Start-up Visa Program

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is for immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:

  • are innovative
  • can create jobs for Canadians
  • can compete on a global scale

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 chosen organization. These are business groups that have been approved to invest in or support the 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, your application will be refused.

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 together hold more than 50 per cent of the voting rights in the business.

Meet the language requirements

The ability to communicate and work in English, French, or both will help your business do well in Canada.

You must take a language test from an approved agency either IELTS or TEF and include the results with your application, or IRCC will not process it.

You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in these four areas:

  • speaking
  • reading
  • listening
  • writing

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 dependents after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. You will need to give proof of settlement funds when you apply.

The amount you will need depends on the size of your family. The table given below shows the right amount of settlement funds required for you and your family to settle in Canada.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,475
2 $15,531
3 $19,093
4 $23,181
5 $26,292
6 $29,652
7 $33,014
For each additional family member $3,361

Disclosure of funds

If you are bringing more than CAN $10,000 across the Canadian border, you must tell a Canadian official when you arrive or you  may have to pay a fine, and your funds could be seized. These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash
  • securities that belong to you (such as, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • bankers’ drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques or money orders.



Contact Us to discuss your profile and eligibility.

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