Start-Up Visa Program

Start-Up Visa For Entrepreneurs


What is a Start-Up Visa?

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program was developed to attract foreign entrepreneurs willing to establish fast-growing and innovation-intensive companies in Canada, implement innovative ideas, and create jobs.

Start-Up Visa Program Eligibility

startup visa program

To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program, entrepreneurs must be accepted into the program offered by a corresponding Canadian business incubator.

An entrepreneur interested in participating in a business incubation program offered by a business incubator goes through an application process and a stringent selection by a specialised organisation.

An applicant should submit exhaustive information about their proposed Canadian business venture. The application package must contain a business plan and all other relevant information which will substantiate the viability of the intended Canadian business.

The business that applies for the Canadian Start-Up Visa Program must demonstrate financial and marketing ability to contribute to Canada’s economic development, as well as substantiate market/consumer interest in their products or services.

Are There Language Requirements?

Entrepreneurs applying for a Start-Up Visa must know English or French enough to be able to communicate. Entrepreneurs applying for permanent residence usually need to have pertinent education and experience that can help them to secure success of the proposed business venture.

Applicants under the Start-Up Visa Program may include both individual entrepreneurs and groups of up to 5 entrepreneurs within a single business project.

Do I Qualify for the Start-Up Visa Program? What Are the Requirements?

In order to qualify for Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program, the applicant must do one of the following:

  1. Provide a letter of support from a Canadian investor (business angels, venture investment funds or business incubators);
  2. Meet business ownership requirements;
  3. Score at least 5 points for each language skill: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for either English or French;
  4. Prove availability of sufficient funds to settle and reside in Canada before the business starts bringing profit.

The program has minimum investment requirement (CAD 200,000 for a venture capital fund, and CAD 75,000 for a business angel). The minimum investment requirement does not apply to business incubators.

The application process for the business incubator program starts with a review of the application forms. If the initial review of the application is successful, the applicant is invited for a thorough interview with the specialists of the incubator.

In case of a successful outcome of the interview, the applicant will receive a formal letter of acceptance to the business incubator program.

Our firm has partnered with highly qualified business and financial experts in order to provide high-quality assistance to foreign entrepreneurs with preparation of an application to a Canadian business incubator.

Start-Up Visa Program Services

  1. Evaluation of the proposed Canadian business venture or business idea;
  2. Preparation / review of a business plan;
  3. Assistance in compiling the application package to a business incubator; coaching and formal support for all issues;
  4. Assistance with selection of a business incubator;
  5. Preparation for an interview with the selection committee of a business incubator.

How to Apply for the Start-Up Visa Program

Upon successful interview with the incubator, the applicant is required to complete a two-week training program.

Upon successful graduation from the business incubator education program, the applicant for a Start-Up Visa will go through the following stages:

  1. Applicant receives a Certificate of Completion of the business incubator program;
  2. Applicant receives a support letter from the incubator;
  3. Applications for permanent resident visas are prepared for the whole family of the applicant;
  4. The applicant and their family members receive visas.

Start-Up Visa Processing Time

Once you found out that you are approved for the program and you have applied for a visa, you can find out the waiting time on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Jane Katkova & Associates is an immigration consultant located in Toronto, Ontario.

We are helping dozens of new applicants to process immigration applications every month. If you need assistance, please contact us for a consultation.