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Canada Increases Start-Up Visa Settlement Funds For 2022

Immigrant entrepreneurs hoping to gain their permanent residence in Canada through the Start Up Visa program will need to provide they have more settlement funds than required last year.

“The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new Start-Up Visa immigrants,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on its website. “When you apply, you’ll need to give proof that you have the money to support yourself and your dependents after you arrive in Canada. You can’t borrow this money from another person.”


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With the latest round of increases, the funds required for a single applicant have increased by $97, from $13,213 in 2021 to $13,310 this year.

Similar small increases have been applied for each number of family members. The new requirements are outlined below:

Settlement Funds Required For The Start-Up Visa Program

Number of Family Members

2020 Funds Required

2021 Funds Required

2022 Funds Required

one

$12,960

$13,213

$13,310

two

$16,135

$16,449

$16,570

3

$19,836

$20,222

$20,371

4

$24,083

$24,553

$24,733

5

$27,315

$27,847

$28,052

6

$30,806

$31,407

$31,638

7

$34,299

$34,967

$35,224

Each additional family member

$3,492

$3,560

$3,586


Settlement funds are required by applicants under the Start-Up Visa program to cover the cost of living for their families. This applies even if the family is not accompanying the applicant to Canada.

The funds must be readily available both when a candidate applies and when a permanent residence visa is issued.

Official letters from banks or other financial institutions act as proof of funds.

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the letter must:

  • be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead;
  • include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address);
  • include your name;
  • list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans, and;
  • include, for each current bank and investment account:
    • account numbers;
    • the date each account was opened;
    • the current balance of each account, and;
    • the average balance for the past six months.

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Start-Up Visa Allows Immigrant Entrepreneurs To Gain Permanent Residency

Under the Start-Up Visa program, immigrants can obtain Canadian permanent residence if they qualify as immigrant entrepreneurs.

Three types of private-sector investors are considered: angel investors, venture capital funds, and business incubators.

  • 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 totaling $200,000.
  • 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.
  • 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.

That investing and the development of the business is usually done with the help of business consultants in Canada’s start-up ecosystem with oversight from experienced corporate business immigration lawyers who can ensure a start-up’s business concept meets all industry-required terms and conditions.


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Candidates applying under the Start-Up Visa program can initially come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canadian investor before their application for permanent residence is finalized.

The basic government-imposed candidate eligibility requirements for the Start-Up Visa program are:

  • a qualifying business;
  • a certificate of commitment and letter of support from a designated entity;
  • sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds to meet settlement funding, and;
  • proficiency in English or French at the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level 5. However, it frequently occurs that higher levels of English are needed to meet due diligence requirements imposed by designated entities.

Unlike almost every other federal and provincial-level entrepreneur program which requires a minimum of one or two years of previous experience either owning a business or in top-level management, the Start-Up Visa program does not require previous management experience.

The support of a government-designated entity is sufficient. That support can be either financial or in the form of accepting the candidate into a business incubator program.

Immigrants who avail themselves of the Start-Up Visa program consistently report that it is quick, both for the initial work permit and permit residence application.

For the candidate to qualify for permanent residence:

  • The intended business must be incorporated and carrying on business in Canada;
  • The candidate must own at least 10 per cent of the voting rights in the corporation, and;
  • No other person can hold 50 per cent or more of the voting rights in the corporation.

As many as five candidates can have their permanent residence application supported by the same business investment. But that can come with a risk. Certain candidates may be designated as essential to the business. If any of the essential candidates withdraw their applications or are refused, all other candidates under the same business investment will see their applications terminated.

Surveys suggest Start-Up Visa candidates usually go on to succeed in Canada, in terms of growing their business, attracting further investment, networking or selling their business for a profit.

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