Start-up Visa Program

If you have the skills, enterprise and entreprenurial spirit to start a business in Canada, you may qualify for permanent residence in Canada under the Start-up Visa Program. This program is targeted at individuals who want to establish a startup in Canada which:

  • can grow to compete in the global marketplace
  • will create jobs for Canadian worker
  • is innovative

Who can apply for the Start-up Visa Program?

In order to qualify for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:

  • be applying either as an individual entrepreneur, or as part of a group no larger than five owners
  • hold at least 10% of the voting rights in your business, and at least 50% of the voting rights when yours are combined with those of your co-applicants and sponsoring organization
  • have received a letter of support from a ‘designated organization’ authorized by Canadian authorities to sponsor start-up visa applicants
  • demonstrate that you have sufficient English or French language skills by gaining at least Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in a language test administered by a government-approved agency
  • demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any accompanying family members when you move to Canada. Specifically:
    • CAD $14,690 for yourself
    • CAD $18,288 for yourself and one family member
    • CAD $22,483 for yourself and two family members
    • CAD $27,297 for yourself and three family members
    • CAD $30,690 for yourself and four family members
    • CAD $34,917 for yourself and five family members
    • CAD $38,875 for yourself and six family members
    • Plus CAD $3,958 for any additional family members in excess of six

What does the Start-up Visa Program offer?

If accepted onto the Start-up Visa Program, you will be given the right to live and work in Canada on a permanent basis. Permanent residents in Canada get access to a social insurance number, public healthcare, and the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada.

Once permanent residence has been granted, it will last indefinitely providing that you continue to live in Canada for a minimum of 730 days in any five year period.

How do I apply for the Start-up Visa Program?

Applications for the Start-up Visa Program can be submitted online, with fees starting at CAD$2,385. When you apply, you will need to provide a letter of sponsorship from a designated organization, so you should ensure you secure this well in advance of when you would like to apply.

Applications for the Start-up Visa Program are currently taking around 38 months to process, and there is a cap of ten group applications per designated organisization.

If you are awaiting the outcome of an application for permanent residence under this program, you may be able to secure a temporary work permit to allow you to start or continue building your business in Canada.

Kunal Thakur

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant R#519955

Kunal Thakur is a passionate Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) with close to two decades of immigration experience, during which he has successfully guided thousands of people on their immigration journey. He is quick in responding to client queries and constantly strives to give his clients the best possible advice. Kunal brings immense value to our team with his talks and discourses on immigration. When not in front of his laptop reading and analysing client cases, he enjoys spending his spare time exploring new places and trying new things. Kunal is currently based in Adelaide, Australia. You can book a time with him here.

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