Canada Startup Visa (SUV) Program

The Canada Start-Up Visa Program aims for foreign entrepreneurs with the skills, business concepts and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada (outside Quebec), increasing economic growth and generating employment there. The SUV Program is a business immigration pathway that allows eligible candidates to receive permanent residency status. The business concepts encompass a wide range of industries, including information technology, healthcare, manufacturing processes, consumer goods and many others.

About Canada Start-Up Visa Program

The Canada Start-Up Visa Program is a direct immigration pathway for innovative foreign entrepreneurs planning to set up a new startup business there. This program was initially launched as a temporary immigration pathway in 2018. However, IRCC later made it a permanent program due to its success.

Three primary factors influence this visa program:

  • A business should be innovative.
  • It must generate employment for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  • A business should have the potential to compete on a global scale.

This program could be an excellent choice for people not qualifying for the Federal Skilled Worker program or the different Business immigration options under the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

Canada Startup Visa Eligibility Requirements

There are primarily four primary requirements for the Canada’s SUV program:

Requirement 1: Possess a qualifying business

Your stake in the running business is at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares.
In a collective term with the designated organization, you must have at least 50% of the voting rights.

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.

Requirement 2: A letter of support from a designated organization

  • First, you must adequately pitch your business concept to a designated organization and get support.
  • This designated organization can be a venture capitalist, an angel investor group or a business incubator.
  • If you are successful in convincing the designated organization (angel investor group, venture capitalists or a business incubator), you will receive a ‘letter of support’ from the organization, which is a mandatory document in your start-up visa 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.

Requirement 3: Pass the language requirement tests

In order to meet the language requirements, you must undergo a language assessment administered by a certified agency to demonstrate proficiency at a minimum of CLB 5 in either English or French across all four areas of speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

Requirement 4: Proof of funds

Upon arrival in Canada, you will need sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents (if any). Therefore, you need to show proof of funds in your application that you can sustain in the country for a specific period.

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

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

Total Family Members Coming to Canada

Funds Needed (CAD)

1

$13,757

2

$17,127

3

$21,055

4

$25,564

5

$28,994

6

$32,700

7

$36,407

Each additional member

$3,706

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.

Canada Start-Up Visa Program Eligibility

Designated Organizations for Canada Start-Up Visa (SUV) Program

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

Venture Capitals

  1. BDC Venture Capital: Focuses on deep tech, industry, cleantech, and health tech.
  2. BrightSpark: Invests in software, mobile, and internet startups at the seed stage.
  3. Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital: Specializes in capital-intensive businesses related to industry and transportation.
  4. Cycle Capital: Primarily invests in cleantech startups at the seed and Series A stages.
  5. Emerald Technology Ventures: Focuses on agri-tech, energy, and cleantech startups at the seed and Series A levels.
  6. Extreme Venture Partners: Invests in technology startups at the seed stage.
  7. Georgian Partners: Concentrates on software startups at Series A and A+ stages.
  8. Golden Ventures: Supports technology startups at the seed stage with investments ranging from $500K to $2M.
  9. iGan Partners: Specializes in healthcare startups at the seed stage.
  10. Inovia Capital: Invests in technology startups at seed, Series A, and A+ stages.
  11. Lumira Ventures: Focuses on biotech, medtech, and healthtech startups at the seed and Series A levels.
  12. Panache Ventures: Invests in technology startups at the seed stage with investments ranging from $250K to $500K.
  13. Pangaea Ventures: Supports advanced materials, energy, and environmental technology companies at the seed stage.
  14. Real Ventures: Invests in technology startups at the seed and Series A levels.
  15. Relay Ventures specializes in mobility, proptech, fintech, and sports tech startups at the seed and Series A stages.
  16. Renewal Funds: Focuses on environment and greentech startups at the seed and Series A levels.
  17. ScaleUp: Invests in technology startups at the seed and Series A stages.
  18. Vanedge Capital: Supports hard tech, analytics, and computational biology startups at the seed and Series A levels.
  19. Versant Ventures: Concentrates on healthcare startups at Series A and A+ stages.
  20. Yaletown Partners: Invests in technology startups at the seed stage with investments ranging from $500K to $2.5M.

Angel Investors

The list of Angel Investors for the Canada Startup Visa (SUV) Program:

  1. Canadian International Angel Investors (CIAI): A group of angel investors supporting early-stage technology companies moving to Canada and facilitating key members’ immigration. Focus areas include financing, management expertise, and networking opportunities.
  2. Ekagrata Inc.: A private investment and holding company committed to building long-term global businesses with leadership positions. Invests across various sectors.
  3. Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN): A not-for-profit organization of accredited investors in the Golden Triangle area (Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and Stratford). GTAN provides financial support, mentorship, and access to capital networks for promising early-stage businesses.
  4. Keiretsu Forum Canada: Part of the largest global angel investor network, connecting entrepreneurs with accredited investors. Keiretsu Forum Canada offers funding opportunities, expert insights, and valuable connections in the Canadian startup ecosystem.
  5. Oak Mason Investments Inc. is an early-stage venture fund that targets global entrepreneurs for the Canadian Startup Visa Program and supports startups’ growth in Canada.
  6. VANTEC Angel Network Inc.: A network connecting entrepreneurs with investors. VANTEC focuses on early-stage investment opportunities and provides mentorship and funding.
  7. York Angel Investors Inc.: An angel investor group based in York Region, Ontario. Invests in early-stage companies and supports entrepreneurs.

Business Incubators

The List of Business Incubators for Startup Visa Canada:

  • Empowered Startups Ltd.
  • Think8 Global Institute
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
    • Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
    • Food Processing Development Centre
  • Bhive
  • Roseview Global Incubator
  • Creative Destruction Lab
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
  • Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre
  • Genesis Centre
  • Niagara Business & Innovation Fund
  • Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas
  • Waterloo Accelerator Centre
  • Highline BETA Inc.
  • Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
  • TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
  • Platform Calgary
  • University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery
  • Pycap
  • Altitude Accelerator
  • Treefrog
  • BDC Venture Capital
  • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute
  • Global Startups Accelerator
  • Extreme Innovations
  • ISM Arts & Culture Ltd
  • Innovate Calgary
  • Invest Nova Scotia
  • The DMZ at Ryerson University
  • North Forge East Ltd.
  • Investment Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas
  • Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
  • Next Canada
  • Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
  • York Angel Investors Inc.
  • Innovation Factory
  • VANTEC Angel Network Inc.
  • Keiretsu Forum Canada
  • Alberta IoT Association
  • Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
  • Intrinsic Innovations
  • DMZ Ventures
  • Spring Activator
  • North Forge Technology Exchange
  • ViATEC
  • Brilliant Catalyst
  • Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
  • Extreme Venture Partners
  • Lumira Ventures

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.

Application Process for Canada Startup Visa

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 IRCC a commitment certificate and the applicant a letter of support. Once all the eligibility requirements have been met, applicants can complete and submit a Startup Visa application.

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.

Applicants who 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 provides short-term work permits for 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.

Processing Times: Canada Start-Up Visa Program

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

Advantages of the Startup Visa Canada

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

Application Fees for Canada Startup Visa Program

To avoid future delays, the right of permanent residence fee (CAN$ 515) should be paid beforehand.

Startup Visa Requirements Fee (CAD)
Principal Applicant (with right of permanent residence fee) $2,140.00
Principal Applicant (without right of permanent residence fee) $1,625.00
Spouse or common-law partner (with right of permanent residence fee) $1,365.00
Spouse or common-law partner (without right of permanent residence fee) $850.00
Dependent Child $230.00 (per child)
Biometrics – per person $85.00
Biometrics – per family (2 or more people) $170.00
Benefits of Canada Startup Visa Program

Qualified immigration consultants such as ELAAR can assess Canada Startup Visa Program applications and ensure the various requirements are met. Keshav Sharma, a regulated Canadian immigration consultant with extensive business management and immigration experience, leads our team of professionals.

Our experts can assess business proposals and offer expert guidance to improve the likelihood of receiving support from a designated organization and 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

 

FAQs: Canada Start-Up Visa Program

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.

What does it mean a ‘Qualifying Business’ in a start-up visa program?

A qualifying business is innovative, has the potential for scalability, is incorporated in Canada, and creates job opportunities for Canadians.

Is there any limitation on the number of applicants accepted under this program?

No, there is no limitation until now. However, it is recommended that you regularly check IRCC’s official website for updates.

Is a starting capital needed to be eligible for the Canada Start-Up Visa Program?

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 long 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 Canada Start-up Visa (SUV) Program

Immigrate to Canada by setting up an innovative start-up through the SUV Program Canada. Start your free assessment.