Free Assessment

Start Up Visa Program

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to established businesses in Canada that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale. Canada offers attractive benefits with the combination of a very strong economy, low taxes, low business costs, excellence in research and innovation and a high quality of life.

While waiting for their permanent residence, foreign entrepreneurs who have applied to the Start-up Visa Program are eligible for a temporary work permit, allowing them to travel to Canada to launch their business. This program helps immigrant entrepreneurs to establish businesses in Canada by allowing foreign business owners and their families to apply for permanent resident status.

Start-Up Visa Requirements

To be eligible for Canada’s Start-up Visa Program, Applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Provide a letter confirming that your business has backing from a Canadian Investor/ designated organization
  • Secure the minimum required investment from the designated organization/investor
    • Venture capital fund – minimum $CAN 200,000
    • Angel investor – minimum $CAN 75,000
    • Business incubator – no minimum investment requirement
  • Have a minimum level of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 5 in language skills, i.e., speaking, listening, writing, and reading (either French or English)
  • Must have completed at least one year of study at a post-secondary institution
  • Prove that you are capable of financially supporting yourself and your dependants once you’re in Canada
  • Have a qualifying business
  • Meet the admissibility requirements

Letter of Support and Commitment Certificate

Applicants must have received a letter of support from a designated investor organization. In order to receive a letter of support, the applicant must convince a designated venture capital fund or angel investor group to invest in his or her proposed business.  The letter of support must be sent to CIC with an application form as proof that a specific angel investor group or venture capital fund supports the business idea.

Investment Requirement

Applicants must secure an investment of at least $200,000 CAD if the investment is from a designated venture capital fund or a secure a minimum of $75,000 CAD if the investment is from a designated angel investor group. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money for this Canadian immigration program, if they are accepted into a Canadian business incubator program

Prove that your have a qualifying business.

In order to secure permanent residence through the Start-up Visa Program, applicants must incorporate their business in Canada with entire operation taking place in Canada through the active management of the foreign entrepreneurs.

While up to five people can be the owners of a single business when Applicant apply for a Canadian entrepreneur visa,

  • Each applicant must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business, and
  • The designated organization and the applicants must jointly hold more than 50 percent of the voting rights in the business.

Language Requirement

The applicant must be able to communicate and work in English and/or French. Applicants must provide Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada proof of your language proficiency, and must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in speaking, reading, listening and writing in either English or French.

Canadian immigration authorities currently accept English test results from the following test providers:

  • IELTS (General test)
  • CELPIP (General test)

Test results from either of these two French tests may also be submitted:

  • TEF
  • TCF

Education Requirement

The applicant must have completed a minimum of one year of study at a post-secondary institution. The applicant must also be able to provide proof that he or she was in good standing for at least one year while attending a post-secondary institution. Applicants can provide transcripts, certificates, diplomas or degrees as proof for this requirement.

Sufficient Settlement Funds

The applicant must have sufficient settlements funds to support themselves and their family once they immigrate to Canada. The amount of money required depends on the number of family members that will be accompanying the applicant.

Be aware that applicant must tell a Canadian official when you arrive if you are carrying more than CAN $10,000. If you are and you do not tell an official, you can be fined, and your funds seized.

Security and Medical Clearances

As with all Canadian immigration programs, the applicant and accompanying members of the family must undergo a security clearance and a medical examination to determine whether or not they pose a security threat or have a health condition that would place an excessive burden on the Canadian health care system.

Start-Up Visa Processing Time

Applications for start-up visas are processed within 12-16 months. During the waiting period, applicants are eligible to acquire a temporary work permit and work in Canada.

How We Can Help

Manuleaf Immigration will navigate you through complex corporate and immigration laws. Our business intelligence experts can help you prepare business plans and expansion strategies to guide your new business to profitability by ensuring that you and your key foreign employees obtain authorization to work and develop your business in Canada

Let us help you bring your business into Canada by assisting you in your whole application process. Our partnership with experts in the business industry and financial sectors enables us to provide entrepreneurs with the best strategies to successfully gain Start-up Visas.