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Canada Start-Up Visa For Nigerians: How To Apply

The Canada Startup visa is an entrepreneur route that seeks to attract foreign-born business owners. In particular, business owners with the expertise to launch new businesses in the country. These businesses must be capable of producing local job opportunities and be globally competitive.

Does it sound like a good idea to you? If so, read on to know more about the visa and how you can get it.

Canada Start-Up Visa Eligibility

To participate in the Start-up Visa Program, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Have an innovative business idea
  • Have a letter of support from a designated organization
  • Be fluent in English or French
  • Have sufficient funds with which to settle in the country.

Qualifying Business Requirement

You have a qualified business if it satisfies the requirements listed below:

  • You own 10% or more of the voting rights linked to all shares of the company. The shares must be issued at the time you receive a commitment from a designated body.
  • Together, you and the sponsoring organization control more than half of the company’s voting power.
  • You actively and continuously run this company from inside Canada at the time you get permanent residency. 
  • Canada plays a critical role in the company’s activities. 
  • This company was formed in Canada.

Letter Of Support Requirement

You need a support letter from an authorized designated body willing to invest in and help fund potential new ventures. 

You must get in touch with the appropriate body to learn how to solicit aid. Next, convince the group that your business plan is worthwhile. Finally, you’ll get a letter of endorsement from them.

To propose a concept to a company, you must research what steps are required. The needs of a given business will vary. You could, for instance, need to deliver a formal presentation of your company idea or submit a comprehensive business plan. 

A letter of support will be sent to you if you reach an agreement with the group. You must attach this letter with your visa application. This is the evidence required to show that your company plan has merit. 

The sponsoring organization will send a certificate of commitment directly to Canadian immigration. Your letter of recommendation and the organization’s commitment certificate will determine your application’s final score.

A final judgment on your application cannot be made without more information about your company, so you should prepare to provide it if necessary.

If you don’t send the letter of support or meet all requirements, Canadian immigration will not consider your application.

Language Requirements

It will be to your advantage to be able to communicate and operate in English, French, or both in Canada.  Canadian immigration will not consider your start-up visa application without the results of a language test taken from a recognized testing center. 

You need at least a CLB 5 in either English or French in speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Your Canadian start-up visa will be void if you do not possess the required level of language proficiency.

Funds Requirement

No new immigrant to Canada on a start-up visa will get financial assistance from the government. Therefore, you must demonstrate that you and your dependents can financially sustain yourself after you arrive in Canada.

You must have the money in your account. You can’t borrow from other people. How much you’ll need will depend on how many dependents you bring along.

It ranges from  $13,310 for one person to as high as $35,224 for seven people. An additional dependent after seven will ccost$3,586.

Application Procedure

Follow the below steps to apply for a Canadian Start-up Visa:

Get the application package

Included in the startup visa application package are a detailed how-to manual and a list of required documents. You must complete Canada’s Standard Application Form IMM 0008 online.

You should print a copy of the approved application after validation. In addition, complete the application form by printing all pages, including the barcode page. Your completed form must have a barcode. Also, be sure to put your signature and the date where required.

Complete the document checklist

In the application package, you’ll find a checklist with documents you have to submit. Cross-check the document checklist and provide all documents as required.

You should place your documents in an envelope and seal them with the signed checklist. All paperwork, attachments, signatures, language test results, and proof of payment must also be included.

Without these, Canadian immigration won’t process your application, and it’ll be returned. Also, you must provide accurate and thorough responses.

If you omitted or provided misleading information on your application, immigration will decline your start-up visa application. In addition, they may place you on a five-year ban on future applications to enter Canada.

Pay your application Fees

Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), biometrics, third-party fees, and application processing fees are typical Canada startup visa fees.

When submitting an application, you will likely be required to pay a biometrics cost. If you don’t, you may have to wait. With the biometrics charge, you may have your fingerprints taken and a digital picture taken. 

Canadian immigration will send you a letter reminding you to submit your biometrics and instructing you on where to do so. You’ll need to show this letter when you eventually submit your biometrics.

Biometric information is required and may only be provided in person. If this is a service that is provided, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment. Seek a nearby drop-off location.

Depending on your situation, you may need help from a third party, like a doctor or hospital, which may cost money.

Submit your application

If multiple business partners are applying at a time, Canadian Immigration will only begin processing after receiving all applications. However, a separate application is required from each potential business partner. You shouldn’t pack your application materials into a single envelope. 

Complete applications include responses to all questions on the application. Hence, you must complete and sign all applications and paperwork. Also, submit your application with the required supporting materials and a copy of your payment receipt. 

Canadian immigration will return your application if any necessary information is missing. If there are any mistakes, please correct them and resubmit. 

You must send your completed application to the address in the application packet you reveive. Don’t send it to any other visa office or processing center. It may get lost.

Submit your biometrics

You must submit biometrics if you’re 14 to 79 and seeking permanent residence via the start-up visa route. Even if you’ve already provided your biometrics and they’re still OK. 

You’ll also need to pay the biometrics charge when submitting, and you must do this immediately after getting the letter from Canadian Immigration. In particular, you will have 30 days to respond once you get this letter.

Canadian Start-up Visa Processing time

The Canadian start-up visa can take up to 32 months to process. Therefore, you must begin your application as soon as you can.

Your application will be delayed if there are concerns about crime or security or if more background checks are needed.

For example, if your family status is unclear because of a pending divorce, an unfinished adoption, or unresolved child custody issues. Canadian Immigration will need to verify the information you gave them with other immigration offices in Canada or abroad. 

Once the visa office has begun processing your application, you can track its progress from your application portal.

Canada Start-up Visa Medical Examination

Before entering Canada, you will need to undergo a medical examination. Everyone in your immediate family, including those who aren’t traveling with you, must have their own. 

Your application will be denied if your health threatens public health or safety in Canada. Likewise, if you would put too much stress on Canada’s health and social services. 

After you send your application to the visa office, you will get a letter informing you how to schedule the required medical exam.

Canada Start-up Visa Police Clearance

A criminal record might prevent you from entering Canada. Also, anyone who could compromise national security is not allowed to come to Canada.

Therefore, when applying for Canadian immigration, you and any family members aged 18 or older will be required to produce police certifications to the visa office.

When you turn 18, you’ll need to receive a police certificate from every nation or territory you’ve resided for at least six months straight. To avoid delays, you should get the police certifications you need as soon as possible.

Canada Startup Visa Verdict

Your application will likely be successful if you are eligible and have enough money to sustain yourself and your family upon arrival in Canada. Also, you should pass the medical test and police clearance. 

Canadian Immigration will get in touch with you if more information is necessary. Perhaps they need a supplementary interview or more documents.

If your application is accepted, you will be asked to submit your passport to the visa office so that your permanent residence visa may be issued.

Getting Permanent Residence

If your application is accepted, you’ll get a green card, allowing you to stay in the country permanently. Your Certificate of Permanent Residence (COPR) and entrance visa are included in the Canadian Start-up visa. 

Information about you, including a picture, will be included in your COPR. Make sure you check and confirm that it is accurate. The information on your ID card and passport should match exactly. If otherwise, you must inform Candian Immigration via your account if there is an error on your COPR. 

Both your COPR and your visa are required upon entry into Canada. Remember to put in some time before your COPR runs out since we won’t be extending it.

Entering Canada

To enter Canada, you must use ArriveCAN to submit the needed travel documentation if you’re outside the country. An agent from the Canada Border Services Agency will be waiting to welcome you when you arrive in the country. 

You should bring the following with you when you arrive: 

  • Legal identification for international travel, such as a passport
  • Proof of permanent residence and a valid visa (COPR). The customs official will verify that your Canadian visa is valid upon entry and that you are entering the country before or on the expiration date.
  • Proof of funds that you can sustain yourself and your family in Canada. 

If you provide the Canadian border patrol with incorrect information or cannot prove you satisfy the requirements to enter Canada, you will be denied entry. On the other hand, the official will let you into Canada as a permanent resident if you match the criteria.

The process also includes verifying your Canadian postal address, where Immigration will send your permanent residence card. You must inform them of any address changes you make within 180 days of your arrival in Canada.