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Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is designed to attract individuals who have the skills and potential to establish businesses in Canada:

  • Are innovative

  • Can create jobs for Canadians

  • Can compete on a global scale


If the entrepreneur is able to get support for their start-up idea from any of the organizations that is approved by the Canadian government to invest, they can immigrate to Canada.

There are various benefits of establishing your business in Canada that include:

  • A strong economy

  • Low taxes

  • Low business costs


Who can apply

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:


Have a qualifying business

A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.

  • At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:

    • each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)


  • applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time

  • At the time you receive your permanent residence:

    • you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada

    • an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada

    • this business is incorporated in Canada


Get a letter of support from a designated organization

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.


Did you know?

While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business. See work permits for start-up visa applicants.

Meet the language requirements

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.

Bring enough money to settle

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 dependents after you arrive in Canada. You can’t borrow this money from another person.

How We Can Help

At GVS Immigration Services we are dedicated to providing you with a successful outcome when you’re looking to migrate into Canada as an entrepreneur. With our years of experience, we have acquired what it takes to navigate the intricate IRCC system.

Let us help you bring your business into Canada by assisting you in your whole application process. Our partnership with experts in the business industry and financial sectors enables us to provide entrepreneurs with the best strategies to successfully gain Start-up Visas.

Contact us to learn more about the Start-up Visa Program and how we can help you through your application process.

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