Start-up visa Program

To Be Eligible

  • A commitment of support from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, business incubator or angel investor group.

  • An ability to communicate in either French or English

  • An adequate amount of money in order to settle and provide for the cost of living prior to earning an income.

The ability to communicate and work in English, French or both languages 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 won’t 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:

  • speaking

  • reading

  • listening

  • writing

Use your test results to find your CLB level.

If you don’t meet the minimum language skills, we’ll refuse your application

You must get a letter of support from a designated organization (a business group that has been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups).

You’ll need to:

  • contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support

  • convince the organization that you have a business idea that is worth supporting

  • get a letter of support from the designated organization

The process to pitch your idea is different for each organization. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.

If you reach an agreement with a designated organization, it will send you a letter of support. You need to include this letter when you submit your application to us. This is the proof you need to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting your business idea.

The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to us. We’ll use both your letter of support and the organization's commitment certificate to assess your application. Please note, we may ask you for more business information in order to take a final decision on your application.

If you don’t include the letter of support or meet any of the other requirements, we’ll refuse your application.

The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new start-up visa immigrants.

When you apply, you’ll need to give proof that you have the money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You can’t borrow this money from another person.

The amount you need depends on the size of your family. We update these amounts every year