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Start-up Immigration visa program

If you are an entrepreneur with an innovative business idea, you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the start-up visa program. 

Canada is looking for talented entrepreneurs that are interested in starting businesses that will stimulate the Canadian economy while creating employment opportunities for its residents.

What is start-up visa?

Canada’s start-up visa program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to immigrate to Canada in order to establish a new business. Immigrant entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their business is innovative, will create new jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.

What are the requirements for Canada's start-up visa?

Have a qualifying business:

  • You must hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
  • Together with the designated organization, you must hold at least 50% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company

Have a letter of support from a designated organization:

  • You need to demonstrate that you have the support of a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator
  • In order to do this, you must pitch your business idea and convince the organization that it is worth supporting
  • The process of pitching your business idea will be different for each organization
  • If your pitch is successful, you will receive a letter of support from the organization which must be included in your start-up visa application

Meet the language requirements:

  • You must take a language test from an approved agency and show that you meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

Proof of funds:

  • You need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependents once you arrive in Canada. The amount you need depends on the size of your family.