Are you a start-up looking to immigrate to Canada? Through the start-up visa program, a start-up with up to 5 teams members, along with their immediate family members can immigrate to Canada. Get in touch for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

There are four basic requirements i.e.
1) You must have created a business alone or with your co-founders that meets the following requirements:
i) At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:
Each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners) AND Applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time.
ii) At the time you receive your permanent residence:
you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada, an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada, this business is incorporated in Canada.
2) You must have a letter of support from a Designated Organization i.e. Venture capital funds, Angel investor groups or
Business incubators that have been designated by IRCC.
3) You must meet the min language requirement of CLB 5, e.g. for IELTs you must score 4 in Reading and 5 in Listening, Speaking and Writing.
4) You must have the required settlement funds based on your family size e.g. for a single applicant $12,960, for applicant and their spouse $16,135, so on.

For the start-up visa program, what is the minimum investment required from Venture Capital firms?

At least $200,000.

For the start-up visa program, what is the minimum investment required from Angel Investor Groups?

At least $75,000.

Which Business Incubators are designated for the federal start-up visa program?

Alacrity Foundation
Alberta Agriculture and ForestryAgrivalue Processing Business Incubator
Food Processing Development Centre
Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
Creative Destruction Lab
Empowered Startups Ltd.
Extreme Innovations
Genesis Centre
Highline BETA Inc.
Innovacorp
Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
Invest Ottawa
Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
LatAm Startups
Launch Academy – Vancouver
LaunchPad PEI Inc.
Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
NEXT Canada
North Forge Technology Exchange
Platform Calgary
Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
Ryerson Futures Inc.
Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
Spring Activator
The DMZ at Ryerson University
Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
VIATEC
Waterloo Accelerator Centre
York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

How do I apply for the start-up visa program?

The first step is get a letter of support from a designated organization i.e. A venture capital firm, an angel investor group or a business incubator that have been designated by IRCC. You must pitch your business idea to a designated organization and convince it to support your start-up company. Once a designated organization decides to support your business, it will send IRCC a commitment certificate and give you a letter of support.

What type of designated organization is best for the start-up visa program?

That depends on your goals, for example, if you need investment for your business, it would be better to get support from a venture capital fund or an angel investor group, since they need to make a sizable investment in your business for you to qualify i.e. $200,000 for a venture capital firm and $75,000 for an angel investor group.
If you need knowledge, connections and similar support for your business, you should try to be accepted into a designated Canadian business incubator program. But this can get very competitive.

What IELTs score do I need for the federal start-up visa program?

You need to score CLB 5 in the language exam. For IELTs it means a minimum of 4 in Reading and 5 in Listening, Speaking and Writing. For CELPIP, it means a minimum of 5 in all the four modules.

How much money do I need to bring to Canada for the start-up visa program?

That depends on your family size, as per the table below:
Number of family members and Funds required(in Canadian dollars)
1 >= $12,960
2 >= $16,135
3 >= $19,836
4 >= $24,083
5 >= $27,315
6 >= $30,806
7 >= $34,299
For each additional family member $3,492

How many co-founders or team member can immigrate to Canada through the start-up visa program?

Up to 5 people can immigration through the Start-up Visa Program as owners of a single business. All 5 member can include their dependent family members too.
The designated organization decides who is essential or non-essential to the business. If the application of an essential person is refused, all related applicants will be refused.

What is the minimum investment or net worth required for a start-up visa program?

There is no minimum personal net worth or no minimum personal investment required for the start-up visa program. But you must secure and investment from an angel investor group, a venture capital fund or support from a business incubator.

Can I get PR if my start-up business fails?

Your PR is not affected if your start-up business fails, since there is inherent risk in every business.