Canada Startup Visa is a Business Immigration Program for Canada. But it differs from other Business investment programs run by provincial governments.
Unlike Business investment programs, Canada Startup Visa does not have any strict rules about investing a specific amount of money. But that does not mean there are no funds requirements.
From my experience, you need a minimum of $150,000-$200,000 available to apply for Startup Visa program in Canada. Now, let me explain why you need all this cash to apply for this program.
This is the one of the direct costs attached with this program. When you get accepted into an incubator, the incubator will charge you a fee for enrolling you into the program.
The incubator fee can differ for each incubator. From my communication with multiple incubators, the fee ranges between 20,000 CAD to 100,000 CAD. What you eventually pay depends on two factors. One, which incubator you got accepted at and second, how many founders are applying. For some it’s a fixed fee for each business, but for most the fee is for each Founder, but generally speaking, more founders means less fee for each Founder.
PR & Work Permit Fee
This is the second part of direct fee associated with this program. When you will apply for your permanent residency application and work permit, you will have to pay fees associated with it which are charged by Canadian Govt. For a family of 4, you are looking at $15000 approx for both your PR and work permit application.
Immigration Consultant or Lawyer
Now, this fee completely depends on the level of service you require from an immigration consultant or lawyer. Generally speaking, you do not need a lawyer at this stage, an immigration consultant can easily manage your application.
This fee can range between $2500 to $15,000 depending on your needs. For example, for $2500 the most you will get is an immigration consultant will just review your application at the final stage when you are applying. And for $15,000 your consultant will completely manage your application, till the time your PR arrives, which can take up to 3 years.
Whether you use a full service by a consultant or limited is up to you. Personally, I didn’t use a consultant and filled the complete application myself, but I wouldn’t recommend this avenue to everyone. This requires a lot of reading and time invested in completing your application, while the chance of a mistake remains, which can result in rejection of your application.
IRCC Funding Requirement for Canada Startup Visa
When you are applying for your PR and work permit, IRCC requires you to show available funds which you will bring with you to Canada.
You can check the current funding requirement from IRCC in the above link. But this isn’t the only funding requirement. For SUV program, IRCC also expects you to have additional funding available for your Startup. This is not like Express Entry where you just have to show, that you have enough funds for settling. For SUV, you should be able to demonstrate that you have funding available for both settling your family and to invest in your business. I was advised by the incubator that you need to show at least $100,000 which demonstrates that you are on sound financial ground before you immigrate to Canada.
So if you look at all the costs, you need a minimum of $150,000 and ideally at least $200,000 if you are looking to apply for Canada Startup Visa.