Canada’s start-up visa program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to immigrate to Canada in order to establish a new business. Immigrant entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their business is innovative, will create new jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.
What are the requirements for Canada's start-up visa?
There are four requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible for a Canadian start-up visa:
Have a qualifying business:
You must hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
Together with the designated organization, you must hold at least 50% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
Have a letter of support from a designated organization:
You need to demonstrate that you have the support of a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator
In order to do this, you must pitch your business idea and convince the organization that it is worth supporting
The process of pitching your business idea will be different for each organization
If your pitch is successful, you will receive a letter of support from the organization which must be included in your start-up visa application
Meet the language requirements:
You must take a language test from an approved agency and show that you meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.
Proof of funds:
You need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependents once you arrive in Canada. The amount you need depends on the size of your family.
(in Canadian dollars)
For each additional family member
Designated organizations for start-up visa
As part of the eligibility requirements, you will need to provide proof (Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support) that your business is in fact supported by a designated organization. These documents will cover the relevant details of your arrangement with one or multiple designated organizations, and are paramount to your startup visa application.Unlike federal and provincial investor programs, where applicants must invest their own capital, no investment of their own funds will be required.
Instead, those who meet the eligibility requirements must secure a minimum of $75,000 from a Canadian angel investor, or a minimum of $200,000 from a Canadian venture capital fund recognized by the government of Canada.If the applicant is accepted into a recognized Canadian business incubator, no investment capital is required.
The current processing time for the start-up visa is between 12 and 16 months.
Business Immigration Assessment
If you are an entrepreneur or an investor, we can help you immigrate to Canada. Simply complete our free assessment for business immigration and a business associate of Attorney Dery will review your eligibility and contact you to discuss your options.