Start-Up Visa Program

The Canada Start Up Visa program offers eligible immigrant entrepreneurs with permanent residence in Canada.

Start-Up Visa Program

Under the Canada Start-Up Visa program, immigrant entrepreneurs who meet the eligibility criteria have the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in Canada. This initiative aims to introduce forward-thinking business individuals to Canada, facilitate connections with local private sector companies, and provide support for the growth of their start-up ventures within the country.

The Canada Start Up Visa program offers eligible immigrant entrepreneurs with a permanent residence in Canada. The program’s objective is to attract innovative entrepreneurs from the globe and connect them with Canadian private sector firms; such as angel investor groups, venture capital funds, or business incubators, and assist them in establishing their start-up business in Canada. A letter of support from a government-designated body will be sent to successful candidates.

The government-designated body is principally responsible for determining the sustainability of the applicant’s growing company and presenting an approved project to immigration authorities along with a Commitment Certificate. The applications are evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Check the list of designated entities for further information.

Applicants to Canada’s Start-Up Visa program must meet four basic eligibility requirements:

  • Have a qualifying business.
  • Get a Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support from a recognized entity.
  • Have appropriate unencumbered, accessible, and transportable settlement funds that are updated annually.
  • Complete standardized tests in English or French to demonstrate acceptable proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark level 5).

Essential commitment must meet the following criteria:

  • An investor group must confirm that it is investing at least $75,000 into the qualifying business.
  • A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business.
  • A designated business incubator must confirm that it is accepting the applicant into its business incubator Program.

To qualify, the prospective business must be established and operating in Canada at the time the agreement is made and:

  • The applicant owns a least 10 percent of the voting rights in the corporation.
  • No other person holds 50 percent or more of the total amount of voting rights in the corporation.

To receive a work permit, an applicant must provide:

  • A letter of support from the designated entity.
  • Proof they have sufficient funds to meet the low-income cut-off (LICO) for their family size, for one year.

To receive permanent residence, the following criteria must be met:

  • Applicants must be actively involved in the management of the business within Canada;
  • The operations of the business, or an essential part, must take place in Canada; and
  • The business must be incorporated in Canada.

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