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The Canada Start-Up Visa program is intended for immigrant entrepreneurs from around the world who have the capability of building a business that is innovative, globally competitive and can create jobs for Canadians. This business immigration program helps these immigrant entrepreneurs come to Canada by awarding them a Permanent Residency to satisfy all the program requirements. While waiting for their Permanent Residency, applicants can receive a temporary work permit to come to Canada and start developing the business. 

What is the eligibility criteria of the Start-Up program?


The main four points eligibility criteria of this program are:

1. Meeting the language proficiency requirements
2. Bringing in enough settlement funds to Canada
3. Obtaining a letter of support from – “A Designated Organization”
4. Building a Qualifying Business

Meeting the language proficiency requirements

You must give at least one of the approved language tests, i.e. IELTS, CELPIP-G, TEF Canada or TCF Canada and score a minimum of CLB 5 in all four bands.


Bringing in enough settlement funds to Canada

You must show sufficient funds for yourself and your dependents to settle in Canada. The exact required amount would depend on the family size. 

Obtaining a Letter of Support (LoS) from – “A Designated Organization”

A “Designated Organization” is an approved business group that can invest or support potential start-ups through the start-up visa program. You would have to convince at least one of these Designated Organizations to fund your business idea. Each type of Designated Organization has specific minimum investment requirements, and they are divided into three categories: 

Designated Canadian Organizations

Minimum Investment Requirement:

Venture Capital Funds: $200,000

Angel Investor Groups: $75,000

Business Incubators:  No minimum investment security is required.

Once you can convince at least one of these organizations by contacting them and getting your business idea approved, you must obtain a letter of support from them. This “Letter of Support” must be included in your application. This letter, along with a commitment certificate provided by the Designated Organization, will be used to assess your Start-Up Visa application.

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Building a Qualifying Business

The created business should meet these conditions to be termed as a “Qualifying Business”:

  • When getting a commitment from the designated organization, every applicant should hold a minimum of 10% of the corporation’s voting rights at that time. The designated organization and the applicant should have more than 50% of the voting right jointly.

  • When receiving your permanent residence, you should be actively managing the business from inside Canada. The business should also be incorporated in Canada, and you must be an essential part of its operations.

Meeting all four of these requirements can make you eligible to apply under this program..


To learn about or to apply for the Start-Up Visa Program:
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