Start-Up Visa Program (SUV) Canada

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Canada offers a unique immigration program known as the Start-Up Visa Program for 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. This guide will examine the eligibility requirements and the application process for the Canada Startup Visa Program.

What is Startup Visa Program?

The Startup Visa Program is a unique immigration pathway that caters to The Government of Canada encourages such startups 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).

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the Canada Startup Visa program, Indian entrepreneurs must meet the following eligibility requirements:

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 a 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. These are:

Venture Capital funds

The minimum investment requirement for Venture Capital Funds is $200,000 CAD. Some Venture Capital Funds recognized as designated organizations include:

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 get in touch with Elaar Immigration to learn about the most up-to-date minimum fund amounts for the Startup Visa program.

Step-by-Step Application Process

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, they 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.

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Processing Times

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.

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

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