Start-up Visa

Last Updated: 28 April 2022

The Start-up Visa Program in Canada seeks immigrant entrepreneurs who have the skills and potential to establish businesses in Canada that:

  • are creative
  • can lead to the creation of new jobs for Canadians
  • are capable of competing on a global scale

Do you have a novel business concept? If one of the designated organisations supports your idea, you may be able to immigrate to Canada permanently.

How Canada’s Start-up Visa Program Works

Qualifying Criteria

  • Have an IELTS English level with a minimum score of 5 (CLB 5)
  • Have at least a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Has prior management experience in a technology-related business. Managers in well-known technology firms are also excellent candidates.
  • Possess strong entrepreneurial abilities.
  • Have an innovative idea for a product or service and want to start a business in Canada and can backup that idea with a detailed business plan with projections of revenue, cost, etc.
  • Have enough money to settle down with you and your family while you try and run your new venture.
  • Willing to Immigrate anywhere in Canada except the province of Quebec

The first step is to apply to a designated organization to get a Letter of Support. A designated organization is a business group that has been approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), to invest in or support possible start-ups. You cannot just signup with any organization.

Each organization has its own process for pitching its idea. Every organization has its own set of requirements. You may be asked to present your business concept in person or to submit a detailed business plan, for example.

Once you have the Letter of Support, then you will be given a Commitment Certificate and one copy will be sent to IRCC.

You can then apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to immigrate to Canada, along with your spouse and children under 22 years old.