Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) program is one of the most appealing immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who want to invest in the Canadian economy. The program offers a direct track to Canadian permanent residence for eligible foreign entrepreneurs and their families. Start-Up Visa applicants who receive a letter of support from the designated business entity in Canada can also apply for a temporary work permit to set up their new businesses in Canada even before applying for permanent residence.
The Government of Canada, recognizing the potential of the Start-up Visa Program, has made the strategic decision to allocate more spots for the program in 2023, with even further increases planned for 2024 and 2025. This decision indicates the government’s commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada by attracting talented and ambitious individuals worldwide to contribute to economic growth. With the Start-up Visa Program being a key part of this strategy, the increased allocation of spots is a positive step towards achieving these goals. The program’s expansion will not only benefit the Canadian economy but also provide opportunities for individuals to establish their businesses and contribute to the growth and development of their communities.
What are the requirements to get a Start-Up Visa Work Permit?
Before submitting an application for permanent residence under the SUV Program, potential applicants may apply for a short-term work permit under the International Mobility Program. Only those who have received a Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support from a designated business institution may be considered for a temporary work permit. Moreover, the applicant is at the same time the employer and the employee.
There are three types of organizations which are allowed to issue Letters of Support under the Start-Up Visa Program: Venture capital funds, Angel investor groups, and Business incubators
To be eligible for a work permit under the SUV program, each applicant must:
- plan to settle in one of the Canadian provinces other than Quebec;
- pay the employer compliance fee;
- have received a Commitment Certificate and a Letter of Support from a designated organization that recognizes the entrepreneur as essential and indicates urgent business reasons for the applicant’s early entry into Canada;
- possess enough funds to meet the low-income cut-off for yourself and your family for 52 weeks
Steps to complete before applying for a work permit
Before applying for a work permit under the SUV program, all applicants must submit the offer of employment and pay the employer compliance fee. Depending on whether or not a business is registered for a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number, applicants have to follow different guidelines.
If your business has been registered for a CRA business number, you will have to use the online Employer Portal to submit your offer of employment and pay the compliance fee. First, you must create an LMIA-exempt Offer of employment and fill out all required forms. Then, submit your offer and pay the fee.
If your business has not been registered for a CRA business number, you will not be able to use the Employer Portal. In this case, you are required to email the Employer Portal, indicate that you are an entrepreneur, and include your full name and information about your date of birth, citizenship, country of birth, and gender. If your email request is approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to fill out the forms and pay your employer compliance fee online.
Applying for a work permit for the SUV Canada
Entrepreneurs looking to establish a start-up business in Canada can apply for a work permit under the SUV program. On June 17, 2023, the Government of Canada announced new instructions on obtaining work permits for candidates of the SUV program. Firstly, applicants will be able to apply for a work permit of up to three years, which is a significant increase from the previous one-year limit. This more extended work permit allows entrepreneurs to focus on their start-ups and achieve their business goals without worrying about the renewal of their work permits every year.
Furthermore, applicants can now apply for an open work permit, which means they can work for any employer in Canada, not just their start-up. This change provides more opportunities for entrepreneurs to gain valuable work experience in Canada, expand their professional network, and potentially find new opportunities to grow their businesses.
Finally, the three-year open work permit is now available to each entrepreneurial team member. In contrast, previously, it was limited to those who were essential and urgently needed in Canada. This change recognizes the importance of a strong team dynamic in the success of a start-up and allows all members to contribute fully to the growth of the business.
An applicant may apply for a work permit online or on paper. In most cases, applicants submit their applications from outside Canada. However, you may also be eligible to apply for a work permit from inside Canada. Depending on where you plan to apply for your work permit, check the eligibility requirements and make sure you meet them. Before you apply, gather the following documents:
- A Letter of Support from a designated entity;
- Proof of funds;
- Offer of employment number;
- Payment receipt for the employer compliance fee;
- Medical examination results;
- Valid police certificate.
What is a Letter of Support for Start-Up Visa Canada? Read more in our blog!
Proof of funds
If you want to receive a work permit, you first need to make sure that your family’s income is equal to or above the low-income cut-off (LICO) for 52 weeks. Please take note that the funds have to be readily available and not restricted by other conditions. The Government of Canada accepts cash, documents that show property or capital payable to you, or documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money as proof of funds.
Bring your family to Canada under the SUV Canada
All applicants who apply for a work permit under the SUV program are eligible to bring their spouses or common-law partners and dependent children to Canada if they meet the requirements for temporary residence. If your spouse or common-law partner plans to work in Canada, he or she may apply for an open work permit, while your dependent children who wish to study in Canada may apply for a study permit.
How Immigration Canada PRO can help me with my Start-Up Visa Work Permit application?
Work permit application under Canada’s Start-Up Visa program is not that simple as it involves a lot of paperwork and compliance with the rules and regulations of both the federal and provincial governments. We have a thorough understanding of the program requirements and are up-to-date with the latest changes to the program and can help you put together a strong application that will increase your chances of success. Contact us today to get started.