Documentation Required for Your Entrepreneur Visa
We have been working with entrepreneurs who intend to try their business skills in another country for over 10 years. Many of our clients are citizens of European, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries who believe they will have a better opportunity in the United States, Canada, the UK, or EU countries.
We’ve written broadly on this topic with articles such as These Countries Offer Visas for Entrepreneurs, Succeeding as an Immigrant Entrepreneur, and others.
Over the years, we have found that almost every country has very similar document requirements, no matter the target country. In this article, we will discuss the documentation requirements that seem to be common to every country that offers entrepreneur visas.
Personal Document Requirements
- Passport – You will need to provide copies of the bio-date page of your passport and the passport for each of your immediate family members. This page has your picture and your biographical data such as citizenship, place of birth, date of birth, issue date, passport number, and expiry date of your passport.
- Passport size photographs – Most countries will require you to provide two photos of yourself and each of your immediate family members.
- Educational credentials – Copies of degrees and graduation certificates.
- Medical examination – If the country you intend to migrate to has a requirement that you receive a medical exam, you must provide a copy of the examination results.
- Police certificates – Many countries will require you to provide a certificate from a national or local police department indicating any crimes you may have committed.
- Language test – Most countries will require that you take a test either in the local language or English.
- Tax records – You will be required to provide a minimum of two years of your most recent tax records.
- Statement of Net Worth – This is a statement of your assets less your liabilities. It must be signed and dated by you and in some instances by a banker or accountant.
- Personal bank records – You will be required to provide at least two years of personal bank records.
- Residence permit – Some countries require that you apply for a residence permit before or at the same time that you apply for the entrepreneur visa.
Business Document Requirements
- Application – Every country will require that you complete an application for your entrepreneur visa. Sometimes this is called a petition. Sometimes the application is part of the petition. The application will give you an opportunity to explain why obtaining an entrepreneur visa is good for you and will be good for the host country.
- Business plan – Every country will require an entrepreneur visa applicant to submit a business plan. It must be written in the country’s national language or English. It must be comprehensive and comply with the host country’s business plan requirements. You will work harder on the preparation of this document than on any other required documents. The business plan should fully describe the business, provide evidence of the market opportunity, explain your competitive advantages, how you will get customers, how you will make money, and most importantly, the benefits that your business will bring to your new country.
- Business bank records – If you are moving your existing business to the new country, or if you intend to form a new company that will provide the same products and services as the business in your old country, you must provide bank records that document your level of success. If your intended business is a startup in a new field, your old business bank records will not be required.
- Capital – You must provide proof that you have the minimum funds that your new country requires of an immigrating entrepreneur. You must not only meet the new country’s minimum requirements, but you must also prove that the funds are adequate to launch and successfully sustain the new business in your host country until the new business is providing internally generated cash flow.
Why do so many western countries aggressively offer visa opportunities to migrating entrepreneurs? The answer is simple. According to Boundless, “Migrants tend to contribute more in taxes than they receive in benefits. By augmenting the working-age population and bringing skills to their receiving countries, migrants help to spur the economies of the places where they work.”
The bottom line is that host countries want you and need you if you are qualified. You probably are, but you must build your case, document by document. If you need help preparing a business plan to accompany your visa application, please feel free to reach us through our Contact Us page.