Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:
If you can get support for your idea from one of the designated organizations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada.
To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:
A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.
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
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
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:
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 to us. This is the proof you need to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting your business idea.
The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to us. We’ll use both your letter of support and the organization’s commitment certificate to assess your application. Please note, we may ask you for more business information in order to take a final decision on your application.
If you don’t include the letter of support or meet any of the other requirements, we’ll refuse 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:
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.
Designated organizations are business groups that are approved to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-up Visa Program.
To apply for the Start-up Visa Program, your business idea or venture must get the support of one or more of the designated organizations listed below:
Organizations choose which business proposals to review. Each organization has its own intake process for proposals and criteria used to assess them. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.
If an organization decides to review your business idea, it’ll assess the potential of your proposal and whether or not it’ll succeed.
If an organization chooses to support your business idea, it’ll give you a Letter of Support.
Number of family members
Funds required ( in Canadian dollars)
For each additional family member
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