Canadian start-up visa program attracts Indian entrepreneurs

The Canadian start-up visa program, to attract immigrant entrepreneurs looking for a path to permanent residence, has become a huge draw for Indians. The program is in line with the Canadian government’s goal of attracting startups with the potential to grow globally.
Introduced as a three-year beta program, the program became permanent in 2018 and is now gaining more popularity in post-pandemic times. Among some of the benefits of a start-up visa, successful applicants can move to Canada with their families and search a path for citizenship; There is no minimum education or net worth requirement and Indian entrepreneurs can invest in Canadian startups to become eligible for the program.
Canada invites international entrepreneurs interested in starting businesses that will stimulate the Canadian economy while creating jobs for residents. The startup visa program is ideal for Indian entrepreneurs who have an existing business ready for investors,” explains Esha Chopra, Director of Strategy and Marketing, toronto business development center.
To be eligible to apply for a start-up visa, applicants must have already established their business and secured commitment from a designated Canadian business investment organization or incubator, accredited by IRCC. These organizations select the business proposals to be reviewed and each has its own acceptance process for the proposals and the criteria used to evaluate them. Once the startup visa applicant’s proposal gets the green light, the organization submits a letter of support, allowing the potential immigrant to continue the process.
The Toronto Business Development Center (TBDC) is one of Canada’s startup incubators that the Canadian government has recently granted organization status. As a specific organization, TBDC runs a six-month program to help international startups, including many from India, set up and grow their businesses in Canada by providing them with access to mentors, investors and workplaces.
The startup program has attracted companies from various sectors including aerospace, fintech, clean technology, education technology, and mobility to enter Canada and establish a foothold in the North American market. “We have recently seen startups with solutions in remote work tools, business resilience services, and health technology, among other sectors, that have huge potential in markets returning to normal life after the pandemic,” Chopra says.
“As a dedicated startup visa organization, TBDC helps international entrepreneurs and business owners find the best opportunities by providing access to the Canadian market and helping them to be accepted and qualified for the program,” Chopra says. Obtaining a letter of support from a specific organization is the first step for entrepreneurs who are planning to immigrate to Canada, in their journey to gain acceptance and qualification for the startup visa program.
Unlike almost all other entrepreneurship programs at the federal and provincial level for aspiring immigrants to Canada, which require at least a year or two of running a business, the startup program is flexible at the project stage. This makes the program a faster path to obtaining permanent residence for Indians. “With a viable start-up business, an immigrant entrepreneur can expect to take about four to six weeks to secure a Certificate of Commitment or a Letter of Support from a specific entity. Once this letter of support is received, the work permit and permanent residence application can be submitted.”
She adds that Indian companies that choose to set up their business in Toronto have access to a talented and diversified workforce. “The Toronto startup ecosystem is also attracting a lot of interest from global venture capital and angel investors.


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