Last updated on November 2nd, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions About Startup Visa Canada

Canada Startup Visa Program is a popular residency program that allows qualified entrepreneurs permanent residence in Canada. SUV is the abbreviation for the program. The program’s main purpose is to connect innovative entrepreneurs with Canadian investors who can aid them launch their startups.

Are you interested to learn more? We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding the program in this article. Let’s explore together!

How to check if I’m eligible for the Canada Startup Visa Program?

The first step is to show that you’re meeting all four eligibility requirements. In addition, you must meet the following requirements in order to enter Canada:

Admission Requirements for Canada Startup Visa Program;

  • You have a qualifying business
  • You have been granted a letter of support from a designated organization
  • You meet the language requirements, 
  • You have the financial means to live in Canada before you start making money from your business.

The authorities may reject your application if you are not allowed to enter Canada.

What is the application procedure?

The first step is to talk to a specific organization and convince them to support your startup. If the organization decides to support you, they will send a letter of commitment to the authorities and issue you with a letter of support. Contact the designated organizations to find out what the key requirements are for your support.

How do I get support from a particular organization?

Contact some of the designated organizations. The most important criterion is that you can convince them that your idea and business will be successful. Some organizations may require you to provide a detailed business plan. If the organizations agree to support you, they will send you a letter to confirm their support. This letter of support is important when the authorities consider your application. A venture capital fund, an angel investor group, or a business incubator are defined as designated organizations.

What are the differences between getting support from venture capital funds, angel investor groups, or incubators?

If a venture capital fund or angel investor group supports you, you will receive an investment from them. With incubators, you must first be accepted into a designated Canadian incubator program. However, keep in mind that there are only a limited number of spots available to be accepted into these programs.

Who reviews applications for the Startup Visa Program?

The first authority to review your application is the organization from which you requested assistance. If you are successful in obtaining a letter of support from that organization, your application will be reviewed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. Note that your application may also be subject to an independent peer-review process. This process is designed to ensure that your activities are legal and that the standards of the designated organization are consistent with the rest of the industry.

What type of cover letter should I prepare to receive a letter of support from a particular organization?

There is no standard cover letter because each organization has different requirements. The important thing is that you convince them that your idea is worth supporting. Sometimes a business plan is required or you have to present your idea in person.

Is there a language test for applying for a startup visa?

Yes, there is. You will need to prove that you have achieved Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Make sure you include the language test results with your application forms.

How much money do I need for living expenses when I come to Canada?

This amount depends on how many family members will be accompanying you. Sometimes the designated organizations offer extra money for living expenses. But it is important to note that you may not use the investment money for your living expenses.

Can I immigrate to Canada with a team of entrepreneurs?

Yes, you can. If you are a group of entrepreneurs up to five people, you can apply as the owner of a single business. When the relevant organization reviews your application, they will determine which team member is essential and which is not. If you are applying as a group, note that one key person is essential. The designated organization will not support you if one essential person is missing. Note that if the application of an essential person is rejected, all related applications will also be rejected for Canada Startup Visa program.

Who is an essential person?

An essential person is one who is of vital importance to the business. This person will be defined as indispensable in the letter and certificate of the designated organization.

What is the minimum investment I must make to apply for the Startup Visa program?

If you’re getting support from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the amount is Can$200,000. The minimum amount is Can$75,000 if the support comes from a Canadian angel investor group. If a business incubator supports you, no investment amount is required. However, you must be enrolled in a Canadian business incubator program.

What happens if I receive investment assistance from more than one designated organization?

If you receive assistance from more than one organization, it is called syndication. In this case, syndication must be identified. Note that the authorities will receive only one certificate and you will be sent a single letter of support.

What if my business doesn’t succeed when I immigrate to Canada with a Startup Visa?

Your permanent resident status will not be affected if your business fails. The authorities are aware that there is always a risk and not every business can succeed.

Are there any alternatives to Startup Visa Canada?

Many European countries offer startup visas. The UK, Ireland, Chile, and Denmark are some of them.