Updated: July 4th, 2024

Start-Up Visa

The Canadian government is embracing start-up businesses as part of its initiative to expand and support its growing economy. This type of business visa allows entrepreneurs and their family members to immigrate to Canada and receive permanent residence status. It also requires the sponsorship of a designated entity, which will set up the necessary funds for the business.

This visa automatically grants the business owner and their family members permanent residence, and they can become eligible for Canadian citizenship after 3 years.

The Program’s Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this business visa, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a qualifying business where they have more than 10% of the total voting rights. With the designated entity, they must have over 50% of the total voting rights combined.
  • Receive a commitment from a designated entity, such as an angel investor, venture capital fund, or business incubator. The minimum investment amount for an angel investor is $75,000, whereas a venture capital fund’s minimum investment amount is $200,000.
  • A minimum of level 5 on their language proficiency test at an approved agency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in either English or French.
  • Produce proof of sufficient funds as a guarantee that they will be able to support themselves and their family’s move on a start-up visa.

A Few Words About The Process

Processing for this visa type usually takes between 12 to 16 months, and requests must generally be submitted online unless exceptional circumstances apply. Startup business owners must provide the Canadian government with all necessary documents, including a police clearance certificate and a medical exam report. Depending on the type of business, additional documents may also be required.


What is the pool?
To be included in the pool you must qualify for one of the specific immigration programs listed under Express Entry. You must also score a minimum of 67 points on your immigration profile. Points are awarded for educational and professional qualifications, work experience, age, language ability, and more. The Canadian government selects the most suitable candidates from the pool and issues them with an official invitation (known as ITA) to become Canadian residents.
How many points do I need to get selected?
The Express Entry system uses what it called the Comprehensive Ranking System, a formula that takes into account your education, skills and experience, those of your husband/wife or partner, and whether you have a specific job offer. These factors go to build up your score out of a possible maximum of 1200. As mentioned, the higher the points you score, the greater the possibility to be selected from the pool.
How long does it take to move to Canada?
The idea of starting a new life in Canada is very exciting. But please be prepared that getting selected for an immigration program takes time. This is why the Express Entry program is extremely popular - the Canadian government aims to select candidates within 6 months. Time may significantly vary between immigration programs; the individual process of each program, government policies, the complexity of your case, and more, may affect the time it would take you to move to Canada.
Are there any goverment fees?
Like many other countries worldwide the Canadian government charges fees for the processing of immigration entries. Depending on the specific program you entered, the size and age of your family, and more – you may need a few hundred to several thousand Canadian dollars. Please note that all government fees are non-refundable. This is one of many reasons you should prepare well for your immigration process, gain as much knowledge as you can, and if possible, seek help from professionals in this field.

Learn more about Start-Up Visa

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