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Federal Start-up visa

This program is intended for individuals with innovative business ideas that will help improve Canada’s economy through creating jobs for Canadian citizens and competing on a global scale.
Eligible candidates are supported by one of the following designated organizations:
Eligibility Requirements
Basic Requirements:
  • Obtain the support of a designated organization.
  • Meet the ownership requirements for a qualifying business:
The applicant should 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.
  • Ability to communicate in either English or French.
  • Have enough money to support yourself and your dependants while settling in Canada.

Additional requirement under the Business incubator program: The applicant should possess entrepreneurial characteristics to be accepted.
The required support from designated organizations must meet the following criteria:
  • A designated angel investor group must approve to invest a minimum of $75,000 CAD into the qualifying business; OR
  • A designated venture capital fund must approve to invest a minimum of $200,000 CAD into the qualifying business; OR
  • A designated business incubator must prove that it is accepting the applicant into its business incubator Program, without the need to secure any investment.

Program Benefits
  • Permanent residency is granted to the investor and their immediate family (a dependent child must be under 19 years old, allowing the family to share the same status.
  • As a permanent resident the candidate has the right to :
  1. Get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage,
  2. Live, work or study anywhere in Canada,
  3. Apply for Canadian citizenship (if requirements are met),
  4. Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Are there any restrictions as a permanent resident?
Permanent residents are not allowed to:
  • Vote or run for political office,
  • Hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.
Application Process

When the applicant obtains a Letter of Support from a designated organization, the application must be prepared along with required documents and sent to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for processing. Once approved, the applicant is granted  Canadian permanent residency.

Frequently Asked Questions for Start-up visa program

1. Do I need to have a certain personal net worth to apply for this program?
This program does not require you to have a specific minimum net worth, however you will have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependents while in Canada.

2. Under this program am I free to choose to live anywhere in Canada?
Yes, when you apply for this program you can live in any province in Canada, except Quebec.

3. What will happen if my business fails?
You won’t bear any burden and your permanent residence status will not be affected, as the risk is shared between the public and private sector.

4. Can my entrepreneur partner join me under this program as well?
Yes, a letter of support from a designated organization can include 5 persons. However, if you are the essential person in the application and your application was refused, all related applicants will be refused as well.

For more information, please fill out our Free Assessment and find out if you qualify.