Start-up visa Canada

Canada’s new Start-Up Visa is the first of its kind in the world, linking immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations that have expertise in working with start-ups. Canada wants entrepreneurs. Unlike programs in other countries, we do not provide “temporary”
or “conditional” status. Successful applicants to this program will be able to immediately apply for permanent residence if they secure a commitment from a designated Canadian private sector organization.

Do you want to build a dynamic company that can compete on a global scale? It starts in Canada.

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world. With the Start-Up Visa, Canada is targeting a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs.

Got a great business idea? If you can get support for your start-up from a designated Canadian organization, you can immigrate to Canada.

There are many reasons why Canada is the best place to build your business:

  • Strong economic growth: Forbes magazine rates Canada as the best country in the G-20 with which to do business. Canada has the strongest fiscal position in the G-7 and among the best fiscal prospects in the G-20.
  • Low taxes and low business costs: Canada offers a low-cost and low-tax environment so your business can thrive. Canada’s overall tax rate on new business investment is significantly lower than that of other G-7 countries. KPMG ranks Canada as the most tax competitive country in the G-7.
  • Excellence in research and innovation: Canada offers a winning environment for research and innovation, including world-leading research and development (R & D) infrastructure, scientific talent and innovation incentives. Combined federal and provincial credits can return to foreign investors, on average, up to 30 percent of their R & D investment in Canada.
  • Top quality of life: Canada’s top quality of life provides a great backdrop for the success of individuals, families and globally engaged companies. According to the World Bank, in 2011 Canadians enjoyed nearly the highest standard of living in the G-20. Canada is home to a highly educated, flexible and multicultural work force.

To be eligible to receive a start-up visa, you must:

Prove your business venture or idea is supported by a designated organization

Before you apply for the start-up visa, you must convince a designated organization to support your business idea. If the designated organization supports your business idea, it will give you a Letter of Support. You must include your Letter of Support with your application as proof that a designated organization supports your business idea.

If you do not have a Letter of Support from a designated organization or do not meet any of the eligibility requirements below, your application will be refused.

Meet the language requirements

Being able to communicate and work in English, French or both will help your business in Canada. You must prove your ability in English or French in these four areas:

  • speaking
  • reading
  • listening
  • writing

You must meet the minimum level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French for all four language abilities. If you do not meet the minimum language skills, we will refuse your application. You must take a language test from an agency approved by CIC and include the results when you apply. If you do not, we will not process your application and we will return your fees. Use your test results to find your CLB level.

Meet the education requirements

You must provide proof of your education with your application. Specifically, you will need:

  • proof of having completed at least one year of post-secondary education
  • proof that you were in good standing during at least one year while you were attending a post‑secondary institution
  • Your proof of education may be in the form of transcripts and a letter of good standing, or certificate or diploma or degree.

Have sufficient settlement funds
The Government of Canada does not provide financial support to new Start-up business visa immigrants. You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. You must be able to use this money to support the costs of living for your family.

You will need to provide proof of your funds when you submit your application for immigration. The amount of money you need depends on the size of your family. These amounts are updated every year.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $11,824
2 $14,720
3 $18,097
4 $21,971
5 $24,920
6 $28,105
7 or more $31,291

Disclosure of funds

If you are carrying more than C$10,000, tell a Canadian official when you arrive in Canada. If you do not tell an official, you may be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash
  • securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • negotiable instruments in bearer form (for example, bankers’ drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques or money orders).

Processing times tell you how long it took Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to process applications in the past. They can vary, depending on how many applications CIC receives. Various factors can affect processing, including:

  • the number of incomplete applications,
  • seasonal variations in application intake,
  • changes in CIC operations and
  • other issues beyond CIC’s control.

Since the start-up visa is new and applications have not yet been received, processing times are still unavailable.




Posted in Canada, Immigrate, Invest.