Canadian Business Class Visa
On February 11, 2014 the Canadian government announced their intention to terminate the Immigrant Investor and Federal Entrepreneur programs in order to eliminate a large backlog of applications. This will allow the government to develop new pilot business programs to meet Canada’s labour market and economic requirements.
As such, a new pilot business visa was introduced on April 1, 2013. The Start-Up Visa Program is a pilot program that will run for five years and hopes to attract entrepreneurs from around the world who have ideas for new business ventures which they hope to establish in Canada.
The Start-Up Visa has been developed to encourage entrepreneurs with strong ideas for new business ventures to obtain financial backing from Canadian investors for their business venture and apply for permanent resident status in Canada based on their potential business venture.
The Start-Up Visa will link the applicant with a private sector organisation experienced with working with start-up businesses. The designated organisation must support the business venture and provide a minimum investment of CAD $200,000 (from a designated Canadian venture capital fund) or CAD $75,000 (from a designated Canadian angel investor group). Alternatively, the applicant must be accepted onto a Canadian business incubator program with a designated organisation.
In addition to the support of a designated organisation, an applicant must also meet the Canadian immigration eligibility requirements for education, language ability and settlement funds.
Canada’s self-employed category is for applicants with specific experience in the cultural or athletic field or with farm management experience. Applicants should have the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada.
Cultural and Athletic Activities
Applicants must be able to show that they will make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada. This experience is defined as being participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics.
There is no minimum financial requirement for this category but applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to create an employment opportunity for themselves and support their family members.
Applicants with experience in farm management and with the intention and ability to purchase and manage a farm in Canada may qualify for permanent residency status under the Self-Employed category. Applicants must have at least two years experience in farm management in the five years prior to submitting an application under this category.
Applicants must be able to show that they have agricultural skills, sufficient capital to purchase a farm, and the appropriate experience and skills to manage the enterprise.
In order to apply under the Self-Employed category applicants are assessed on five selection factors and are awarded points for each criteria. Applicants must meet the passmark of 35 points established by the Minister of Immigration.
The five selection factors are:
- Language Ability (English and/or French)
- Work Experience
If you have the relevant work experience and can meet the selection criteria you may be eligible to proceed with an application in the Self-Employed category.
While opportunities are currently limited under the Federal Business programs, opportunities may still exist under the Provincial Nominee Program.
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program
If you have a Personal Net Worth of at least CDN $10 million, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residency visa under the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program.
To qualify under this category, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Have a personal net worth of at least CDN $10 million. This must have been acquired through lawful, private sector business or investment activities;
- Applicants must be able to make a non-guaranteed investment of CDN $2 million into the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital fund for approximately 15 years;
- Meet the minimum language requirements (English or French);
- Have completed a one-year post-secondary qualification. If the qualification was obtained outside of Canada, applicants must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a designated organisation confirming that they have the equivalent of a one-year post-secondary qualification.
CIC will accept applications from May 25, 2015 to December 30, 2015, and will process the first 60 complete applications.