Since I recently went through the process of applying for Canada Startup Visa Program, and it was really difficult to figure the steps required to complete the application process. I thought it might be useful for someone else if I just share my experience. Here is the guide to apply for Canada Startup Visa Program or SUV.
1. Apply to Incubator
To apply for Canada PR through Startup Visa Program, you need to first get a Letter of Support from a designated incubator. Before you apply make sure you read this, this is my guide on how to apply to an incubator for Canada Startup Visa Program
2. Register a Company
Some incubators will ask you to register a company before issuing your Letter of Support. The incubator that I went to, actually gave us the option of registering before or after. We thought it’s best to register before, so it becomes part of our Letter of Support and PR application.
You can either register a Federal or a Provincial company. We used a 3rd Part by the name of Ownr to register our company. I think I will write another post on why we did that.
3. Apply for PR
Assuming you have received your Letter of Support from an Incubator. You can now apply for your Canada PR along with your family. Create an account on Canada PR Portal and fill your forms along with your supporting documents, Letter of Support and company incorporation.
The PR applications for Startup Visa are currently taking a lot of time, approx 36 months. Which means you can not move to Canada and start working on your Startup. You obviously can not wait 3 years to start the actual work. Heck, in 3 years your idea might not even be relevant.
So the workaround for that is as an immediate next step you should apply for your Work Permit
4. Apply for Work Permit
Work Permit is a temporary visa and allows you and your family to come to Canada and start working in your business. This will be issued for a period of 1 year, and you can renew it from within Canada after a year till the time your PR arrives.
You have already registered a company in Canada. Open an account with IRCC Employer Portal and you can add the company you have registered here. Through the portal, you have to issue yourself and your Co-Founders a Job Offer Letter and pay an employer compliance fee for each member. These jobs are LMIA exempt, so you don’t need to worry about it. After you have paid your fee and issued an offer letter. You have to apply for your Work Permit along with all documents related to your Startup which includes Letter of Support, Company Incorporation, Job Offer, Proof of employer compliance fee payment and other required documents.
Conclusion Canada Startup Visa
So this is it, you have now completed everything and just wait for your Work Permit to arrive and fly to Canada. Keep in mind, your Work permit application can be rejected if it’s not complete or considered complete by the IRCC officer. You can always choose to get help from an immigration lawyer. I personally did it without the help of an agent, but I did spend a lot of time making sure that I am submitting the right documents and filling the correct forms.
Do not apply for your Work Permit without applying for PR. Your work permit will most likely get rejected if you have not applied for PR.