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Eligibility Criteria for the Start-Up Visa Program in Canada

Canada Start-up visa

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To qualify for the Start-Up Visa Program, you must meet the following criteria:

1. Have a Qualifying Business:

  • Create a business that satisfies specific conditions.
  • At the time of commitment from a designated organization, each applicant must hold 10% or more of the voting rights, and collectively, they should hold over 50% of the total voting rights.
  • Provide active management of the business from within Canada and ensure an essential part of the operations occurs in the country.
  • The business must be incorporated in Canada.

2. Obtain a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization:

  • Contact a designated organization approved to invest in or support potential start-ups.
  • Convince the organization of the worthiness of your business idea.
  • Obtain a letter of support from the designated organization, which must be included in your application.
  • The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to the immigration authorities.

3. Meet Language Requirements:

  • Take a language test from an approved agency (English or French).
  • Achieve a minimum level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

4. Bring Sufficient Settlement Funds:

  • Provide evidence that you possess the necessary funds to support yourself and your dependents upon arrival in Canada.
  • The Government of Canada does not offer financial support, and borrowed funds are not acceptable.

Ensure you meet these requirements to enhance the success of your application for the Start-Up Visa Program in Canada.

Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $13,757
2 $17,127
3 $21,055
4 $25,564
5 $28,994
6 $32,700
7 $36,407
If more than 7 people, for each additional family member $3,706

Financial Considerations for Newcomers to Canada

1. Determining Settlement Costs:

  • Research the cost of living in your chosen settlement area in Canada.
  • Check your home country’s regulations on money withdrawal with your lawyer, banker, or financial adviser.
  • Refer to the Canada Border Services Agency website for information on bringing money, duty-free items, and tax-free imports.

2. Proof of Funds:

  • As a skilled worker or self-employed person, provide proof of funds for settlement.
  • Active management of funds and business operations in Canada is required for permanent residence.

3. Adjusting to Canadian Cost of Living:

  • Be prepared for potential adjustments in your income and living expenses.
  • Understand that the cost of living, including housing, utilities, and other expenses, may differ significantly from your home country.

4. Housing Costs:

  • Expect housing and utility costs to constitute a significant portion of your expenses (35% to 50%).
  • Renting an apartment may cost at least $350 monthly while owning a house involves additional expenses such as property tax and household insurance.

5. Health Insurance:

  • Provincial health programs may not cover newcomers initially; inquire about additional health insurance options.
  • Basic expenses include food, clothing, and occasional expenses such as prescription medicine, school supplies, and long-distance calls.

6. Pay Cheque Deductions:

  • Understand paycheque deductions, which can include income taxes, pension plans, and union dues.
  • Deductions may reduce your pay by 25% to 35%.

7. Sales Taxes:

  • Be aware of sales taxes like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in certain provinces.
  • Sales tax rates range from 5% (GST) to additional percentages for PST or HST, depending on your location.

Understanding these financial aspects will help you plan and navigate your settlement journey in Canada effectively.

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