meets certain
criteria set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), meeting
the language requirements of the program (which involve achieving a Canadian
Language Benchmark Level 5 in English or French in each of the four abilities:
speaking, reading, listening, and writing), obtaining a Letter of Support from
a designated organization, and having enough funds to support themselves and
their family in Canada. Note that when they receive permanent resident visa, it
is expected that the individual is actively and actively managing the business
from within Canada and a significant portion of business operation happens in
To meet one of the requirements for the Start Up Visa
program, an individual must obtain a Letter of Support from a designated
organization recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
These organizations can be a business incubator, angel investor group, or
venture capital fund. An applicant can get the support of one or multiple
designated organizations. The process of presenting a business idea to these
organizations varies, so the applicant must contact them directly to learn how
to seek their support. The Letter of Support must be included with the
application submitted to IRCC. Additionally, the applicant must also provide
proof of sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependents who will be
relocating to Canada. The required amount will depend on the number of family
members that will be coming to Canada.
The processing time for the Start Up Visa program typically
takes around 4-6 months to obtain a Letter of Support and 18 months to complete
the visa application.
This program offers entrepreneurs access to seed funding of up to CAD 200,000. Up to five co-founders and their family members can obtain Canadian permanent residence under this program by filing a collective application. It also provides a pathway to Canadian citizenship, the holder of Canadian passport has the opportunity to live and work in the United States. The permanent residence acquired through this program will not be subject to any conditions tied to the success of the start-up program in Canada. The investor and their family members are also free to move anywhere in Canada. An interim work permit can be obtained while the permanent residence application is being processed. There is no age limit to be eligible for this program.
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