Canada’s Start-up Visa Program : A Complete Guide

Startup Visa program Of Canada
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The Canada Startup Visa, also known as the Canada Investor Visa or the Canadian SUV Program, stands as a distinctive initiative by the Government of Canada. This program is strategically crafted to attract innovative immigrant entrepreneurs globally, encouraging them to establish their start-up businesses within the country.

Canada’s Start-up Visa program:

The government envisions that this initiative will not only bring significant economic benefits but also generate job opportunities, especially in technical roles, contributing to overall economic growth.

Benefits of the Startup Visa

The Startup Visa program offers a range of advantages, making it an appealing choice for entrepreneurs:

– Streamlined Processing:

The program ensures swift application processing, allowing entrepreneurs more time to focus on developing their start-up businesses.

– Flexible Residency:

Successful applicants and their families can live anywhere in Canada (excluding Quebec). Additionally, a 10-year membership in an angel group is provided, fostering networking opportunities and potential additional investments.

– Direct Path to Permanent Residence:

Entrepreneurial success leads to permanent residency, granting access to social benefits and a high standard of living.

– Business Independence:

Permanent residence status is not contingent on the performance of the start-up. Once acquired, individuals are free to pursue diverse entrepreneurial or professional opportunities in Canada.

– Path to Citizenship:

Permanent residents can apply for Canadian citizenship after residing in Canada for three years, offering benefits like voting rights and unrestricted access to work and study.

– Global Travel:

Canadian citizens enjoy visa-free travel to 187 countries.

– Entrepreneurial Team Immigration:

An entrepreneurial team of up to five people can immigrate together, collectively owning a single business.

Canada Start-up Visa Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Canada Startup Visa, entrepreneurs must meet specific criteria:

– Qualifying Business:

The start-up must be innovative, scalable, and capable of creating significant economic benefits for Canada.

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

– Letter of Support:

Obtain a letter of support with a commitment certificate from a designated organization (venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator).

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).

– Language Proficiency:

Meet language requirements by achieving a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

– Financial Settlement:

Demonstrate sufficient funds to settle in Canada. The required funds increase with the number of family members accompanying the applicant.

Step-by-Step Guide for Canada Start-up Visa program 

The application process involves the following steps:

1. Develop Business Concept and Prepare Business Plan:

Refine the business idea and create a comprehensive business plan showcasing its potential.

2. Obtain Letter of Support:

Connect with designated organizations to secure a supporting letter and a commitment certificate, demonstrating their belief in the start-up.

3. Prepare and Submit Application:

Gather necessary documents and forms to prepare and submit the application for permanent residence.

4. Medical and Security Verification:

Undergo medical examinations, security background checks, and biometrics appointments as part of the permanent residence application process.

5. Receive Permanent Visa:

Once approved, a Permanent Resident Visa is issued.

Timeline and Family Eligibility

The overall duration of the process hinges on various factors, encompassing idea development, business plan preparation, and pitching the startup until receiving the Letter of Support (LOS). On average, securing an LOS takes approximately 1 to 6 months, though the timeframe may vary based on the team or the designated organization involved. It’s crucial to acknowledge that Immigration processing times are subject to change by IRCC. Typically, from the time of application to obtaining permanent residency, the process averages around 12 to 16 months. For the most recent processing times. Family members, including a spouse or common-law partner and dependent unmarried children under 22, can accompany the applicant and also receive permanent resident status.

Fees and Costs

Application fees vary, and additional costs may include medical exams, language tests, authentication and translation of documents, legal assistance, etc.

Required Documents

Documents include a detailed resume, draft business proposal, passport copy, birth and marriage certificates, police clearance record, proof of sufficient funds, language test results, medical examination confirmation, and a letter of support from a designated entity.

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.

*IRCC updates these amounts every year.

Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
If more than 7 people, for each additional family member$3,706


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