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Immigrate to Canada if you have an innovative business idea


Canada is one of the top countries in the world with robust immigration programs and policies. Immigration is one of the ways through which the government supports the population and economic growth. This write-up focuses on the Start-up Visa under the Canada Business Immigration Program.


What is the Canada Start-Up Visa Program?

The Canada Start-Up Visa program is a program designed to attract foreign entrepreneurs to create new companies that can contribute to economic development in Canada.


The program provides a pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, create employment opportunities for Canadians, and compete globally to become permanent residents. Under this program, up to five co-founders and their family members can immigrate to Canada if they meet all the eligibility requirements.


How do I qualify for the  Start-Up Visa program?

The Canadian Start-up Visa program requires foreign entrepreneurs who intend to apply for the program to meet certain eligibility requirements which are:


1.     Have a qualifying business: To have a qualifying business, you must incorporate your business in Canada. Each applicant must hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company and together with a designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights associated with the shares of the company.


2.     Obtain a letter of support from designated organizations: To be eligible to apply under this program, the applicant(s) must obtain a letter of support from one of the designated organizations. A foreign entrepreneur must be able to present their innovative business ideas to the designated organization in a convincing manner to be able to get the needed support. These designated organizations are divided into three categories:

a.     The Venture Capital Funds: An applicant must secure funding of at least $200,000 (CAD).

b.     The Angel Investor Groups:  An applicant must secure funding of at least $75,000 (CAD).

c.     The Business Incubators: There is no minimum investment amount for business incubators, but the entrepreneur must be accepted into the business incubation program.

3. Language Requirements: One of the basic requirements for a Canada Visa Start-Up program is proficiency in either English and/or French. For candidates to prove language proficiency, they must write a language test from accepted agencies and meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 language proficiency in writing, reading, speaking, and listening.

4. Adequate Settlement Funds:  An applicant under this program must provide proof of settlement funds to support themselves and their dependant. The required fund is dependent on an applicant’s family size. The minimum amount for each family size is determined by the government.

5. Admissibility requirements: In addition to the above requirements, an applicant must also meet the admissibility requirements. Applicants must be medically admissible to Canada, a medical examination with a designated panel physician will be required.  Also, the applicant must not be criminally inadmissible to Canada, an applicant will be required to obtain a police clearance certificate.

Temporary Work Permit

Under the Start-Up Visa Program, applicants can apply for Temporary Work Permit before submitting their Start-Up Visa application once they have obtained a certificate of commitment and letter of support from the designated organization if they are essential to the business. However, applicants must submit their application for permanent residence within 6 months of obtaining the commitment certificate from the designated organization.

Need Professional Help?

To learn more about the program and how to incorporate your business in Canada, get professional guidance from Discovery Law Firm. At Discovery Law Firm, we offer Canadian Immigration, Business and Real Estate legal services. To book your consultation, email: or phone +1 289 206 9160.


Disclaimer: This information should not be taken as legal advice. Contact us to speak with a Lawyer.

Reference: Immigrate with a Start-Up Visa 

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