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Start Up Visa Program

Targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to start businesses in Canada.

About The Process

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets ​ immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:
  • are innovative
  • can create jobs for Canadians
  • can compete on a global scale

Have a qualifying business idea

A qualifying business idea means you created a business that meets the following conditions:
  • Have a letter of support from a designated organization
  • Applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners). Applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time.
At the time of receiving the permanent residency applicants should provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada and the essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada and of course this business is incorporated in Canada.

Get a letter of support from a designated organization

The business should get a letter of support from a designated organization (a business group that has been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups), through the following process:
  • contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support
  • convince the organization that you have a business idea that is worth supporting
The process to pitch the business idea is different for each organization. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, the partners may be asked to present their business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan. If an agreement is made with a designated organization, they will send the letter of support to business partners. The business partners will need to include this letter to submit their application to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada. This is the proof to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting the business idea. The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada. Both the letter of support and the organization’s commitment certificate will be assessed in the application. Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, may ask for more business information in order to take a final decision on the application. The whole team should also not be inadmissible to Canada by federal government rules.

Leap into a better future by filling the evaluation form today

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