Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:
- are innovative
- can create jobs for Canadians
- can compete on a global scale
Who can apply
To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:
- have a qualifying business
- get a letter of support from a designated organization
- meet the language requirements
- bring enough money to settle
Have a qualifying business
A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.
- At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:
- each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)
- applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
- At the time you receive your permanent residence:
- you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
- an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
- this business is incorporated in Canada
Get a letter of support from a designated organization
You must get a letter of support from a designated organization (a business group that has been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups).
You’ll need to:
- contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support
- convince the organization that you have a business idea that is worth supporting
- get a letter of support from the designated organization
The process to pitch your idea is different for each organization. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.
If you reach an agreement with a designated organization, it will send you a letter of support. You need to include this letter when you submit your application. This is the proof you need to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting your business idea.
Did you know?
While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business. See work permits for start-up visa applicants.(depends on a case)
Meet the language requirements
The ability to communicate and work in English, French or both languages will help your business succeed in Canada.
You must take a language test from an approved agency and include the results with your application.
You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:
Use your test results to find your CLB level.
Bring enough money to settle
The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new start-up visa immigrants.
When you apply, you’ll need to give proof that you have the money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You can’t borrow this money from another person.
The amount you need depends on the size of your family.
Number of Funds required
family members (in Canadian dollars)
For each additional family member $3,414
Contact us and speak to our professionals for better understanding of the program.
Ref. IRCC website