Canada’s Start-Up Visa: Business Program On Track For Record Number Of Immigrants In 2022

Canada’s Start-Up Visa: Business Program On Track For Record Number Of Immigrants In 2022
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Canada immigration news: The popularity of Canada’s Start-Up Visa continues to rise, with the program on track for its best year yet in terms of welcoming new permanent residents in 2022.

In the first quarter of 2022, 160 newcomers were welcomed through the SUV. If this trend continues for the next three quarters, Canada will welcome 640 new permanent residents this year, beating the previous record of 515 in 2019.

The figures show the growing interest in the SUV, one of Canada’s only business immigration programs requiring no previous management experience.

Canada’s Start-Up Visa: Business Program On Track For Record Number Of Immigrants In 2022

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Like all of Canada’s immigration programs, the SUV took a hit from COVID-19 in 2020, with the number of permanent residents dropping to 260, having increased in each of the previous five years.

The numbers recovered somewhat in 2021, and look set to reach new heights in 2022 if the solid start continues.

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 SUV Settlement Funds

Canada recently announced a small increase in the settlement funds required under the SUV for 2022.

Settlement funds are required by applicants under the SUV to cover the cost of living for their family. 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.

Settlement Funds Required For The Start-Up Visa Program

Number of Family Members

2020 Funds Required

2021 Funds Required

2022 Funds Required





























Each additional family member




Under the Start-Up Visa program, immigrants can get 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 totalling $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 totalling $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 commitment certificate 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 enough. 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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