Practical Guide to the Start-up Visa Program

Feb 14, 2018Immigration

Is the Start – up visa program something for you? Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that are innovative; can create jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale. Find out all you need to know about this program here!

Why Canada

If you have an innovative business idea, Canada is the perfect place to make sure your idea grows into a successful business and fulfils your business dreams. There are many reasons why people choose to develop their ideas in Canada. Not only is it a great country to live in and migrate to, but Canadian businesses benefit from the following:

  • A strong and growing economy. Canada’s economy is the perfect marketplace to grow your business and support it.
  • Low taxes. When compared to other strong economic countries, Canada has one of the lowest tax rates when it comes to businesses.
  • Low business costs. Aside from low taxes, Canada ranks among the most competitive when it comes to labour costs, facility costs, utility costs and transportation costs.
  • Excellence in research and innovation. Canada is known to harbour a technologically advanced population that is constant in its new advancements.
  • A high quality of life. Enjoy all the joys of residing in Canada, from the diverse and friendly population, to the free and accessible health care.

Who can Apply Under the Start – up Visa Program?

In order to qualify for the Start- up Visa Program, applicants must meet a few requirements.

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. Find all the designated organizations here.

Ownership Requirements

Up to five people can apply for the Start-up Visa Program as owners of a single business. However, to meet the ownership requirements each applicant must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business and the designated organization and the applicants must jointly hold more than 50 per cent of the voting rights in the business.

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. Applicants must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening and writing.


Applicants must 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 dependents after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person and will need to give proof that you have the money when you apply.


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