The Pacific shoreline of Western Canada is home to a sea of opportunities. The beautiful British Columbia (BC), with its snow-capped mountains and ski trails, is a natural tourist hotspot. The temperature hardly dips below negative 10 degrees in winter; this season is short and compact. Summers are a sweltering 30 degrees and upwards. Fall is blissful, with only a light jacket required. The most stunning is Spring – the season of blooming flora, countryside adventures and enveloping warmth.
Besides the versatile coastline of the province, British Columbia’s business landscape is replete with possibilities. A calculated guess would reveal that fisheries, forestry, shipping and mining are the top industries in the city. However, as with the rest of Canada, technology is an up and coming sector to work and invest in.
With the mission of growing the entrepreneurial culture in British Columbia and creating a thriving economy, the province has introduced a Startup Visa Stream. Experienced business-owners or individuals with an innovative idea for a new business and the financial prowess can make use of this scheme to become Canadian Permanent Residents.
BC Startup Visa Scheme – Requirements
Do you have a visionary business proposition that can create jobs for Canadians and make a global impact? By nature, the Startup Visa Scheme is designed for such individuals. The first step in materializing your business idea in BC is getting the support of ‘designated organizations’.
Business Idea Appraisal
Venture capitalists, business incubators and angel investors all fall into the category of designated organizations. The institutions back entrepreneurs through grants and/ or assistance with designing a business, every step along the way. Once you submit your business proposal to a designated organization, it will be reviewed. Qualifying proposals will be offered a ‘Letter of Support’, the next step in immigrating with a BC startup visa.
To be eligible, a business owner and the buttressing establishment must together hold more than 50% of the voting rights attached to the outstanding shares at that point in time. At the time of application, a single-owner may also hold 10% of the voting rights (outstanding shares), with up to 5 individuals applying as business owners.
Language Assessment & Proof of Funds
Requirements that are common to most Canadian Immigration pathways, potential immigrants need to produce either English (CLB 5 and above) or French language test scores. They must also be able to show that they are able to financially support themselves, with funds of a minimum of $12,457 for a single person and $3,361 for each additional family member.
Individuals need also include medical tests and police verification from all the places they have resided in, as a part of the Permanent Residence application. Biometrics is mandatory. The application fee is $1,540 and the average processing time is 12 to 16 months. Delays, to the process, might occur due to criminal/ security concerns, child custody issues and data-verification from visa offices outside Canada.
Once the application is through, the government issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and the entry visa. A short interview will be held, either in the immigration office or at a Port of Entry for individuals already in Canada and at the Canadian Border Security Agency from those arriving from outside. The amount of funds carried must be disclosed, at this point. Individuals may also, optionally, apply for a Temporary Work Permit as their application is being processed.