A comparison of Canada Start-Up Visa with other top nations

A comparison of Canada Start-Up Visa with other top nations

Alisha Khan Alisha Khan
[Published 17 Mar, 2022 | 02:37 PM]
About Author - 8 min read

Nations across the globe compete to attract entrepreneurs and offer various enticing options such as flexibility to launch assorted businesses and gain Permanent Residency. The top 5 nations for launching a Start-Up are Canada, Ireland, the UK, Australia, and Estonia in ascending order. 

Start-up Visa Canada is thus amongst the top five entrepreneur visas globally. 

1000 Start-Ups are already launched in Estonia

The Start-UP Program of Estonia has by now launched 1000 Start-Ups and the Visa validity of the program is from 3 months to 1 year. However, the program is restricted to Technology-based businesses and these must be scalable as well. The nation seeks to launch the next Uber or AIRBNB and not restaurants though. 

The Estonia Startup Visa needs at least $2, 770 annually in the nation but the costs are greatly increased by the living expenses. 

The UK, similar to Estonia restricts the nature of the business that can be launched by overseas nationals. They cannot become a part of a current business. The new business that they plan to launch must be fully innovative and unique from existing businesses in the market. The UK Start-UP Visas allows overseas nationals to reside in the nation for 2 years. 

Processing of Australia Start-Up Visa applications takes around 34 months 

The Entrepreneur and Investor Visas of Australia permit overseas nationals to manage and own businesses in the nation. Each program has specific investment requirements but common criteria include having a business plan and English language proficiency. Usually, overseas entrepreneurs are approved of a stay of a maximum of 5 years in Australia. 

Australia Start-Up Visa applications have significant processing times. For the streams that are offered estimation of timelines by the Australian Government, the timeline ranges from thirty to thirty-four months. 

The Investor Stream of Australia stipulates investment of $ 2.33 Million as per the requirements specified by the Government. The overseas investors are allowed to remain in Australia for 5 years and the application fee for the program is around $ 5, 662. 

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Program of Ireland requires the overseas nationals to have around $ 72, 104. They must also be in a position to launch an innovative business for remaining full-time in Ireland. 

Startup Visa Canada goes one step ahead of this. It permits overseas entrepreneurs to obtain Permanent Resident status and finally even the Citizenship of Canada. 

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Criteria to receive Permanent Residence under Startup Visa Canada

The overseas entrepreneurs have to fulfill the following criteria for obtaining Permanent Residence through the Startup Visa Canada Program: 

  • Entrepreneurs have to be involved dynamically in the running of the business in Canada 
  • The business or its essential division must be operated in Canada 
  • The business must have Canadian incorporation

Candidates who are successful in their Startup Visa Canada Program applications are offered a support letter from an entity that is government-designated. It can be a Business Incubator, Venture Capital Fund, or Angel Investor Group. 

The entity that is government-designated is chiefly responsible for determining the feasibility of the intended business of the applicants. It offers an approved project and Certificate of Commitment to immigration authorities of Canada. The assessment of applications is based on pass-fail. 

Basic eligibility for Entrepreneur Visa Canada

The applicants of Entrepreneur Visa Canada/ Startup Visa Canada Program have to fulfill the 4 essential requirements: 

  • Possess an eligible business 
  • Receive a commitment from a government-designated entity through Certificate of Commitment and Letter of Support 
  • Possess adequate funds that are transferable, available, and unencumbered 
  • Prove adequate language proficiency in French or English through an approved test (Level 5 CLB - Canadian Language Benchmark) 

The commitment offered by the government-designated entity has to fulfill these criteria: 

  • An angel investor group that is designated has to confirm investment of a minimum of $ 75, 000 CAD into the eligible business or 2 or extra commitments from angel investor groups that are designated adding up to $ 75, 000 CAD; or
  • A venture capital fund that is designated has to make an investment of a minimum of $ 200, 000 CAD into the eligible business or 2 or extra commitments from venture capital funds that are designated adding up to $ 200, 000 CAD; or
  • A business incubator that is designated has to confirm acceptance of the applicant into its program for Business Incubation  

For becoming eligible, the planned business has to be incorporated and be functional in Canada when the commitment is declared and: 

  • The applicant needs to have ownership of a minimum of 10% of the rights to vote in the corporation; and 
  • No other individual must have ownership of 50% or higher of the rights to vote in the corporation

Entrepreneur Visa Canada/ Startup Visa Canada Program from India 

India has a boom of tech Start-Ups implying that the nation has innumerable companies that can take advantage of access to the markets in Canada and the US through the Startup Visa Canada Program. 

The management consulting firm for CEOs of Fortune 500 firms, Bain & Company has revealed in its India Venture Capital Report: 2020 that India has nearly 80,000 Start-Ups. It’s Vector and Advanced Analytics: Asia-Pacific Technology Head Arpan Sheth wrote in the report along with the authors that the Indian Start-Up ecosystem is rapidly expanding and remains robust.

Entrepreneur Visa Canada/ Startup Visa Canada Program from India 

The report further reveals that the number of Start-Ups increased by 17% annually in India during 2012 and 2019. Meanwhile, the compound yearly growth rate of funded Start-Ups increased swiftly at 19% in the same period, it adds. 

 In 2019, India witnessed an unprecedented and high venture capital inflow of $10 Billion. It was 55% higher in comparison with the previous year. The venture capital investment in India declined in 2020 during the first two quarters of the pandemic and later witnessed an increase. 

Experts in the Indian Start-Up ecosystem have observed that one of the driving factors for the expansion in the Start-Up system is the number of veterans from current tech firms that are launching their own new Start-Ups. These newly launched firms and entrepreneurs can immensely benefit by launching businesses overseas through Startup Visa Canada. This program offers Canada Permanent Residence to eligible overseas entrepreneurs. 

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Startup Visa Canada Program Overview 

Three categories of private sector investors are eligible through the Startup Visa Canada Program. These are: 

  • Angel investors
  • Venture capital funds 
  • Business incubators

An investment of a minimum of $200,000 into the eligible business has to be confirmed by a Venture capital fund that is designated. Alternatively 2 or extra commitments from venture capital funds that are designated adding up to $ 200, 000 CAD also qualify. 

An angel investor group that is designated has to confirm investment of a minimum of $ 75, 000 CAD into the eligible business. 2 or extra commitments from angel investor groups that are designated adding up to $ 75, 000 CAD can also qualify. 

A business incubator that is designated has to confirm acceptance of the applicant into its program for Business Incubation. Developing a feasible business plan that fulfills the criteria of these designated government authorized entities is the responsibility of the overseas entrepreneurs. 

Overseas entrepreneurs who newly arrive in Canada through the Start-Up Visa do not receive any financial support from the Government of Canada. Candidates have to prove in their application that they possess the funds for supporting themselves along with dependents in Canada. These funds also cannot be on loan. 

Moreover, the applicants also must demonstrate extra adequate funds for catering to the costs of Start-up as per the business plan. This is through investment from an Angel or VC designated entity. The volume of required settlement funds varies based on the size of the family of the candidate. 

Overseas students and Startup Visa Canada Program

Startup Visa Canada Program is also a crucial pathway for overseas students in Canada majority of who are unable to qualify for Permanent Residency via immigration streams for skilled workers

Most of the Entrepreneur immigration programs at the Provincial or Federal level require at least 1 or 2 years of past experience in top-level management or business ownership. But the Startup Visa Canada Program does not mandate past management experience. 

Backing from an entity designated by the Government of Canada is adequate. The support can be offered financially or through acceptance into a Business Incubation Program. 

Nationwide Visas offers hands-on and comprehensive business advisory services for assisting aspiring entrepreneurs and their startups ’ business plans in fulfilling all statutory requirements. Legal consultation and advice from experts are highly valuable for a business immigration application to Canada. 

We offer Canada immigration advice and consultation through our ICCRC credited Immigration Consultants. Our team facilitates guidance and advice from seasoned experts in the Start-up ecosystem in Canada for a viable business plan.

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Tags: Entrepreneur Visa Canada, Permanent Residence under Startup Visa Canada, australia start up visa, start up visa canada requirements, startup visa canada 2022


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