Start Up Visa Program

Canada Start-Up Visa

The Canada Start-Up Visa Program is for foreign national entrepreneurs who wish to immigrate to Canada. Under this program you can apply for Canadian permanent residence based on you establishing a start-up business in Canada and its contribution to the Canadian economy.

In order to qualify the applicant:

  • Must submit a proposed business plan to one of the five government-approved business incubator and accelerator programs (BIAPs) for approval to obtain funding.
  • Must provide proof of the BIAP recommendation
  • Must obtain a written commitment from a government designated entity (Canadian Venture Capital Fund, Business Incubator, Angel Investor Group) in the form of a Commitment Certificate or Letter of Support confirming one of the following options:
  • The investor’s qualifying business has been accepted into its business incubator program.
  • Angel Investor Group confirms it is investing at least $75,000 in the investor’s proposed business.
  • A Venture Capital Fund confirms it is investing at least $200,000 in the applicant’s business.
  • Should have a business operating in Canada that meets the criteria of a qualifying business in which the investor owns at least 10% or more of the voting rights.
  • Should have a suitable business background and sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds to carry out an investment and settle in Canada.
  • Should have completed at least one year of post-secondary education.
  • Must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English or French through standardized testing (Canadian Language Benchmark level 5).
  • Must intend to reside in a province other than Quebec.
  • Must complete medical and security requirements.
  • Must provide evidence that the investor possesses sufficient funds to support his/her stay in Canada.

Important Information:

  • Currently, the Canada Start-Up Visa Program is the fastest path to Canada for business investors and families with suitable qualifying businesses.
  • The Canada Start-Up Visa Program operates under three stages:
  • An investor is matched with a suitable qualifying business.
  • The successful applicant will quickly receive a temporary work permit.
  • The approved investor and family members will receive Canadian permanent residence.
  • Investors matched with reputable angel investors, venture capital funds or business incubators are introduced to business advisors, mentors and strategic planning professionals who help the start-up business get recognized in the international marketplace.
  • Once the Canadian immigration authorities approve the investor’s application, the investor and family receive their permanent resident cards. Once received, these permanent resident cards will not be revoked even if the new business fails.
  • Incase the business fails; the investor and family will then be authorized to live, study, work and travel in Canada. However, they must physically reside in Canada for at least two out of five years in order to be eligible for Canadian citizenship in the future.
  • Investor applicants with submitted applications can expect to receive a decision on the application for a work permit in 1-2 months and receive permanent residence in less than 6 months.

A limit of 2,750 visas will be issued under this program every year.