Who can apply

You can apply for the Start-up Visa Program as an individual or as part of a group of up to 5 owners. Either way, you need to meet certain requirements:

Have a qualifying business

To qualify under this program:

  • each applicant must hold 10% or more of the total voting rights
  • applicants and the designated organization together must hold more than 50% of the total voting rights

If your application is successful, you need to

  • incorporate your business in Canada
  • provide active and ongoing management of your business from inside Canada
  • make sure an essential part of business operations happens in Canada

Get a letter of support from a designated organization

Designated organizations are business groups that have been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups.

You’ll need to

  • contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support
  • convince the organization you have a business worth supporting
  • get a letter of support from the designated organization

The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to us. This is an immigration document used to evaluate your application.

Work in Canada while we review your application

While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business.

Meet the language requirements

You need to take achieve Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in listening, reading, writing and speaking (English or French) to qualify for an SUV.

Your results need to be from a language test done by an approved agency.

Bring enough money to settle

The Government of Canada won’t support you financially as a start-up visa immigrant.

When you apply, you’ll need proof that you have the money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You can’t borrow this money from another person.

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

Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $13,757
2 $17,127
3 $21,055
4 $25,564
5 $28,994
6 $32,700
7 $36,407
If more than 7 people, for each additional family member $3,706

How much money should you bring?

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

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

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