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Canada Start-up Visa Program Immigration Route

Canada start-up visa program is a special immigration program set up by the government to encourage investors, entrepreneurs and venture capital groups to migrate to Canada for the purpose of doing business. Migrating to Canada as not been more easier than it is now, with a wide array of opportunities provided by the Canadian government for foreign nationals who might want to move to Canada for one reason or the other.

Canada as a destination of choice and ranked high as one of the best countries in the world with a premium living condition is opened to all nationalities with the right skill set, qualification and experience to come and explore the economy, community, culture, lifestyle and privileges Canada is got to offer. Canada as a country is keen on bringing the right kind of people who are able to add or contribute to the growing economy and improve the lifestyle that is already established.

It is with this vision in mind that the business category of visas was created, this is to encourage already established businesses seeking expansion into the Canadian economy easy access as long as they are able to meet the stipulated requirements, it also provides an avenue for business start – ups to gain access into a thriving economy where their business ideas, innovations and small enterprises can fly with ease.

Canada provides all the necessary optimum environment which is able to make your business succeed; vis – a – vis; a stable government with sound economic policies, assistance from business incubators, venture capitalists and angel investors who are designated by government to assist qualified start – ups who meet their required criteria, a business friendly environment, a community of like minded business oriented professionals and enthusiasts. One of such business visa is the start -up visa.

What is Canada Start-up Visa Program?

The startup visa program is one of Canada’s primary business immigration pathways created to encourage business persons, entrepreneurs and innovators entry into Canada. This program is meant to boost the local economy in the area where such businesses will be located and to provide employment opportunities to the Canadian labor market.

The start up visa program gives you the opportunity to migrate to Canada by starting and owing a business in any part of Canada, on qualifying and obtaining the startup visa, the entrepreneur is granted a permanent residence permit.

The program connects entrepreneurs and startups with designated private business investor organizations such as; angels investors, business incubators and venture capitalists whose support enables the startup to kick off smoothly financial wise.

Canada startup visa program focuses on immigrants and foreign nationals who are skilled entrepreneurs and are able to build businesses that will contribute significantly to the Canadian economy. The program focuses on innovation, job creation, and global competitiveness.

List of Designated Start-up Visa Organizations

If you have innovative ideas and / or a good business startup you can get support from any of these designated investor organizations and fulfill your dreams to move to Canada.

Venture Capital Funds

You must get at least one of these groups to agree to invest a minimum of $200,000:

Canada Start-up Visa Companies
  • 7 Gate Ventures
  • Arete Pacific Tech Ventures (VCC) Corp
  • BCF Ventures
  • BDC Venture Capital
  • Celtic House Venture Partners
  • Extreme Venture Partners LLP
  • Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP
  • iNovia Capital Inc.
  • Intrinsic Venture Capital
  • Lumira Ventures
  • Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation (o/a Innovacorp)
  • PRIVEQ Capital Funds
  • Real Ventures
  • Relay Ventures
  • ScaleUp Venture Partners, Inc.
  • Top Renergy Inc.
  • Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
  • Version One Ventures
  • Westcap Management Ltd.
  • Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.
  • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund

Angel Investor Groups

You must get one or more investors connected to these groups to agree to invest a minimum of $75,000:

Canada Angel Investor Groups
  • Canadian International Angel Investors
  • Ekagrata Inc.
  • Golden Triangle Angel Network
  • Keiretsu Forum Canada
  • Oak Mason Investments Inc.
  • Southeastern Ontario Angel Network
  • TenX Angel Investors Inc.
  • VANTEC Angel Network Inc.
  • York Angel Investors Inc.

Business Incubators Visa

You must be accepted into one of these programs:

Canada Business Incubators
  • Alacrity Foundation
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
  • Food Processing Development Centre
  • Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
  • Creative Destruction Lab
  • Empowered Startups Ltd.
  • Extreme Innovations
  • Genesis Centre
  • Highline BETA Inc.
  • Innovacorp
  • Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas
  • Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
  • LatAm Startups
  • Launch Academy – Vancouver
  • LaunchPad PEI Inc.
  • Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
  • NEXT Canada
  • North Forge East Ltd.
  • North Forge Technology Exchange
  • Platform Calgary
  • Pycap Inc (o/a Pycap Venture Partners)
  • Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
  • Ryerson Futures Inc.
  • Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
  • Spring Activator
  • The DMZ at Ryerson University
  • Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
  • TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
  • University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery
  • VIATEC
  • Waterloo Accelerator Centre
  • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

What is the Canada Start-Up Visa Requirements?

Canada startup visa requirements is segmented into three parts, these are; business requirements, personal requirements and financial requirements. Once any of the designated sponsoring organizations has accepted to work with you, prior to this, you must also meet the eligibility standard. The eligibility requirements are:

  • You must have a qualifying business idea or startup.
  • Have enough sufficient funds for your settlement and those of your dependents.
  • Obtain a commitment certificate and a letter of support from a designated support organizations.
  • Proof of language proficiency of either English or French through the recognized Canadian language test.

Startup Visa Financial Requirements

Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
Each additional family member $3,492

To be eligible to apply and receive the startup Visa, you must be able to show proof that you are capable of financially handle your living expenses and those of any number of dependents that may be accompanying you. the list above shows the amount of funds that is required of you to make this happen as the Canadian government those not offer financial assistance to settling immigrants.

Startup Visa Business Requirements

  • The business must have been able to secure and show proof that it has secured enough funds to the tune of atleast $75,000 from a designated angel investor organization or group.
  • Show proof of investment commitment from a venture capitalist organization or group to the tune of atleast $200,000.
  • The business as been accepted into the business incubator program by a business incubator organization or group.
  • The entrepreneur owns atleast 10% of the voting rights in the company.
  • No one else owns more than 50% of the total amounts of voting rights in the company.
  • The intended business must be incorporated in Canada
  • The major business operations must be done in Canada
  • The entrepreneur must be part of the management of the company.

Startup Visa Personal Requirement

  • A language proficiency test must be accomplished as a proof of ability to effectively communicate, a minimum benchmark of 5 marks for speaking, listening, reading and writing in either English or French.

How to apply for Start-up visa

  • Determine the application package you desire; get the application form. complete the document checklist
  • Pay the application fees
  • Submit your application

Inclusive in the process is the capturing and filing of biometrics. you must pay for the biometric before you submit your application, otherwise you may experience delays in your processing. The biometric fees covers the cost of collecting your fingerprints and digital photo capture.

Third party fees may also come as part of your requirements depending on certain occasions; these are

  • Medical reports
  • Police reports or certificates
  • and proof of language test

To ensure your application is complete and all in order, you must;

  • Answer all questions required of you
  • Sign every application and forms you ought to
  • Pay your processing fees and attach copies of the receipt to your application
  • Ensure to include all supporting documents.

Should all these necessary steps not be met; your application will be returned back to you. all errors must be fixed, then you can resubmit.

For any further queries or instructions on how to apply and the steps to follows, visit CIC start-up visa website:

Canada Startup Visa Processing Time and Fees

The current processing time for the start up visa is between 12 and 16 months and the processing fees is $2, 075

Obtaining a Permanent Residence from a Startup Visa

Entrepreneurs and applicants who already have secured a commitment certificate from a designated investor and who wish to start working before their permanent residence is approved can apply for a temporary work permit with their commitment certificate from the supporting investor organization. To receive a work permit, the entrepreneur or business owner must provide a letter of support from the designated investor and provide evidence of financial sufficiency that he or she is able to meet the needs of the family atleast for one year.

To receive a permanent residency however, the following criteria must be met:

  • The business must be incorporated in Canada
  • The entrepreneur must be actively involved in the running and management of the business within Canada
  • Canada must be the place of its significant operation activities.

Current and Projected Migration Statistics to Canada

The post Covid-19 immigration for 2021 is listed below as per the rate of entry to Canada and the percentage contributions of the immigrant countries to the pool of Canadian immigrant statistics.

  • 100,568 new permanent residents from India;
  • 35,538 immigrants from China;
  • 32,688 from the Philippines;
  • 14,805 from Nigeria;
  • 12,684 from Pakistan;
  • 12,667 from the United States;
  • 11,891 from Syria;
  • 8,260 from Eritrea;
  • 7,173 from South Korea, and;
  • 7,115 from Iran in the same year.

In the five years that ended in 2019, immigration from India, the greatest source of new permanent residents to Canada, skyrocketed, growing by almost 117.6 per cent from 39,340 in 2015 to 85,590.

In October, the government of Canada announced that it would open the way for 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023. Earlier statement before the pandemic, the previous plan was a targets of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.

Note: Canada’s Start – up program does not include the province of Quebec, thus any startup application choosing to settle in the province of Quebec may not be approved.