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Start-up Visa Canada

The Start-Up Visa program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada.

The program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada. Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada

Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of this program is to recruit innovative foreign national entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and drive economic growth.

In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a Qualifying Business.
  2. Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support from a designated entity.
  3. Sufficient Transferable Settlement Funds.
  4. Proficiency in English or French at minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level 5.

Investment Details

A designated entity is a Canadian private sector angel investor, venture capital fund or business incubator.

The required commitment must meet the following criteria:

  1. A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups totalling $75,000.
  2. A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000.
  3. A designated business incubator must accept the applicant into its business incubator program.

The applicant will receive a letter of support from the investment organization, which the applicant will need to submit with their application for permanent residence. If there are two or more applicants as part of the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization can be conditional upon one or more “essential persons” receiving their permanent residence. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified as essential to the business by the investment organization.