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— ENTREPRENEURS —

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 CIC’s standard admissibility criteria, including health, criminality and security. CIC may request an independent peer review to ensure that due diligence was performed by the designated organization that issued your Letter of Support.

To be eligible to receive a Start-up Visa, you must:

Prove your business is supported by a designated organization

Before you can apply for a Start-up Visa, you must have the support of a designated organization. If a designated organization decides to support your business, it will provide you with 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 eligibility requirements below, your application will be refused.

  • Provide you with best legal and consulting options
  • Be upfront and truthful if your application has shortcomings
  • Respect your time
  • Keep our commitments
  • Promptly reply to your email and phone calls
  • Regularly communicate to you the progress made on your cases

Show that your business meets the ownership requirements

Up to five people can apply for a Start-up Visa 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 percent 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 agency approved by CIC and include the results with your application for your application to be processed. 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 do not meet the minimum language skills, your application will be refused.

Bring sufficient settlement funds

The Government of Canada does not provide 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 provide proof that you have the money when you submit your application. The amount you will need depends on the size of your family. These amounts are updated every year.