Start-up Visa Court Case: Van Duy Phan v. Canada


The journey of Van Duy Phan, an entrepreneur hailing from Vietnam, offers valuable insights into the complexities of obtaining Canada's coveted start-up visa. Phan's endeavor to secure permanent residency through Canada's Start-up Business Class program in 2019, built upon his vision of establishing a vibrant social network for international students and their families, encountered substantial hurdles.


A thorough examination of Phan's application unveiled significant challenges. Notably, there was a notable lack of tangible accomplishments and measurable progress in Phan's entrepreneurial pursuit. Furthermore, the absence of technical expertise raised questions about the project's feasibility. Moreover, the lack of collaboration evidence with a logo designer further fueled skepticism.

Immigration officials voiced concerns about the necessity of Phan's business venture in Canada, casting doubt on its viability and the efficacy of preliminary support from Empowered, a crucial stakeholder. The insufficient progress and substandard quality of the business model and logo heightened concerns about Fan's commitment.

Judicial Decision:

Utilizing section 89(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), immigration authorities determined that Phan's primary aim was to gain status or privileges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), resulting in the rejection of his application for permanent residency under the Start-up Visa program.

Despite Phan's objections, citing pandemic-related challenges and internal communications highlighting issues faced by Start-up Business Class participants, judicial authorities stood firm. While acknowledging the logistical obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities concluded that physical presence in Canada was not essential for recruiting necessary specialists.

Resolution and Outlook:

In conclusion, the case of Van Duy Phan underscores the importance of presenting a robust business plan and demonstrating tangible progress when pursuing Canada's Start-up Visa. Entrepreneurs must effectively convey the viability of their ventures while adapting to external challenges, ensuring resilience and success on their entrepreneurial journey.