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Canada Immigration - Start-up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa program helps immigrant entrepreneurs establish themselves in Canada while granting them permanent residency.

The initiative promotes immigrant entrepreneurs in Canada to expand their businesses. Successful candidates are connected with private sector groups in Canada, where they can get funding, support, and experience for the establishment and operation of their business.

Click here for Canada's Federal Self-Employed Persons Program 

quick facts

  • Processing time: 12-16 months

  • Processing fee $85-$255. 

  • Minimum funds from a Canadian  investor: $75000.

  • Minimum stake in business: 10%.

  • Minimum language requirement: CLB 5.

What is Start-up Visa Program?


Canada's Start-up Visa Program is geared toward immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and ability to establish enterprises that:

are innovative, can generate employment for Canadians, and can compete globally. The Start-up Visa Program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to immigrate to Canada in order to establish a new business.

What are the eligibility requirements for Start-up Visa Program?

The objective of this initiative is to recruit innovative entrepreneurs from abroad who will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth.

In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a qualifying business supported by a designated organization in Canada and that it meets ownership requirements.

  2. Meet minimal English or French language standards (CLB 5 in all abilities)

  3. Show adequate proof of funds for settlement in Canada. Check LICO table below.

  4. Intend to settle in a province besides Quebec

  5. Comply with Canadian security and medical requirements


No more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.

Number of Applicants
Minimum proof of Funds
1 (single applicant)
Each additional family member
  • Venture Capital Funds
    7 Gate Ventures Arete Pacific Tech Ventures (VCC) Corp BCF Ventures BDC Venture Capital Celtic House Venture Partners Extreme Venture Partners LLP First Fund Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP iNovia Capital Inc. Intrinsic Venture Capital Lumira Ventures Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation (o/a Innovacorp) PRIVEQ Capital Funds Real Ventures Red Leaf Capital Corp Relay Ventures ScaleUp Venture Partners, Inc. Tangentia Ventures Top Renergy Inc. Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership Version One Ventures WhiteHaven Venture Westcap Management Ltd. Yaletown Venture Partners Inc. York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund
  • Angel Investor Groups
    Canadian International Angel Investors Ekagrata Inc. Golden Triangle Angel Network Keiretsu Forum Canada Oak Mason Investments Inc. TenX Angel Investors Inc. VANTEC Angel Network Inc. York Angel Investors Inc.
  • Business Incubator Organizations
    Alacrity Foundation Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator Food Processing Development Centre Alberta IoT Association Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator) Brilliant Catalyst Creative Destruction Lab DMZ Ventures Empowered Startups Ltd. Extreme Innovations Genesis Centre Highline BETA Inc. Innovacorp Innovation Cluster - Peterborough and the Kawarthas Innovation Factory Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara Invest Ottawa Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch L-SPARK LatAm Startups Launch Academy - Vancouver LaunchPad PEI Inc. Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship NEXT Canada North Forge East Ltd. North Forge Technology Exchange Pacific Technology Ventures Platform Calgary Pycap Inc (o/a Pycap Venture Partners) Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel Roseview Global Incubator Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre Spring Activator The DMZ at Ryerson University Think8 Global Institute Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) Treefrog TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada) University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery VIATEC Waterloo Accelerator Centre York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

Steps to apply for Start-up Visa Program in Canada


  1. Fill out the application form:

  2. Complete the document checklist

  3. Pay your application fees

  4. Submit your application

Put all documents in a 9” x 12” envelope, write ‘start-up visa’ on the outside of the envelope, and mail to the appropriate address

Need help in applying for Start-up Visa? Hire an authorized paid representative.

IMMERGITY Immigration Consultant are very experienced with the application process and can help you navigate the system. We will also provide valuable insights and tips on how to increase your chances of success. Get in touch now.

If you're thinking of hiring a representative, be sure to check that they're authorized by IRCC. You can verify our credentials by clicking here.

Hiring a representative is not required, but it can be helpful, especially if you're not familiar with the application process. If you decide to hire a representative, be sure to choose someone who you trust and who you feel comfortable working with.

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