Immigrate to Canada



The Start Up Visa (SUV) program is an immigration pathway designed to recruit talented entrepreneurs. So, if you have an innovative idea and are looking to launch a business in Canada, this is the best way for you to become a permanent resident.


The Start-Up Visa program was designed to create more job opportunities for Canadians and help boost local economies.


To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa program, an entrepreneur must have a letter of support and commitment certificate from a designated organization.


This means you have to show that you have the support of an angel investor, business incubator, and venture capital fund. As such, you’ll have to keep pitching your business idea until you’re successful and get a commitment certificate and letter of support to support your visa application.


Moreover, there are some specific numbers you need to achieve. You need to secure at least $75,000 from a Canadian angel investor and at least $200,000 from one or more Canadian venture capital funds that are recognized by the government. Also, you need to be accepted into a Canadian business incubator.


Qualifying businesses


You must have at least 10% of the company shares’ voting rights. Also, you and the designated organization must hold at least 50% of the company shares’ voting rights.


Be proficient in English or French


To support your visa application, you’re going to have to prove that you’re proficient in either English or French. So you’re going to have to take a test from an approved agency and get at least a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 in writing, listening, speaking, and reading English/French.


Have enough funds


To be eligible for a Start-Up Visa, you’ll have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you move to Canada. The exact amount of money you’ll need will depend on the size of your family – the more family members you have, the more money you’ll need. Another thing you have to keep in mind is that the funds you need to be easily available and transferable.


What are the designated organizations in Canada?


Angel investors


  • VANTEC Angel Network Inc.
  • Ekagrata Inc.
  • Southeastern Ontario Angel Network
  • Golden Triangle Angel Network
  • Canadian International Angel Investors
  • TenX Angel Investors Inc.
  • York Angel Investors Inc.
  • Oak Mason Investment Inc.
  • Keiretsu Forum Canada


Venture Capital Funds


  • Relay Ventures
  • Version One Ventures
  • Real Ventures
  • Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation
  • Top Renergy Inc.
  • 7 Gate Ventures
  • Impression Ventures
  • BDC Venture Capital
  • Lumira Ventures
  • Extreme Venture Partners LLP
  • BCF Ventures
  • Celtic House Venture Partners
  • Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP
  • iNovia Capital Inc.
  • Innovation Platform Capital International LP
  • Pangaea Ventures Ltd.
  • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute VC Fund
  • Westcap Management Ltd.
  • ScaleUp Venture Partners Inc.
  • Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
  • Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.
  • PRIVEQ Capital Funds


Business Incubators


  • Creative Destruction Lab
  • Extreme Innovations
  • Empowered Startups Ltd.
  • Genesis Center
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Highline BETA Inc.
  • Platform Calgary
  • The DMZ at Ryerson University
  • Ryerson Futures Inc.
  • Spring Activator
  • Spark Commercialization and Innovation Center
  • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute
  • Waterloo Accelerator Center
  • Toronto Business Development Center
  • TSRV Canada
  • North Forge Technology Exchange
  • NEXT Canada
  • Innovacorp
  • Millworks Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Interactive Niagara Media Cluster
  • Launchpad PEI Inc.
  • Knowledge Park
  • Launch Academy
  • LatAm Startups
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Alacrity Foundation
  • Biomedical Commercialization Canada


The first thing you need to do when applying for this program is to fill out the Generic Application Form for Canada. Once you’re done, click the validate button on the form to ensure that you’ve filled all the required fields. Afterward, print the form, ensuring that the barcode is included. Finally, sign and date the form.


Once you’re done with your application form, it’s time to check the document checklist and gather all the documents listed in it – arrange them in the order listed. Afterward, put all these documents in a sealed envelope, print the checklist, and sign it. This checklist will serve as the cover page of your application. 


The fees you’ll have to pay for your Start-Up Visa application include:


  • Processing fees for you and family members included in your application
  • Right of permanent residence fees
  • Biometrics fees
  • Fees for language testing, police certificates, and medical exams


Submit your application and all supporting documents


After ensuring that your application is complete and signed, include your receipts with your documents and place them in a 9” by 12” envelope. Once you’re done, write “start-up visa” on the outside of the envelope and mail it to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


How long does the Canada start up visa take?


If you have a viable business idea, it usually takes 4 to 6 months to get a letter of support or commitment certificate from a designated organization. And once you apply for your start-up visa, it takes 12 to 16 months to be processed.


Can more than one entrepreneur apply for a Start-Up Visa under the same business?


There can be more than one visa application under the same business. But in such cases, the designated organization can make their commitment conditional upon one or more “essential people” obtaining permanent residence. These are people who the designated organization deemed essential to the running of the business.


If the permanent residence application of an essential person is rejected, those of all the other people included in the commitment certificate will also be rejected. It doesn’t matter what the reason for the rejection is.


What if the start-up fails?


If your start-up fails after you have settled in Canada, don’t worry – you will still retain your status as a permanent resident.