A Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Start-Up Visa Program

You can start an innovative start-up and immigrate through Canada Start-Up Visa Program. A unique pathway for obtaining Canadian permanent residence as a foreign entrepreneur. Check your eligibility for the start-up visa program in Canada.

The Canada Start-Up Visa Program is a direct immigration pathway for innovative foreign entrepreneurs who plan to set up a new startup business in the country. This program was initially launched as a temporary immigration pathway in 2018. However, IRCC later made it a permanent program due to its success. In this guide, we will examine the eligibility requirements and the application process for the Start-up Visa Program Canada.

What is Canada Start-Up Visa Program?

The Canada Start-Up Visa Program is a unique immigration pathway that caters to foreign entrepreneurs with innovative start-up ideas.

The Government of Canada encourages such start-ups because they contribute to Canada’s economic growth and help create jobs for Canadian residents.

Prospective Startup Visa applicants who are successful under this program can receive permanent resident status and continue operating their startup as intended.

This program could be a great choice for people who do not qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program or the different Business immigration options under the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

About Canada Start-Up Visa Program

Canada Start-Up Visa Eligibility Requirements

Prospective foreign entrepreneurs who wish to apply for the Canada Start-Up Visa Program must meet the eligibility requirements in the following areas:

  • Have a Qualifying Business
  • Possess a Valid Letter of Support from an Organization
  • Meet the Minimum Language Requirements
  • Offer Proof of Funds
Canada Start-Up Visa Program Eligibility

Have a Qualifying Business

The Startup Visa Canada applicant must set up and operate a qualifying business to fulfill the program’s requirements. In addition to this, the entrepreneur must hold a minimum of 10% of the voting rights associated with the business’s shares. If multiple applicants intend to apply for Canada’s start-up visa using a shared startup, they must possess a minimum of 50% of the voting rights combined.

Other qualifying business requirements include:

  • The applicant must be involved in the active management of the business from within Canada.
  • The business’s core components and operations must be performed within Canada.
  • The business must be incorporated within Canada.

Possess a Valid Letter of Support from an Organization

Qualifying applicants are required to hold a Letter of Support from a valid designated organization. There are three types of designated organizations with different minimum investment requirements that qualify under this program.

The minimum requirement investment required from each designated organization is shown below:

  • Venture capital funds: $200,000
  • Angel investor groups: $75,000
  • Business incubators: No requirement as long as the applicant is accepted into the Canadian business incubator’s program.

Find the list of designated organizations in the next section.

Meet the Minimum Language Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate their proficiency in English or French by scoring a minimum of CLB 5 or NCLC 5 on an approved language exam. They can score more points on their Selection Factors if their score is higher.

Offer Proof of Funds

Applicants must also demonstrate that they possess enough funds to settle in Canada. These funds should cover living expenses for them and any dependents that will be coming to Canada with them.

The minimum funds required for different family sizes is shown below.

Total Family Members Coming to Canada

Funds Needed (CAD)















Each additional member


The amounts mentioned above change each year. Please contact Elaar Immigration to learn about the most up-to-date minimum fund amounts for the Startup Visa program.

Designated Organizations for Canada Start-Up Visa Program

These are the three types of designated organizations that qualify under this program.

Angel Investors

The list of Angel Investors for the Canada Start-Up Visa Program:

Benefits of Canada Startup Visa Program

Application Process for Canada Start-Up Visa Program

The application process for the Canada Startup visa program is straightforward. Applicants must first pitch their business idea to the designated organizations mentioned earlier. They must successfully convince them to support their venture.

If a designated organization chooses to support the startup, it will send a commitment certificate to IRCC and the applicant a letter of support. Once all the eligibility have been met, applicants can complete a Startup Visa application and submit it.

Step 1: Start Application Form for Canada Start-Up Visa Program

  • Get started with the Generic Application Form and start filled it out
  • Complete all required fields on the form before clicking the “Validate” button
  • Include the barcode page in the printed application form once it has been validated
  • The form must be signed and dated

Step 2: Gather All the Documents Mentioned in the Checklist

  • Gather all the documents from [IMM 5760] Document Checklist
  • Place all necessary documents in a sealed envelope
  • Take a printout of the document checklist and sign it
  • Your application should include this document checklist as a cover page

Step 3: Pay Application for Start-Up Visa Program Canada

  • The application fee includes processing fees for you and anyone you include on the application
  • The Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)
  • Fees for third-party services, such as medical exams, police certificates, and language tests
  • Biometrics fees

Step 4: Complete and Submit Your Canada Start-Up Visa Application

  • Complete your application carefully before submitting it.
  • Ensure that you have signed all documents.
  • Pay your processing fees and submit your application with receipts.
  • Include all required documentation

Place all paperwork in a 9×12 inches envelope, label it “startup visa,” and send it to the specified location.

Processing Times: Canada Start-Up Visa Program

Processing times for Canada Startup Visas vary between 12 to 16 months. Note that securing a commitment certificate and a letter of support can take several months on its own. Applicants should plan their settlement in Canada with these processing times in mind.


Advantages of the Start-Up Visa Program

– A straightforward route to Canadian permanent residence.
– All nationalities are welcome.
– Business operations are unrestricted in Canada.
– Permits five people to form a partnership in the same start-up, with a minimum 10% ownership requirement for each partner; and Provides a work visa to allow relocation to Canada while the application for permanent residency is being processed.

Qualifying for Work Permits

Applicants that have entered Canada and are awaiting their application decision can work if they possess a work permit. These work permits are vital for foreign entrepreneurs to start working in their startup business quickly.

Canada immigration provide short-term work permits for such applicants if they possess a commitment certificate from a designated organization. In addition to this, applicants must pay an employer compliance fee and intend to live in a province or territory outside Quebec.

How ELAAR can help you?

Qualified immigration consultants such as ELAAR can assess applications for the Canada Startup Visa Program and ensure the various requirements are met. Our team of professionals is led by Keshav Sharma, a regulated Canadian immigration consultant who possesses extensive business management and immigration experience.

Our experts can assess business proposals and offer expert guidance to improve the likelihood of receiving support from a designated organization as well as the entire application process until the final decision is rendered. Please get in touch with ELAAR Immigration to learn more about the Start-Up Visa Canada application process and its other eligibility requirements


FAQ: Canada Start-Up Visa Programme


Who is eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program?

Eligibility for the Start-Up Visa Program requires:

A qualifying business idea supported by a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.
A commitment from one of these designated organizations to support and invest in the business.
Sufficient proficiency in English or French.
The ability to support oneself and any dependents.

How do I apply for the Start-Up Visa Program?

The application process involves several steps:

Secure a commitment from a designated organization in Canada to support your business idea.
Complete the application forms accurately and submit the required documents.
Meet health and security requirements.

Is there a starting capital need to be eligible for the Start-Up Visa Programme?

The government hasn’t established a minimum investment requirement. Nonetheless, candidates need to obtain an endorsement from an approved Canadian institution, usually entailing a monetary contribution or backing for the enterprise concept.

Is it possible for my family to travel with me on a Start-Up Visa?

Indeed, individuals who are granted permanent residency under the Start-Up Visa Programme may include their dependent children and immediate family members, such as spouses or common-law partners, in their application.

What advantages does the Start-Up Visa Programme offer?

Through the programme, one can access Canadian markets and resources, establish and grow a business in a supportive atmosphere, and possibly even become a permanent resident of Canada.

How much time does it take to review an application for a start-up visa?

Applications for Start-Up Visas might take a variety of dates to process, but usually several months. A few examples of the variables that may impact the time include the number of applications received and the thoroughness of the application.

Apply for Start-Up Visa Canada

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