The Start-Up Visa program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada.
In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:
- Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
- Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
- Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec;
- Pass Canadian security and medical clearances;
- Prove your business is supported through a designated organization; and
- Show your business meets ownership requirements.
No more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.
The program involves a four-step process:
- The applicant must pitch a business plan to more than 50 Canadian entities designated by the government to participate in the program, including venture capital funds, angel investor groups, as well as Canadian business incubators programs.
- To qualify for PR under the program, the applicant must secure at least $200,000 from venture capital funds or $75,000 from angel investors. Startups supported and financed by business incubator programs are exempt from the minimum funding requirement.
- Once the entities decide to fund the project, they are required to issue a letter of support to the applicant and submit a commitment letter to the authorities. The applicant is required to submit the letter of support obtained from the Canadian entity to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
- IRCC assesses the application on various parameters including:
- Fulfillment of the minimum funding requirements
- Whether applicant has submitted proof of funds to support self and dependent family members when setting up the business in Canada.