Table of Contents

The Canadian Start-Up Visa program initially started as a five-year pilot scheme. Coming about as a response to the US Start-Up Visa Act of 2011, the program’s initiative was to attract innovative entrepreneurs who would otherwise have landed across the border in the US. In April 2013, the program replaced Canada’s existing Entrepreneur Class Visa. In its infancy, the program only attracted a handful of immigrants, although was still hailed as a success. One of the program’s architects, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney spoke at Stanford University, in the heart of Silicon Valley about the potential opportunities the program presented. South of the border, the United States stringent requirements meant lengthy processing times with temporary visas, investment capital, and proven net worth all stipulations of their program. Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) remains virtually restriction-free, requiring only proficiency in English or French, a minimum of one year of post-secondary education, and an innovative idea. With the unconditional permanent residency status available for successful applicants immediately, the program certainly outshines the US proposition. There are no provincial restrictions to Canada’s SUV, allowing settlement anywhere in the country. Additionally, rather than making an investment, venture capital firms and angel investors are waiting to invest in the applicant’s prospective business model.

Guide to Canada Startup Visa

By removing the red tape from the process to date, the program is held responsible for over two hundred successful start-ups. Included among them is the Apply Board. Founded in 2015 by Iranian brothers Meti, Martin, and MassiBasiri, the application brings together students, academic institutions, and recruitment partners in one platform. Here more than 200,000 students have found assistance applying to educational institutions worldwide. With 900 employees, 27 investors, and being named by Deloitte as one of Canada’s fastest-growing businesses, ApplyBoard is the perfect example of the program’s success. As the Canadian start-up visa program further evolves, the government now allows applicants who attain certain skills but perhaps not an innovative business idea, to be grouped under founders with an innovative idea and thereby contribute to the start-up and obtain a visa. Of course, many more success stories can be directly attributed to the program which was made permanent in 2018. Toronto has now established itself as one of the top 5 tech talent markets in North America. With the drive to attract more FinTech, EdTech, Healthcare Tech, and aerospace innovators continuing through programs such as the SUV, it will undoubtedly continue for many years to come. Along with Canada’s excellent ecosystem, stable economy, highly rated living standards, and diverse population, the program offers a great opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs. Canada, in return, reaps the benefits of innovative businesses and corporations settling throughout its provinces and boosts job markets and economic growth across the nation. Visit our programs section to learn more about opportunities to immigrate to Canada.

What are the required documents for Canada Startup Visa Program

The required documents for the Canada Startup Visa Program typically include a commitment certificate from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator, along with other standard immigration documents such as a valid passport, language proficiency test results, and proof of financial support. Please reach out to us for the latest information.

Starting a business as an immigrant in Canada: challenges and opportunities

Starting a business as an immigrant in Canada offers both challenges and opportunities. While adapting to the regulatory landscape, understanding the local market, and accessing funding can be daunting, Canada’s inclusive environment and diverse economy foster innovation. Language and cultural barriers may pose initial difficulties, but government programs, business incubators, and community organizations provide support. Networking, joining industry associations, and seeking mentorship are crucial for success. Overall, with determination and strategic engagement, immigrant entrepreneurs can leverage Canada’s supportive ecosystem to thrive in their business ventures.

What is a designated organization for the Start-up Visa Program?

A designated organization refers to an entity that has been approved by the Canadian government to participate in certain immigration programs. Specifically, this term is often associated with the Canada Startup Visa Program. Under this program, applicants must secure the support of a designated organization to be eligible for the visa.

Designated organizations include venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubators that have been authorized by the Canadian government to invest in or support qualifying startup businesses. These organizations play a crucial role in the program by assessing and selecting innovative and high-potential startup ventures for immigration purposes.

Applicants to the Canada Startup Visa Program need to receive a commitment from one of these designated organizations, demonstrating their potential to contribute to the Canadian economy through entrepreneurship. It’s essential to check the current list of designated organizations on the official Canadian immigration website, as it may be subject to updates and changes.

The stages of the Canada Startup Visa Program

The Canadian Startup Visa Program involves several stages:

Commitment from a Designated Organization: Entrepreneurs must secure a commitment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.

Application Submission: Once the commitment is obtained, applicants submit their business proposal and other required documents to the immigration authorities.

Processing and Approval: The immigration authorities assess the business proposal, verifying its viability and potential contribution to the Canadian economy. If approved, the applicant receives a letter of support.

Permanent Residence Application: With the support letter, entrepreneurs can apply for permanent residence through the Canada Startup Visa Program.

Health and Security Checks: Successful applicants undergo standard health and security screenings.

Issuance of Permanent Residence Visa: Upon successful completion of the process, including health and security checks, applicants are granted permanent residence in Canada


To get a letter of support for the Canada Startup Visa, secure commitment from a designated organization, submit a complete application, undergo assessment, and, if approved, receive the letter of support. This letter is essential for applying for permanent residence and citizenship through the Startup Visa Program.

The startup visa for Canada can help achieve business goals by providing access to funding and support from designated organizations, facilitating entry into the Canadian market, fostering a diverse and innovative business environment, and offering a pathway to permanent residence and citizenship for entrepreneurs and their families.

During a Canada Startup Visa interview, applicants can expect questions about their business plan, the designated organization’s commitment, the financial aspects of the startup, their role in the business, and their plans for contributing to the Canadian economy. The interview aims to assess the viability and legitimacy of the proposed startup, as well as the entrepreneur’s ability to fulfill the requirements of the program.

Applying for Canada Startup Visa permanent residency offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to establish and grow their startups in a diverse and thriving business environment. It provides access to funding and support from designated organizations, facilitates integration into the Canadian market, and, importantly, offers a pathway to permanent residence for the entrepreneur and their family, enabling long-term stability and participation in Canada’s vibrant business landscape.

Leave a Reply