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Canadian Citizenship by Investment for Nigerians

Becoming a Canadian citizen is a goal for many Nigerians who wish to live in Canada permanently. Starting a business in Canada is an option you can take towards eventually becoming a Canadian citizen.

IAS are here to help you with your business visa needs in Canada. Contact us today online or call us on +44 (0) 331630092, or call our office in Lagos on +23413438882.

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    Want to Know More about Canadian Citizenship by Investment for Nigerians?

    We have successfully helped numerous skilled Nigerians obtain Canadian citizenship. If you have started your business in Canada and are looking for a path to citizenship, we can guide you through the eligibility requirements and assist you with your application. Let us handle all the complexities and make your travel plans as stress-free as possible.

    Nigerian Emigration

    For Nigerian emigration matters, please call +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882

    Other Immigration and Emigration Matters

    For immigration/emigration to/from other countries, please call:

    US –  +1 844 290 6312

    Ireland –  (+353) 061 518 025

    UK –  (+44) 333 4149244

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    Important Information about Investment Programmes for Canada

    Over the years, Canada has offered a few different residency and citizenship routes by investment programs for foreign nationals, such as the Immigration Investor Program (IIP).

    However, the IIP terminated in 2014, and as of writing in July 2023, Canada does not offer a specific international investor programme. As all programmes require a certain period of residency before you can apply for citizenship, there is no current programme that directly offers citizenship through investment.

    Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (On Hold)

    The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is a route for permanent residence in Canada for high net-worth and experienced investors who wish to make a significant investment in the province of Quebec.

    This investment route has been put on hold as of 2021 by the Canadian government and is not open to new applicants at this time.

    Applicants must:

    • Have the intention of settling in Quebec
    • Have a minimum net-worth of $2 million CAN
    • Have a minimum of 2 years of management experience in planning, management, financial resource or human/material resources
    • Enter into a financial agreement with a financial intermediary
    • Make a 5-year term of a minimum investment of $1.2 million CAN into a passive government-guaranteed investment with IQ Immigrants Investisseurs inc.

    Common Routes to Canadian Citizenship

    To obtain Canadian citizenship, there are various routes that immigrants can take. The most common routes are:

    • Citizenship by birth
    • Citizenship by descent
    • Citizenship by naturalisation – this is a common route for those who do not have hereditary ties to Canada but have lived, worked or studied in Canada for a period of time and have permanent residency.

    Start-Up Visa Program (SUV)

    The Start-up visa is a federal and provincial programme available for Nigerian entrepreneurs who wish to build a Canadian business that is:

    • Innovative
    • Can create more jobs
    • Can compete on a global scale

    In order to be eligible, you need to:

    • Own a qualifying business with at least 10% of the voting rights for shares in the company
    • Receive a letter of support from a designated organisation – either a business incubator, angel investor or venture capital investor
    • Meet a minimum investment (variable)
    • Meet the language requirements by proving knowledge of English or French at the CLB IELTS or NCLC at level 5
    • Pass medical exams to prove you are fit and able to run your business
    • Have no criminal record and no record of having had problems with immigration law
    • Bring enough money to settle you and your family and run your business in Canada
    • Have at least one year of post-secondary education

    The Start-up visa offers permanent residency in Canada for you, your partner, and any children under 22 years old that you wish to bring along with you.

    The Canadian government has a limit of accepting 2750 businesses per year with the Start-up visa. This makes it a highly competitive route for permanent residency and citizenship in Canada.

    Investment Requirements for Canada Start-Up Visa

    Applicants who wish to migrate to Canada and start a business with the Start-up visa must receive support from a designated organisation approved by IRCC.

    These organisations are selected and approved by the Canadian government to invest in or support start-up businesses that are eligible for the Start-up visa. You will not be able to obtain an SUV if you do not have a Letter of Support from a designated business incubator, angel investor or venture capital fund.

    You will be required to pitch your business to the organisation that you feel is best suited to your business idea. The pitching process will vary according to which organisation you have chosen, and what their individual requirements are. The organisation will then review your pitch and decide whether or not to support you.

    Organisations that have been designated by the IRCC are split across three categories:

    • Business Incubators – no minimum investment required
    • Angel Investors – you must raise at least $75,000 CAD from an Angel Investment group
    • Venture Capital Funds – you must raise at least $200,000 CAD from a Venture Capital fund

    These organisations support entrepreneurs and their new businesses, offering guidance, mentorship, training or funding to support in building the business in Canada.

    Starting a business in Canada is a pathway to become a Canadian citizen. Speak to us about the process. Contact Us

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      How Much Does the Start-Up Visa Cost?

      In order to be eligible for the Start-up visa, you must first prove that you have the appropriate finances available to support yourself, your business, and any other family members you wish to bring with you to settle in Canada.

      In general, you will be required to prove you have around $13,000 CAD per year to support yourself. However, it is best to move to Canada with as much funding as possible, as it may be difficult to live off of your business in the first years of start-up.

      You will also be required to prove you have at least around $3000-$4000 per year per dependant that you bring with you.

      The application fees for the Start-up visa are as follows:

      Applicant Fee (CAD)
      Main applicant $1540
      Spouse $1040
      Child $150

      You will also need to pay for your Permanent Resident Permit ($50), and for your biometric information to be taken. Any document translations, travel, and legal fees must be considered as part of the application process too, if applicable.

      Start Up Visa Application Process

      Applications must be submitted online, unless you have mitigating circumstances that require you to apply in person or in another format.

      The steps you will need to take for the application process are as follows:

      • Draft a clear business proposal to put forward to IRCC designated organisations
      • Submit and pitch your proposal
      • Apply for permanent residence with the Start-up isa
      • Wait for approval

      Any applicants and dependants between the ages of 14-79 will be required to provide your biometric information. You will receive a letter requesting for you to book an appointment, which you should do within 30 days of receiving the letter.

      Your application will then be reviewed by the Canadian government. If there are any errors or issues with your application, you will be notified and have your application returned to you to make amends.

      When your application is approved, you will have to send your passport to the visa office in order to create your permanent residence card.

      The application process for the SUV is long and can be complicated. We can help. Contact IAS today online or call us on +44 (0) 3316300929, or our office in Lagos on +23413438882.

      What Documents Do I Need for a Start-Up Visa?

      You will be required to submit the following documents to apply for a Start-up visa:

      • Your CV (resume)
      • Recent passport photos of each person included in your application
      • All relevant immigration forms required in the online application, fully completed
      • A draft of your business proposal
      • A valid passport or travel documents
      • Your birth certificate
      • Your marriage or divorce certificate (if applicable)
      • Police Clearance Record from Nigeria or your country of residence
      • Proof of funds, for example six months of recent bank statements
      • A bank reference letter
      • Proof of proficiency in French or English (Level 5 in CLB IELTS or NCLC)
      • A medical examination confirmation from a certified health institution
      • Letter of Support from a designated organisation in Canada.

      Applying for Citizenship with the Start Up Visa

      In order to obtain citizenship by investment with the Canada Start Up visa, you must first gain permanent residency in Canada. Obtaining the Start-up visa will provide you with a permanent resident status.

      Once you have permanent residency, citizenship can be applied for through the naturalisation route.

      In order to be eligible for Canadian citizenship through naturalisation with a start-up visa, you must:

      • Have been present in Canada for three out of five years, or 1095 days
      • Be able to meet Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) requirements in either English or French:
      • CLB Level 4 or higher
      • Provide documents, certificates or diplomas that prove your language capabilities
      • Pass the citizenship test
      • Be tax registered in Canada for at least three of the five years you have been in Canada
      • Not have a criminal record or be considered a threat to public safety.

      To ease the complexities of a citizenship application, enlist one of our expert lawyers. Contact Us

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        How Can IAS Help?

        Becoming a citizen allows you to gain a Canadian passport, a strong travel document that will allow you to travel with ease to over 180 countries around the world.

        However, the process for citizenship requires you to live in Canada for an extended period of time as a permanent resident.

        As the government only allows 2750 foreign businesses into Canada each year, your chances of gaining citizenship by investment may be quite low, due to the high number of applications each year and competitive nature of obtaining this visa. You might be wondering if gaining permanent residency and citizenship in Canada with a different visa might be a better option for you.

        IAS can help. We have a team of expert immigration lawyers who can support you with your application process for starting your business in Canada, and with any other immigration queries you may have. Contact us today online or call us on +44 (0) 3316300929, or our office in Lagos on +23413438882.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes. The Start-up visa allows you to bring your partner and any children under the age of 22 with you to Canada. It will provide the family with permanent residency in the country, and provide access to Canadian healthcare and educational institutions.

                  You and your family members will be able to apply for citizenship after spending 3 years in Canada on the Start-up visa, so long as you meet all the eligibility criteria for Canadian citizenship.

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