Your application to come to Canada through the Start-up Visa program will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Four requirements must be met. You must :
Have a Letter of Support from a designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator
Meet the ownership requirements for a qualifying business
Get scores of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in all four categories for either English or French, and
Have an adequate amount of money to settle and provide for the cost of living prior to earning an income.
If these requirements are met, your application will be reviewed based on IRCC's standard admissibility criteria, including health, criminality and security. We may request an independent peer review to ensure that due diligence was performed by the designated organization that issued your Letter of Support.
Find out more about these eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:
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.
Show that your business meets the 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.
Note: 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.
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:
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. They update these amounts every year.