Is the Startup Visa program for you? Debunking the biggest misconception.
Is the Startup visa program for you?
Many entrepreneurs around the world are interested in the startup Visa program that Canada has launched permanently a few years ago. Many of them believe that merely having a startup in Canada or the goal of establishing a startup in Canada qualifies them for the program. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The reason this program is very attractive to most foreign entrepreneurs is that it offers permanent residence upon the success of the Visa.
To be eligible for this program however, one of the mandatory requirements, which is the most difficult requirement to satisfy, is to be endorsed by an investment organization that is designated by the government, commonly known as “designated organizations”. Those organizations may either be angel investors, venture capitalists or business incubators.
One of those organizations must commit to support your Canadian startup by either funding it, mentoring the entrepreneurs or doing a combination of both.
Securing that commitment certificate from designated organizations is no easy task, which is why many entrepreneurs hire outside firms, lawyers and other “consultants” to pitch their business ideas/plans to secure that commitment. A startup Visa will not be granted without that commitment. And securing it, may take more than 6 months. That is obviously in addition to the filing and processing time of the Visa which may take up to 16 months. It is a costly and lengthy process overall. Above all, by the time the startup founders apply for the Visa, there are no guarantees of success.
This is probably the most expensive Visa clients will pay for. Therefore, before applying for one, make sure that you are ready and willing to meet the mandatory requirements.