Start-up Canada Visa Program

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:

  • Are innovative
  • Can create jobs for Canadians
  • Can compete on a global scale

About the process

  • Fees from $2,140 CAD, (effective from April 30, 2022)
  • Processing time – 32 months

Eligibilities and requirements

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:

More details below. Please read through this page to help yourself understand.

Have a qualifying business

A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.

  • At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization make sure:
    1. Each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)
    2. Applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
  • While you receive your permanent residence, you need to make sure of the following:
    1. You provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
    2. An essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
    3. The business is incorporated in Canada

Support from a designated organization

You must get a letter of support from a designated organization (a business group that has been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups).

You'll need to:

  • Contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support
  • Convince the organization that you have a business idea that is worth supporting
  • Get a letter of support from the designated organization


Important: While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business.

Meet the language requirements

The ability to communicate and work in English, French or both languages will help your business succeed in Canada.

You must take a language test that include the results with your application, otherwise your application will not go through. 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

Bring enough money to settle

The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new start-up visa immigrants.

When you apply, you’ll need to proof that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You can’t borrow this money from another person. The amount you need depends on the size of your family. Here is an idea:

Number of
family members

Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)















For each additional family member