STARTUP Immigration

Startup business immigration requirements

To qualify for a Start-up business visa, applicants must meet the required criteria. They are as follows:
portfolio (1)

Have a qualifying business

Have a letter of support from a designated organization

Have to meet language requirements

piggy-bank (2)

Have enough amount of funds to settle and start the business in Canada before earning from a start-up business

Have a qualifying business

Entrepreneur applicants must have established a business in which each immigrant holds at least 10 percent of the voting rights attached to all of the corporation’s shares in order for it to be considered a qualifying business. As owners, a group of up to five newcomers may apply. Additionally, more than half of the total voting rights must be held jointly by the applicants and the designated organization.

Through the Start-up Visa Program, applicants who want to obtain permanent residency must make sure that their company is incorporated in Canada and that the foreign entrepreneurs actively manage its core operations there.

Foreign business owners must obtain the support of a designated organization that will help the company grow in Canada before submitting an application to the Start-up Visa Program.

Have a letter of support from a designated organization

Prior to submitting an application for the Start-up Visa Program, foreign business owners must obtain the support of a designated organization that will help the company grow in Canada.

There are 3 categories of designated organizations

  1. Designated angel investor group
  2. Designated Venture capital funds
  3. Designated business incubators
What is Designated Entity?
An organization that the Minister has approved to receive commitments under the Start-up Business program, such as an angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator.
What is Commitment?
An agreement to start and incorporate a qualified business in Canada is referred to as a “commitment” between the applicant and the designated entity. The designated entity must be on the list of private sector businesses that have been specifically designated. A term sheet or client agreement will be provided as documentation and details of this agreement and will be submitted with the Commitment Certificate for processing.
Who is a Qualified Participant?
A person who has received a permanent residency permit after applying under the Start-up Business category, joining a designated angel investor group, or contributing to a designated venture capital fund.
Who is the Essential Person?
A person listed on the commitment certificate and Letter of Support as being essential to the business and who has been designated as such by the designated angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator. All applications related to that commitment will also be rejected if the application for an essential person is rejected for any reason.
What is a Commitment Certificate?
IRCC must receive a commitment along with the term sheet/client agreement electronically from the designated angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator.

Designated angel investor group

A designated angel investor group confirming that it is investing at least $75,000 in a qualifying business or two or more designated angel investor groups confirming that they are together investing a total of at least $75,000 in such a business; In short you must persuade one or more investors associated with these organizations to put down a minimum of $75,000.

The list of angel investor groups:

Designated Venture capital funds

A designated venture capital fund confirming its investment of at least $200,000 in a qualifying company, or two or more designated venture capital funds confirming their combined investment in the company of at least $200,000.

The list of angel investor groups:

Designated business incubators

A designated business incubator confirming that it is accepting the applicant into its business incubator program.

You must be accepted into one of these programs:

Language requirements

All candidates for the Start-up Visa Program must exhibit fluency in either English or French, the official languages of Canada. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5 or higher in order to be accepted into the program. When applying, the test results must be no older than two years.

Canadian immigration authorities accept English test results from the following test providers


  • IELTS (general test)
  • CELPIP (general test)


  • TEF
  • TCF

Settlement funds

Business immigrants are not given financial assistance by the Canadian government.
Additionally, you must demonstrate that you will be able to support yourself and your family once you arrive in Canada. The funds must be accessible to cover your family’s and your own living expenses. It is an estimate of how much money you would need to live on if you didn’t have a job or any other source of income. The money must:

The money must:

  • available and transferable
  • free of debts or other obligations

Letter(s) must: