Federal Start-Up Visa program
About The Program

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program offers Canadian permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs. It is officially known as the Canada Start Up Class. But it is largely referred to as the Start-Up Visa program (SUV).The program targets innovative entrepreneurs and links them with private sector investors in Canada who will help establish their start-up business.Candidates can initially come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canada-based investor, before qualifying for permanent residence once their business is up and running

Eligibility Requirements

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

Have a letter of support from a designated organization

  • 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.
Start-Up Visa Program Designated Entity

The required commitment must meet the following criteria:

  • A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups totalling $75,000.
  • A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000.
  • A designated business incubator must accept the applicant into its business incubator program.
Business Ownership Requirements
  • The intended business must be incorporated and carrying on business in Canada.
  • The candidate must own at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the corporation.
  • No other person can hold 50 percent or more of the voting rights in the corporation.
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