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Introduction to the Startup Visa Program in Canada

The Startup Visa Program in Canada is designed to attract innovative entrepreneurs from around the world, offering them the opportunity to establish new businesses that can compete on a global scale. Launched as a permanent program in 2018, it aims to harness international talent and link them with Canadian private sector organizations that have experience in working with startups.

Key Benefits of the Startup Visa Program

The program offers several advantages for entrepreneurs:

  1. Permanent Residency: Successful applicants receive Canadian permanent residency, providing them with the opportunity to live and work in Canada.

  2. Access to Investors: It connects entrepreneurs with private sector investors in Canada who can provide valuable funding and mentorship.

  3. Support Systems: Entrepreneurs gain access to business advice and services to help scale their operations internationally.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Startup Visa Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a Qualifying Business: A qualifying business means the applicant holds at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation and, together with the designated organization, they hold more than 50% of the voting rights.

  2. Get Support from a Designated Organization: Entrepreneurs must secure a commitment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.

  3. Meet Language Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English or French at a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 5 in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

  4. Bring Sufficient Settlement Funds: Entrepreneurs must prove they have enough money to support themselves and their dependents after they arrive in Canada. The amount varies depending on the size of the family.

Step-by-Step Process to Apply for the Startup Visa

Step 1: Secure a Commitment from a Designated Organization

Entrepreneurs must first pitch their business idea to a designated organization, which can be a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator authorized by the program. If the organization is interested, they will provide a Letter of Support.

Step 2: Complete the Application Package

Applicants need to complete the application package, which includes several forms and documents demonstrating their business idea, ownership details, personal information, and proof of meeting language and financial requirements.

Step 3: Pay the Application Fees

The application fees include processing fees for the principal applicant and any dependents, as well as the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF).

Step 4: Submit the Application

Applications can be submitted online or by mail. It is crucial to ensure that all the required documentation is complete and accurately filled out to avoid delays.

Step 5: Attend Interviews and Provide Biometrics

After reviewing the application, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may require interviews or further documentation. Applicants will also need to provide biometrics.

Step 6: Receive the Decision

IRCC will make a decision based on the submitted application and supporting documents. If approved, the applicant will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a visa (if applicable).

Step 7: Prepare for Arrival in Canada

Once approved, entrepreneurs should prepare for their move to Canada. This includes arranging for health insurance, understanding Canadian laws, and planning their travel.


The Startup Visa Program is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Canada and benefit from its strong economic environment and access to global markets. By following the outlined steps and meeting all requirements, ambitious entrepreneurs can embark on a successful journey to establish and grow their business in Canada.

239 views3 comments


Thanks for the insights, till point#7, there is no PR. Please share the steps post arrival till obtaining PR


I have a good business ideas according our business experience I can explain it with feasibilities according international markets

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