Canada Starter Visa: How Does It Compare To Other Countries?

Canada Immigration News: Countries Around The World Have Open Arms For Entrepreneurs, Canada Including including the start-up visa program offers both the flexibility to start a wide variety of businesses and the possibility of obtaining permanent residence.


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Estonia, Australia, UK, Ireland and Canada are five of the top contenders for the best country to start a business.

Estonia has already attracted 1,000 start-ups

Estonia’s start-up program has so far attracted a thousand start-ups and offers visas for three months or one year. Its start-up program, however, is limited to technology companies and these must be scalable.

The country is looking for the next Airbnb or Uber, not restaurants.

The Starter Visa to Estonia requires a minimum of around $ 2,770 for each year in the country, but living expenses add significantly to these costs.


To concern


Much like Estonia, the UK also limits the type of business that foreign nationals can set up. They cannot join an existing business and whatever business plan they come up with must be for something entirely new and different from anything else in this market.

Under the UK start-up visa, foreign nationals can stay for two years.

Australia takes up to 34 months to process applications

In Australia, investor and entrepreneur visas allow foreign nationals to own and manage businesses in the country. Each program has its own capital requirements, but all require the entrepreneur to know English and have a business plan – and typically allow them to stay for up to five years.

The processing times for these Australian programs are significant. For flows in Australia where the government offers estimated processing times, these typically range from 30 to 34 months.


To concern


The investor flow, for example, requires an investment of $ 2.33 million in Australian investments that meet government requirements and allows for a five-year stay with an application fee of around $ 5,662.

Ireland’s equivalent, the Start-up Entrepreneur Program, requires the foreign entrepreneur to have around $ 72,104 and be able to start an innovative business to stay in the country full time.

Canada’s starter visa program goes even further. It allows foreign entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residence and possibly citizenship.

To obtain permanent residence in Canada, the following criteria must be met as part of the Starter Visa program:

  • Applicants must actively participate in the management of the business in Canada;
  • The operations of the business, or an essential part, must take place in Canada; and
  • The business must be incorporated in Canada.

Successful applicants to the Canadian Startup Visa Program receive a letter of support from a government-designated entity (angel group, venture capital fund, or business incubator).

The government-appointed entity is primarily responsible for determining the viability of the business contemplated by the applicant and for presenting an approved project along with a certificate of engagement to the immigration authorities. Applications are evaluated on a pass-fail basis. See the list of designated entities.

Applicants for the Canada Starter Visa Program must meet four basic eligibility criteria:

  1. Have an eligible business
  2. Obtain a commitment from a designated entity in the form of a certificate of commitment and a letter of support;
  3. Have sufficient free, available and transferable space settlement fund, updated annually (requirements are the same as for skilled workers);
  4. Demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English or French through standardized tests (Canadian language proficiency level 5);

The required commitment from a designated entity must meet the following criteria:

  • A Designated Angel Investor Group must confirm that it invests at least CAD $ 75,000 in the Qualifying Business, or at least two Designated Angel Investor Group commitments totaling CAD $ 75,000, or;
  • A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it invests at least CA $ 200,000 in the qualifying business or at least two designated venture capital fund commitments totaling CA $ 200,000, or;
  • A designated business incubator must confirm that it accepts the applicant into its business incubator program.

To be eligible, the proposed business must be incorporated and operate a business in Canada at the time the commitment is made and:

  • The applicant holds at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the company, and;
  • No other person owns 50 percent or more of the total amount of voting rights in the company.

In the Global Start-up Ecosystem Index Report 2021, Canada ranked fourth again – and had more cities in the top 50 than any other country with two exceptions: the United States and China, many taller.

“Canada is fortunate to have three cities in the top 50 in the world, with the Montreal ecosystem increasing by three places to rank 46th in the world. Only the United States and China have more cities in the top 50 than Canada, showing the diversity of the country’s powerful global and regional hubs.

In the education technology industry and the energy and environmental technology sector, Canada ranks even higher, third in the world.

Through its Toronto-based facilities, Immigration.ca works closely with designated entities recognized by the industry in the Canadian start-up ecosystem. The company offers a range of business advisory services to help future immigrant entrepreneurs and their start-up business concept meet all industry requirements.

To find out if you are eligible for the Start-Up Visa program, Click here.

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