Start Up Visa Program

Eligible to apply Start Up Visa Program

  • Before you can apply for the Start-up Visa Program, you must have the support of a designated organization. These are business groups that have been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups. If a designated organization decides to support your business, it will give you a Letter of Support.
  • Up to five people can apply for the Start-up Visa Program as owners of a single business. However, to meet the ownership requirements:
    • each applicant must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business and
    • the designated organization and the applicants must jointly hold more than 50 per cent of the voting rights in the business.
  • The ability to communicate and work in English, French, or both will help your business succeed in Canada. You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:
    • Speaking
    • Reading
    • Listening
    • Writing
  • The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new Start-up Visa immigrants. You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependents after you arrive in Canada. You will need to give proof that you have the money when you apply. The amount you will need depends on the size of your family. We update these amounts every year.
  • You must secure a minimum investment of $200,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or $75,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group. In case you are working with a designated Canadian incubator, you must have sufficient funds to establish and operate the business.