What Is The Canada Startup Visa Program

The Canadian Startup Visa Program is for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas who will spur economic growth. This program requires a start-up business investment and grants permanent residency in Canada and Canadian citizenship after 3 years.

The Benefits

Residency and Family Inclusion

  • Permanent residence for successful applicants.
  • Dual citizenship is permitted.

Dependents included:

  • Spouse or common law partner.
  • Children under 22 years old who do not have a spouse or a common law partner.

Travel and Quality of Life

  • Ability to live, work and study upon approval.
  • Access to high quality subsidized education upon approval.
  • Access to advanced health and welfare systems upon approval.


  • No age limit.
  • Possibility to apply for Canadian citizenship after 3 years of permanent residence.

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    Canada Startup Visa Requirements

    • The applicant must demonstrate that they are innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will spur economic growth by obtaining a commitment certificate from a designated organization in order to qualify for the Canada start-up visa.
    • The applicant must hold at least 10% of the voting shares in the business, and together with the designated organization more than 50% 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 has enough funds to support herself and any dependents after they arrive in Canada.
    • The applicant and family members must be in good health and have no criminal record.

    Startup visa Canada Investment Options

    The Business Incubator Option

    Obtain a commitment certificate which confirms the applicant’s business is currently participating in or has been accepted into its business incubator program.

    The Angel Investor Group Option

    Obtain a commitment certificate which confirms the Angel Investor Group is investing at least CAD 75,000 in the applicant’s business.

    The Venture Capital Fund Option

    Obtain a commitment certificate which confirms the Venture Capital is investing at least CAD 200,000 in the applicant’s business.

    Startup visa Canada Process

    Arrows process

    Due Diligence and Application

    • Initial background & eligibility checks.
    • Appointment of an authorized representative to submit the application.
    • Provide proof of language proficiency, and other personal documentation.
    • Obtain commitment certificate from angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator.
    • Submission of application form, supporting documents and fees.

    Approval and Investment

    • Typical processing time for the work permit application 8-12 weeks.
    • Current processing time for the permanent residency application is 37 months.

    Canadian Citizenship and Passport

    Applicants may apply for citizenship after 3 years.

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      Frequently Asked Questions

      The Canada Start-up Visa (“Canada entrepreneur visa”) Program offers entrepreneurs and their families the opportunity to obtain permanent residence status upon developing a qualifying innovation business in Canada with support from a designated entity.

      The program requirements are as follows:

      The Proposed Venture is a Qualifying Business

      A venture is considered a qualifying business under the SUV program if, at the time the commitment is made:

      • the applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the venture outstanding at that time; and
      • the designated organization and the applicant jointly hold more that 50% of the voting rights in the business; and
      • the applicant’s intention is to have a venture:
        • in which the applicant provides active and ongoing management from within Canada;
        • for which an essential part of its operations is conducted in Canada;
        • that is incorporated in Canada.

      Commitment Confirmation from a Designated Entity

      To support the fact that the proposed venture involves an innovative business idea that has the potential to compete on a global scale and can create jobs for Canadians, the applicant must receive one of the following:

      • An investment of at least $75,000 from a designated angel investor group;
      • An investment of at least $200,000 from a designated venture capital fund; or
      • Acceptance into a business incubator program by a designated business incubator.

      Language Requirement

      The applicant must have a minimum level of CLB 5 in English or French.

      Settlement Fund Requirement

      The applicant must show that he has the financial resources to support himself and his dependents. For further information on the settlement fund requirement, Link.

      The spouse and children of the applicant may qualify as a dependent family member in the SUV application. Note that children of the applicant may qualify as dependants if they

      • are under 22 years old and.
      • don’t have a spouse or partner.

      A permanent resident in Canada has the following legal rights:

      • Right to live, work and study anywhere in Canada permanently;
      • Right to access most social benefits, including public healthcare coverage; and
      • Right to apply for citizenship if certain conditions are met;
      • Right to be protected under the Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
      1. The designated business incubator conducts due diligence assessment on the applicant’s qualifications.
      2. The applicant confirms his interest to work with the designated business incubator.
      3. Submission of work permit and permanent residence applications.
      4. Once the work permit application is approved, the applicant may travel to Canada to activate the work permit and work with the designated business incubator on the venture.
      5. On approval of the applicant’s permanent residence application, the applicant and his dependent family members could obtain permanent residence status in Canada.
      • 8-12 weeks for processing of work permit application.
      • 37 months processing of permanent residence application.

      There is no residence requirement under the SUV program. However, since the program requires that the applicant provides active and ongoing management from within Canada and that the essential part of the business is conducted in Canada, the applicant may be required to stay in Canada to satisfy these program requirements.

      No. Applicants are only required to show that they have sufficient settlement funds to meet the program requirements. No proof of source or path of funds are required.

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