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Federal Programs

The Complete Guide: Canada's Startup Visa (SUV)


Published   01:47 PM 25 April 2021
Updated    02:22 PM 21 December 2021

The Complete Guide: Canada's Startup Visa (SUV)

Canada’s Start-up visa program (SUV) is a government-sponsored business immigration program that encourages entrepreneurs, business people and investors to move their businesses to Canada with the intention to make Canada a center for startups. As the Canadian economy continues to experience a constant period of economic development, the Start-up Visa Program (SUV) is one of several business immigration initiatives designed to support gifted and innovative foreigners find a home in the Canadian economy.


Canada’s start-up visa program (SUV) gives entrepreneurs, investors and business people the chance to immigrate to Canada in order to start a new business. Immigrant entrepreneurs and business people should prove that their business is innovative, will generate new jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.

Canada Startup visa (SUV) program is perfect for entrepreneurs and business people with an existing business that is equipped to expand into the North American market and investors who are keen on investing and providing mentorship to these businesses in return for an ownership stake.

There are somefactsthat must be noted in order to understand the Canadian start-up visa (SUV) program (SUV):

  • A maximum of five (5) shareholders can migrate to Canada as part of a Startup.
  • Each migrating shareholder should own at least 10% of the total equity of the Startup.
  • The Startup must be approved by one of the designated organizations assessed by the Canadian government.
  • The Startup should be a legit business with actual operations in Canada and the shareholders should have appropriate backgrounds.
  • Each migrating shareholder should take a language test from an approved agency and show that she / he meets the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.
  • Each migrating shareholder needs to show that she/he has enough money to support herself/himself and any dependents once she / he arrives in Canada. The amount she / he needs depends on the size of the family.
  • There is a 12 – 16 month waiting period for approval of Canadian PR through this program.
Designated organizations for start-up visa (SUV)

As part of the eligibility requirements, each migrating shareholder will need to provide proof (Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support) that the business is in fact supported by a designated organization . These documents will cover the relevant details of the arrangement with one or multiple designated organizations, and are paramount to the startup visa (SUV) application. Unlike federal and provincial investor programs, where applicants must invest their own capital, no investment of their own funds will be required.

Instead, those who meet the eligibility requirements must secure a minimum of CAD $75,000 from a Canadian angel investor, or a minimum of CAD $200,000 from a Canadian venture capital fund recognized by the government of Canada. If the applicant is accepted into a recognized Canadian business incubator, no investment capital is required.


The main applicant’s spouse and children can qualify as dependent family members. The children have to be under the age of 22.

Business Failure:

Participants in this program will be able to keep their Canadian permanent residence even if the business fails.

Language Requirement:

Each migrating shareholder must take a language test from an approved agency to show that she/he meets the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

Settlement Funds:

Applicants will also need to submit proof of funds to show that they have enough money to support themselves and their family members in Canada. The amount each migrating shareholder needs willdepend on the size of the family. As of 2021, the funds required based on the number of family members is as follows. These amounts are updated every year:

Single applicant (one family member) CAD $12,960

2 members CAD $16,135

3 members CAD $19,836

4 members CAD $24,083

5 members CAD $27,315

6 members CAD $30,806

7 members CAD $34,299

Each additional member CAD $3,492

Security and Medical Clearances:

As with all Canadian immigration programs, the applicant and accompanying family members must undergo a security clearance and a medical examination to determine whether they pose a security threat or have a health condition that would place an excessive burden on the Canadian health care system.

How to apply for Canada’s start-up visa (SUV)?

1. Complete the application form:

  • Complete the Generic Application Form for Canada;
  • Click the “Validate” button on the form, and make sure that you have completed all required fields;
  • Print the validated application form, making sure to include the barcode page;
  • Sign and date the form.

2. Complete the document checklist

  • Gather all documents listed in the order stated in the document checklist;
  • Place all required documents in a sealed envelope;
  • Print out the document checklist and sign it;
  • Include the document checklist as the cover page of your Canada’s Start up visa (SUV) application.

3. Pay your application fees

  • Application fees include processing fees for you and anyone included on your application;
  • Right of permanent residence fee;
  • Third-party fees including fees for medical exams, police certificates, and language testing;
  • Biometrics fees:
Type of Applicant Cost
Individual applicants CAD $85
Families applying together Maximum total fee of CAD $170
Groups of 3 or more performing artists and their staff Maximum total fee of CAD $255

4. Submit your application

  • Before submitting your application, ensure that it is complete;
  • Make sure you have signed all forms;
  • Pay your processing fees and include receipts in your application;
  • Include all supporting documents.

Put all documents in a 9” x 12” envelope, write ‘start-up visa (SUV)’ on the outside of the envelope, and mail to the appropriate address

Final thought

If you are thinking of moving to Canada through Permanent Residency through Investment have questions concerning Canada’s business immigration programs, feel free to contact us.

As business immigration specialist, QICMS ( has years of experience in helping our clients attain their immigration dreams by providing inclusive assistance in handling and guiding you through every step of the application process.

QICMS ( is one of the leading companies in the world in acquiring various immigration statuses: permanent residency permits, second citizenship and second passports.

To see our Canada Immigration Programs comparison table, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to see if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered and to receive a free and confidential consultation.

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