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Frequently Asked Questions 

Frequent questions regarding the Start-up Visa Program:


  1. Do I need to invest in order to qualify for this program?


Answer: No, the only entity who is obligated to invest under the Start-up Visa Program is the Canadian venture capital fund (minimum investment of CAD 200,000), and the angel investor group (minimum investment of CAD 75,000);

     2.  How does the application process work for the Start-up Visa Program?


Answer: You must first make sure that you meet the admissibility requirements to enter Canada.


This does not only apply to Start-up Visa applicants but to all applicants entering Canada.


Secondly, if you are admissible, you must meet all the requirements of the Start-up Visa Program.


Third, following the support of your business idea by a designated organization, this organization must give you a letter of support and a certificate of commitment, which confirms the agreement.

    3.  How do I get support from a designated organization?

Answer: You must present your business idea to them in order to receive their support. Each designated organization has a different pitching process and its own requirements.

    4. When an applicant receives an investment commitment from a Canadian investor, where does the letter of support get sent?

Answer: It gets sent from the private sector organization to the applicant.

   5. An applicant has received support from 3 different angel investor groups. Each group wants to invest a different amount in the business. Does the applicant have to choose only one investor?

Answer: No, the business can have several angel investors groups, but it can only have one commitment certificate.

   6. It is impossible for an applicant for the Start-up Visa Program to run their company without his engineering team, who he has worked with for the last 5 years and are all specialized in the programs that his company will use as software. Can he include members of his staff in his application?

Answer: Yes, a business proposal can include up to 5 people.

  7. What is an essential person under the Start-up Visa Program?

Answer: An essential person is considered to be critical to the business and must be identified as essential by the designated organization on the commitment certificate and letter of support. If an essential person gets refused, all related applicants will be refused.

 8. Can any applicant within a group apply for a start-up business-class work permit?

Answer: No. In order to be eligible, the applicant must meet all the following requirements:

  1. The applicant must intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec;

  2. An offer of employment to a foreign national exempt from a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) has been completed by the foreign national as self-employed and the form and employer compliance fee have been submitted to the IRCC;

  3. A commitment certificate must be issued by a designated entity and indicate that the work permit applicant is “essential” and there are urgent business matters for the applicant to come to Canada early;

  4. A letter of support linked to the commitment certificate must also be issued by the designated organization;

  5. The applicant must have sufficient funds to meet the low-income cut-off for their family size for 52 weeks.

  Frequent questions regarding Express Entry:


  1. After entering the pool, what can I do?


Answer: While you are waiting in the pool, you can look for a job in Canada. The Canadian government has created a job bank that allows applicants to create a job match account. You can also promote yourself to employers in Canada using private-sector job boards. You can, of course, use both job boards while you are in the Express Entry pool.


   2. What is the Canadian job bank?


Answer: The job bank was created to help match applicants with employers looking for workers with specific skills. To access the job bank, please go to the job match sign-in page.


    3. How can I improve my CRS score?


Answer: If your score is too low, many factors can result in a higher score; however, you should first focus on your language benchmark and on receiving an offer of employment, which could raise your score significantly.

   4. Why did I not get points for my job offer in Express Entry?


Answer: In order to receive the points in the comprehensive ranking system, your employer will usually need to get a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) for the job you have applied for.


You must make sure to answer “yes” to one of the following answers:


  1. A Canadian employer (or up to two for the Federal Skilled Trades Program) has offered you a full-time, non-seasonal job for one year or more;

  2. The job offer is already supported by an LMIA, or;

  3. The job is exempt from needing an LMIA.


   5.  I am currently working in Canada on a valid work permit, can it count as a job offer?


Answer: No, a work permit is not a job offer. In order for a job offer to be recognized as valid, your current or future employer must write you a job offer for full-time non-seasonal employment for one year or more. In addition to the job offer, the employer must have a positive labour market impact assessment (LMIA) or the job must be LMIA-exempt.

Image by Jake Leonard
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