In a recent court decision, the Federal Court of Canada reviewed a judicial review application regarding a Start-up Business Class application under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The court analyzed the applicant’s eligibility and the reasons for the refusal of the permanent residence visa. This blog post provides an overview of the court decision and highlights the key points discussed in the judgment. If you’re interested in the Start-up Business Class application process and want to understand the factors considered by immigration authorities, this blog post is for you.

Questions and Answers

What is the background of the case?

The case involved three judicial review applications that were consolidated as they dealt with the same issues and the same business venture. The lead applicant, Ms. Nazanin Ajili, along with her associates, applied for a Start-up Business Class visa to start a new business endeavor in Canada. However, their application was refused, leading to the judicial review.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Start-up Business Class?

To qualify for the Start-up Business Class, applicants need to fulfill certain requirements, including obtaining a commitment from a designated entity (such as a business incubator, angel investor group, or venture capital fund), submitting positive language test results, having transferrable and available funds, and starting a qualifying business. The qualifying business must involve active and ongoing management from within Canada, essential operations conducted in Canada, incorporation in Canada, and compliance with specific ownership structure conditions.

What were the submissions made by the applicant?

The applicant claimed to have satisfied all the requirements for the Start-up Business Class. They submitted various documents, including a business plan, an agreement with a registered charity providing services to entrepreneurs, and contracts with consultants and potential clients. They argued that their business venture was genuine and met the necessary criteria.

What was the decision under review?

The decision under review was the refusal of the applicant’s permanent residence visa. The visa officer expressed concerns that the commitment with the designated entity was primarily for acquiring a status or privilege under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The officer also highlighted the lack of progress in the business venture, unclear business plans, and limited interest from potential clients.

How was the argument and analysis conducted?

The court analyzed three categories: procedural fairness, reasonableness of the decision, and the quality of reasons given. The applicant’s argument claiming a breach of procedural fairness was dismissed since the concerns had been clearly communicated in a fairness letter. The court determined that the decision was reasonable as it considered the lack of progress, the quality of the business plan, and the overall seriousness of the venture. The reasons given by the decision-maker were found to be sufficient and justified.

What is the conclusion of the court decision?

The court dismissed the judicial review application, stating that the decision under review was reasonable and there was no breach of procedural fairness. The court emphasized that its role is to assess the legality and reasonableness of the decision, rather than delve into the merits of the case.

What happens next for the applicants?

The court decision concludes the judicial review process. The applicants may explore other legal options, such as appealing the decision or reconsidering their business plans and reapplying for the Start-up Business Class in the future.

Can the decision be further challenged?

While the court decision concludes the specific judicial review application, it is possible for the applicants to appeal the decision to a higher court if they believe there are legal grounds for doing so. They should consult their legal counsel to determine the best course of action.

How does this court decision impact other Start-up Business Class applicants?

This court decision provides insights into the factors considered by immigration authorities when evaluating Start-up Business Class applications. It emphasizes the importance of demonstrating a genuine business venture, clear business plans, and substantial progress. Other applicants can use this information to better understand the requirements and expectations for their own applications.

Are there any alternative pathways for entrepreneurship-based immigration to Canada?

Yes, Canada offers various immigration programs for entrepreneurs, such as the Self-Employed Persons Program and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that have specific entrepreneur or business categories. Each program has its own eligibility criteria and requirements. It is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer or specialist to explore the most suitable pathway based on individual circumstances.


The court decision regarding the Start-up Business Class application sheds light on the eligibility requirements and considerations involved in the immigration process. The decision emphasizes the need for genuine business ventures, substantial progress, and compliance with the regulations. As with any immigration application, it is crucial to understand the specific requirements and seek professional advice to increase the chances of a successful outcome.

If you would like to learn more, book a consultation with Pax Law today.


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