The Start-up Visa Program allows people to immigrate to Canada permanently. You can apply to become Permanent Resident (PR) of Canada under the Start-up Visa Program if you are an entrepreneur with the skills and potential to a build business in Canada that:
- is innovative
- can create jobs for Canadians
- can compete on a global scale
If you have an innovative business idea and can get support for your idea from one of the designated
organizations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada under this program.
Note: The Province of Quebec is in charge of its own business immigration program. If you plan to live in Quebec, visit Quebec’s immigration website.
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
- meet admissibility requirements including medical, security, and other conditions
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) AND
- 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 must include the letter of support in your application
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.
Minimum investment that you need from a designated organization
There are three kinds of designated organizations: Canadian Venture Capital Funds; Canadian Angel Investor Groups; and Canadian Business Incubators
- If the investment to support your business comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, you must secure a minimum investment of $200,000.
- If the investment to support your business comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group, you must secure a minimum investment of $75,000.
- You don’t need to secure a financial investment from a business incubator. You must be accepted into a Canadian business incubator program.
Meet the language requirements
You must take a language test from an approved agency. You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark 5 (CLB 5) in either English or French in all of these four areas: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. When you apply for PR, include the results with your application.
Bring enough money to settle
The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new start-up visa immigrants. When you apply for PR, 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. Presently, the amounts in Canadian dollars are as under:
|No. family members||Funds required||No. of family members||Funds required|
|7||$34,29||for each additional family member||$3,492|
ADMISSIBILIY REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER CANADA
To be eligible to come to Canada, you must meet the admissibility requirements to enter Canada. These apply to all applicants, not just Start-up Visa Program applicants.
Get in Touch for more information or for applying under Start-up Visa Program.