Start-Up Visa Immigration Program

The Start-Up Visa program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them with establishing themselves in Canada. The program encourages foreign entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Canada, by providing funding, guidance, and expertise for the opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.


The goal of the Start-Up Visa is to recruit innovative individuals who will contribute to economic growth. This general investor stream allows eligible candidates to immigrate to Canada by starting a business anywhere in the country. Their business will have to meet a set of requirements. Business must be innovative, create jobs for Canadians and be able to compete internationally.

To qualify for a Start-Up Visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • The designated organization must commit to their business;
  • No more than 5 people can apply as owners and each must hold a minimum 10% of the voting rights in relation to all shares of the business;
  • Together with the designated organization, they must hold 50% of the voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the business;
  • Minimum CLB 5 level in all four language abilities in either English or French;
  • Minimum one year completed of post-secondary education, during which the applicant performed well;
  • Sufficient funds to support themselves in Canada;
  • Plan to settle one of the Canadian provinces, except Quebec;
  • Pass Canadian security and medical clearances.

Important: No more than five foreign nationals may apply for a permanent residence in Canada as part of the same business venture, under the Start-Up Visa Program.


Investment details


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) a number of venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubator organizations to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.

To qualify under the Start-Up Visa Program, successful applicants must secure a minimum investment for their Canadian startups. If coming from a designated Canadian venture fund, the investment amount must be at least $200,000. If coming from an angel investor group, it should be at least $ 75,000. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money. In the event that their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, individuals granted permanent residence through this program will retain their permanent resident status.


Form of commitment


To confirm that the applicant has obtained support the investor organization must submit a completed Commitment Certificate directly to IRCC. In addition, the applicant will receive a letter from the investment organization, which the applicant will need to submit along with an application for a permanent residence. If there are two or more applicants as part of the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization can be conditional upon one or more “essential persons” receiving their permanent residence status. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified as essential to the business by the investment organization. If for any reason the application of an essential person is refused, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be refused.

Please note: Since this is a pilot program, the Canadian authorities will only process a maximum of 2,750 applications per year under the Entrepreneur Start-Up. Moreover, the duration of the program is limited to five years.

If this pilot program proves successful, the Canadian Government may choose to establish the Start-Up Visa Program permanently before the end of the five-year period.

If you are considering to start, invest in or purchase a business in Canada, our Solid Visa immigration consultants will assist you in submitting your documentation correctly and on time. Our visa agents will also consult you on the visa options based on your individual profile. 

Contact us today to begin your application process through the Self-employed program.