Startup Visa Program

Startup Visa Program


  • Economic prosperity and growing job market
  • Safe living environment, highest standards of living
  • Multicultural society that promotes freedom of expression, equal rights and respect for diversity
  • High quality subsidized education
  • Advanced health and welfare systems
  • Opportunity to sponsor your family relatives who want to immigrate to Canada
  • Immediate permanent residence for successful applicants
  • Possibility to apply for Canadian citizenship after 3 years of permanent residence



  • An intention to settle in Canada with the goal of establishing a business there
  • Have acquired training and occupational skills
  • The applicant and family members must be in good health and have no criminal record
  • The applicant must demonstrate that they are innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will spur economic growth
  • Must meet strict eligibility requirements in terms of 3rd party commitment to the venture, language skills and settlement funds



To be eligible to receive a startup visa for a business venture the applicant must meet some key requirements

  • Obtain a commitment from designated organizations:
    • Business incubator confirming that the applicant’s business is currently participating in or has been accepted into its business incubator program, or
    • Angel investor group confirming that it is investing at least CAD 75,000 in the applicant’s business; or
    • Venture Capital Fund confirming that it is investing at least CAD 200,000 in the applicant’s business
  • The applicant must hold at least 10% of the voting shares in the business, and together with the designated organization at least 51% of the voting shares
  • The applicant must operate and manage the business venture once set up from within Canada
  • The applicant must meet a minimum of level 5 in the Canadian Language Benchmark Test in English or French, in speaking, reading, listening, and writing
  • The applicant must show that he/she has enough funds to support himself/herself and any dependents after they arrive in Canada



  • Appointment of an authorized representative to submit the application
  • Provide proof of language proficiency, and other eligibility criteria
  • Obtain commitment from angel investor, venture capital fund or business incubator
  • Submission of application form, supporting documents and fees
  • Typical processing time is within 14 months
  • Successful applicants will immediately receive permanent residence visas


List of designated organizations – start up visa

To apply for the Start-up Visa Program, your business idea or venture must get the support of one or more of the designated organizations listed below.

Designated organizations are business groups that are approved to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-up Visa Program.

Organizations choose which business proposals to review. Each organization has its own intake process for proposals and criteria used to assess them. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.

If an organization decides to review your business idea, it’ll assess the potential of your proposal and whether or not it’ll succeed.

If an organization chooses to support your business idea, it’ll give you a Letter of Support.


Designated organizations

Venture capital funds

You must get at least one of these groups to agree to invest a minimum of $200,000:


Angel investor groups

You must get one or more investors connected to these groups to agree to invest a minimum of $75,000:


Business incubators

You must be accepted into one of these programs: