Canada Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa program offers a permanent residency to immigrant entrepreneurs who are willing to establish their businesses in Canada. The program aims to encourage immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada. Those who are successful in their application are connected with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.

Eligibility Requirements

This program aims to recruit innovative foreign national entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and drive economic growth.

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.

At most five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.

Evidence of Commitment

To prove that the applicant has received support from either a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator, the investor organization must directly submit a completed Commitment Certificate to IRCC. This document contains information about the agreement between the applicant and the investment organization. Its purpose is to summarize the relevant details of the commitment between the investment organization and the applicant.

Moreover, the investment organization will provide a letter of support to the applicant, which the applicant should include with their application for permanent residence. If there are two or more applicants involved in the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization may depend on one or more “essential persons” receiving their permanent residence. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified by the investment organization as essential to the business. If, for any reason, the application of an essential person is refused, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be rejected.

List of Designated Organizations

To meet the requirements of the SUV program, you must obtain a Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support from designated organizations such as Venture Capital Funds, Angel Investor Groups, or Business Incubators. Depending on the organization, you may need to participate in a startup development program or exchange equity in your company for funding. Here is a comprehensive list of the designated organizations.

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