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Federal Start-Up visa

Eligibility Requirements


a. Designated organizations

To apply for the Start-up Visa Program, your business idea or venture must get the support of one or more of the Designated organizations:

  • Venture capital funds
  • Angel investor groups
  • Business incubators

Designated organizations are business groups that are approved to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-up Visa Program.

Organizations choose which business proposals to review. Each organization has its own intake process for proposals and criteria used to assess them.

If an organization decides to review your business idea, it’ll assess the potential of your proposal and whether or not it’ll succeed.

If an organization chooses to support your business idea, it’ll give you a Letter of Support, which is a mandatory document.

b. Qualifying business

This Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses (the “Qualifying business” ) in Canada that:

  • are innovative;
  • can create jobs for Canadians;
  • can compete on a global scale.

A Qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions at the time you get a commitment from a Designated organization (Letter of Support):

i) The Qualifying business is incorporated in Canada;

ii) 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);


iii) 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.

c. Management

At the time you receive your permanent residence, you will need:

  • to provide active and ongoing management on the Qualifying business within Canada;
  • be an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada;

d. Other requirements

In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (at least CLB 5 in all abilities);
  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada ($35 000 per year):
  • Prove the business is supported through a Designated organization;
  • Show the Qualifying business meets ownership requirements;
  • Up to five (5) foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program;


The client will receive a participation of 10% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the Qualifying business at that time of his investment.

If the Applicant obtains his own Letter of support for his own business idea, this percentage will be at least 51% and will be specified into an addendum to the present agreement reflecting the terms agreed with the Designated organizations.
Processing time frame (direct application for Permanent residency): 12 to 16 months



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