Start up visa Canada (success stories)

Here are some case studies of successful applicants for the Canada start-up visa:

1. Raquel:

She successfully applied for the start up visa for Canada and her application was granted in only 2 and a half months. She was a journalist and started a medical start-up with her co-founder.

2. Omer:

He applied for the Canada start up visa on the basis of his experience in AI, app development and software engineering.

3. John:

He began an innovative thinking and mapping business, and secured a grant from the Canadian government. He was granted the start-up visa and secured permanent residence within 1 month of arrival.

Check out the video and my YouTube channel for details of their experiences and interviews with them.

In terms of the process which they all followed to be successfully granted the start-up visa, the main applicants in each case:

  1. Applied to an appropriate incubator. There are 29 designated bodies for the start-up visa route. Most, but not all, require you to be in revenue before applying. So if your business is at the idea stage, you will need to apply to a business incubator that does not require you to already be in revenue.
  2. Wrote to the IRCC Employment Portal and sought permission to submit a work permit application online (and pay for the employer compliance fees [230 Canadian dollars] – this is paid online. This is the first step to applying for the start-up visa.
  3. Having been granted permission (within 5 working days), they applied online, and submitted the required forms through the submission portal:
    • Letter of Support
    • Form IMM 1295: Work Permit Application Form
    • Form IMM 5802: ‘Offer of Employment’
    • Form IMM 5707: ‘Family Information Form’. This is the family details, including:
      • Place of birth
      • Date of birth
      • Current residential address
    • Form IMM 5476: ‘Use of representative form’ – proving that they have instructed an authorised representative
    • Your past employment records for the last 10 years (for any job where you have worked for more than 2 years), e.g. employment contracts.
    • ‘Client information’
      • Passport copies
      • National ID
      • IELTS results – for English – no exceptions
      • Education certificates
      • You past 6 months’ bank statement to prove adequate funds
    • For clients who have lived in other countries, they need to have the Police Clearance Records – any jurisdiction where they have lived for more than 6 months for the last 10 years. There are exceptions, e.g. if someone has a bachelor’s degree in Canada.
    • Upfront Medical Examination – for a Work Permit Application. The clinic will provide a receipt and letter for this purpose.
  4. Uploaded their forms to the portal. You pay 155 Canadian dollars online for this application.
  5. Within about 1 day of submitting the application for a temporary work visa, you get a letter asking to pay for biometric fees (received on the portal). These are paid online and the receipt is uploaded to the portal, then a ‘biometric request letter’ is received on the portal. The biometric fees are 85 Canadian dollars. You then go to a visa office to submit your biometrics. You get an appointment within 1-2 days.
  6. After processing, you get an IRCC letter allowing entry as a temporary resident. This is an A4-sized letter.
  7. You may then proceed to prepare the PR application. This is form IMM008 – a general PR application. The documents needed are:a. Anonymised biometric request letter;
    b. Police Certificate Request letter;
    c. Work permit authorisation letter;
    d. PR letter;
    e. The letter of support.
  8. The documents are prepared and sent to the Central Intake Office in Nova Scotia.
  9. Within approx 10 days of PR application submission, an email is received saying that the application has been accepted for processing, (and providing an application number). The application number is linked to the portal. When one then accesses the portal, you can see that your application is pending. The application fees vary – total example would be about 3,400 for a family of 4.
  10. Within about 1 day of receiving your acknowledgement of your application for PR, you get a letter asking to pay for biometric fees (received on the portal). This is an application for the family, so the biometric fees for the family are paid again. These are paid online and the receipt is uploaded to the portal, then a ‘biometric request letter’ is received on the portal. The biometric fees are 170 Canadian dollars plus sums for family. You then go to a visa office to submit your biometrics. You get an appointment within 1-2 days.

Frequently asked questions about success on the Canada start up visa

Is there any criteria for success for the start-up visa? 

There is no performance measure, but the IRCC requires now that you make ‘reasonable progress’ with the venture. The client is required to build a MVP. The client cannot just go through the incubation program. They need to work actively on the venture. The incubator documents your progress – the ‘sprint’. There is a peer review – 25% of applications are peer reviewed. The incubator makes the assessment.

How do you become a Canadian citizen with the start-up visa? 

To be naturalised as a Canadian citizen after the start-up visa, one has to become a permanent resident first and have lived in Canada cumulatively for 3 years. IRCC require tax receipts from the Canadian Revenue Agency. So you need to pay taxes in Canada.

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