Start-Up Visa

Posted on Posted in Federal Immigration, Immigration Options

This program targets skilled and innovative immigrant entrepreneurs, with an intention of creating jobs for Canadians to compete on a global scale. The candidate must meet the following criteria to be eligible to obtain a Start-up Visa.

Proof of business supported by a designated organization:
  • Prior to applying for a Start-up visa, the applicant must have a letter of support from a designated organization which needs to be included with the application:
    • Designated venture capital funds
    • Designated angel investor
    • Designated business incubators
Ownership Requirements:

Up to five people can apply for a Start-up Visa as owners of a single business. But, to meet the ownership requirements:

  • each applicant must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business, and
  • the designated organization and the applicants must jointly hold more than 50 percent of the voting rights in the business;
  • To be eligible for permanent residence, the business must be incorporated in Canada and the candidate must be actively managing the business and its operations from within Canada.
Language Requirements:

The applicant must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas(speaking, reading, listening, and writing). Must take a language test from a CIC-approved agency.

Settlement Funds Requirements:

The applicant must show that he/she has enough money as listed below while submitting an application. This money can not be borrowed from another person.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 or more $34,299
Processing timeline and Fee:

It takes about 12 to 16 months to process the application and the processing fee is CAD $2,075

Work permit:

Once you submit your application and while waiting for a permanent residency, you can apply for a temporary work permit to come to Canada and start building your business.

Disclosure of funds

If you are bringing more than CAN $10,000 across the Canadian border, you must tell a Canadian official when you arrive. 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 (for example, bankers’ drafts, cheques, travelers’ cheques, or money orders).
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