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Episode 69: Seize the Opportunity: Explore Canada's Start-Up Visa Program

Podcast posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Permanent Residence, Start-Up Visa Program and Podcast

Episode 69: Seize the Opportunity: Explore Canada's Start-Up Visa Program

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If you are an entrepreneur who is interested in starting a business, Canada's Start-Up Visa Program may be a good option for you. On the Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast, Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah gives an overview of the Start-Up Visa and who qualifies.

The Start-Up Visa Program is a Canadian economic immigration program for foreign entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas to immigrate to Canada and start their own businesses.

During the podcast, Evelyn Ackah covers:

  • The Start-Up Visa Program is for entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Canada.
  • In order to qualify, you must be connected with a designated partner organization.
  • There are a number of designated partner organizations, including venture capitals, academic institutions, angel investors, and business incubators.
  • The Start-Up Visa Program has a number of criteria, including business experience, education, and an innovative business idea.
  • The cost of working with a designated partner organization can be considerable.
  • Ackah Law can help you assess your eligibility for the Start-Up Visa Program and connect you with a designated partner organization.
  • The Start-Up Visa Program is designed to attract entrepreneurs who have innovative and creative business ideas that will benefit the Canadian economy.
  • The government of Canada wants to ensure that Start-Up Visa recipients are successful in their business ventures, so they require applicants to have a strong business background and education.
  • The Start-Up Visa Program is not a cheap endeavour. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have the financial resources to support their business venture.
  • If you are not a good fit for the Start-Up Visa Program, Ackah Law can help you explore other entrepreneur options in Canada.


During the podcast, Evelyn Ackah provides an overview of family class sponsorship and how Ackah Business Immigration Law offers assistance with family sponsorship and other immigration matters:

  • The spousal sponsorship category allows spouses, common-law partners, and same-sex partners to come to Canada and be together.
  • The process for sponsoring a spouse outside of Canada requires extensive paperwork, evidence of the relationship, and can take up to two years.
  • Spouses already in Canada as visitors can apply for sponsorship from within the country, including a work permit application for the spouse.
  • Sponsoring children or adopted children is also possible under the family class category.
  • Financial requirements must be met when sponsoring children, but there is no low income cutoff for spousal sponsorship.
  • Sponsoring parents is a challenging stream with limited openings and often requires utilizing the super visa option.
  • Sponsoring siblings has specific requirements and is more difficult than in the past.
  • Hiring a professional to handle the family sponsorship application is recommended to avoid delays and refusals.

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About Evelyn Ackah

Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, we work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.

The Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast by Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah was named #1 Best Canada Immigration Podcast in 2022 by Feedspot.



Good day, everyone. It's Evelyn Ackah. Thank you so much for joining us on our LinkedIn Live today to talk about the Start-Up Visa Program.

This is a program that is geared toward professionals and business people looking to create innovative opportunities to create a business in Canada. It's for entrepreneurs who want to start up a business in Canada.

It's called the Start-Up Visa Program because you are, literally, getting your work permit and your permanent residence to come to Canada and start up a new business venture. Canada is very much open and looking for people with the skills, the work experience, and the business and entrepreneurial experience to launch businesses that are going to benefit Canadian citizens, as well as focus on technology and other forms of innovation.

So in order to qualify for this program, you really need to be connected with a designated partner and their organizations. There's a long list of them on the IRCC website, but the list of organizations requires you to partner with somebody that will sponsor you for this program and make sure that you meet all the criteria.

So we work with a number of different designated organizations. Some are venture capitals, some are academic institutions, some are angel investor and business incubators, and they are always looking for new and current and exciting technology and innovation and business opportunities where they can be supporting international entrepreneurs so they can come to Canada and launch.

The Start-Up Visa Program has a number of criteria, so it's not just a "I want to start up a business." Usually the cost of these and working with these organizations is quite considerable. We've got a client right now that has partnered with four other business owners from her home country and they were approved for a Start-up Visa as a group of five.

Oftentimes it's only one business owner with a very innovative and creative business idea that is getting the Start-up Visa support, and that certificate essentially allows them to start their business to come to Canada as permanent residents or as workers first and get started and launch.

One of the incubators that we work with will actually help set up the entire entity from beginning to end, will help with the business planning, will help with the financial planning, the website development, the whole strategy that's needed in order to be successful, to be selected for the Start-up Visa category.

So as I say this, it's not a cheap endeavor. It is quite significant. You must be able to show you have business background or business experience, usually education, some sort of innovation or creative idea that may be different that you believe is going to create jobs and grow. The government doesn't want people to just get here as permanent resident and not actually do and implement the program that they're talking about.

So if you are interested in learning more about the Start-Up Visa Program at Ackah Law, we usually do a detailed deep dive into your background and into the requirements of the program to ensure that you have a chance of being successful. We then partner you with one of our partners on the incubator side or venture capital side to see if they're interested in your ideas and your business plan. And once they are interested and they express that interest, then we're able to get started doing everything you need on the immigration side, working with the Start-up Visa partners.

So if you'd like to learn more about this and to see if you may qualify, we'd love to do a consultation with you to learn more about your background and your business venture idea to see if you'd be a good fit for the Start-Up Visa Program.

If you are not a good fit for the program, there are other entrepreneur options like British Columbia and Ontario. They have great entrepreneur programs, as well as the East Coast. So depending on how much you want to invest in a business, a partial buyout or launching a business directly, we can help you still with that criteria to make sure you qualify. It takes a while, but I think it's really important to do the upfront work first so that we are certain we're going to be able to get you some success in getting here and launching your business venture as an entrepreneur in Canada.

If you'd like to learn more, please do give us a call at the numbers above and at the number below. And also thank you so much for joining us on this LinkedIn Live. We look forward to hearing more from you, as well as we'd love for you to sign up and join our Ask Canada Immigration Podcast, where recordings like this and other podcasts will be shared so you can learn more about immigration and all the changes that keep happening.

Thanks again for joining us today. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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We have been using the services of Ackah Business Immigration Law for over 5 years. Evelyn and her team have provided vital and critical help to us in navigating the complicated and ever changing rules on how to bring qualified and talented dancers to Canada as foreign workers to become part of our company. Diversity enriches what we do and these dancers are essential to our artistic success and community outreach. Evelyn’s team lead the application process, take care of all the administration and provides constant support throughout the process. As a small registered charity having this expertise available is instrumental to our success we applaud Ackah Business Immigration for generously supplying their professional services to us pro bono. Their involvement helps us to continue to enrich lives by engaging people in exploring, evolving and promoting the art of jazz dance.

– Kathi Sundstrom, Executive Director for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks

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