Ministerial Instructions 7 (MI7): Start-Up Visa Program

Issued on March 30, 2013, IRCC’s seventh set of Ministerial Instructions (MI7) introduced the Start-Up Visa Program. The Start-Up Visa Program is a pilot program under the Economic Immigration Class which provides entrepreneurs with permanent residency and access to a wide range of business partners. Applicants for the start-up visa require a commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator to support their business idea before applying to IRCC for permanent residence.

The Start-Up Visa Program is the first to be created under section 14.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which allows the Minister to issue instructions to create economic immigration programs that are limited to a duration of five years.

If the program proves successful during the five-year trial period and the Department wishes to maintain it, IRCC will formally introduce the new economic class in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

On October 26, 2013, the Ministerial Instructions were reissued to include business incubators under the program. 

On November 22, 2014, additional revisions were made to the Ministerial Instructions that removed the educational requirement for applicants and added additional designated entities to the program.

On May 23, 2015, additional revisions were made to the Ministerial Instructions that added additional designated entities to the program.

On May 6, 2017, additional revisions were made to the Ministerial Instructions to update the list of designated entities under the program.

On August 19, 2017, additional revisions were made to the Ministerial Instructions to update program provisions and the list of designated entities (with a correction issued on September 16, 2017).

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