Who can apply to immigrate with a Start-up Visa

Have a qualifying business

A qualifying business means you created a business that meets all of the following criteria:

At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:

  • each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)
  • AND
  • applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time

Voting rights are the right of a business owner to vote within a company. The right to vote is attached to each share of a business that is outstanding at a given time.

At the time you receive your permanent residence:

  • you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
  • an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
  • this business is incorporated in Canada

Prove your business is supported by a designated organization

Before you can apply for the Start-up Visa Program, you must have the support of a designated organization. These are business groups that have been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups.

If a designated organization decides to support your business, it will give you a letter of support.

You must include the letter of support with your application. If you do not include the letter or do not meet any of the requirements below, we will refuse your application.

Meet the language requirements

The ability to communicate and work in English, French, or both will help your business succeed in Canada.

You must take a language test from an approved agency and include the results with your application, or we will not process it.

You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:

  • speaking
  • reading
  • listening
  • writing

Use your test results to find your CLB level.

If you do not meet the minimum language skills, we will refuse your application.

Bring enough money to settle

The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new Start-up Visa immigrants.

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. You will need to give proof that you have the money when you apply.

The amount you will need depends on the size of your family. We update these amounts every year.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,475
2 $15,531
3 $19,093
4 $23,181
5 $26,292
6 $29,652
7 $33,014
For each additional family member $3,361

How much money should you bring?

Find out how much it costs to live where you are planning to settle in Canada.

Bring as much money as possible to make moving to Canada and finding a home easier.

Disclosure of funds

If you are bringing more than CAN $10,000 across the Canadian border, you must tell a Canadian official when you arrive. If you do not, you may be fined, and your funds could be seized. These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash
  • securities that belong to you (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • bankers' drafts, cheques, travellers' cheques or money orders.

Features

Find out if you are eligible

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