Last updated on November 2nd, 2021

Canada Startup Visa: All You Need To Know

Are you a business owner? Planning to start a business in Canada? If that’s the case, Startup Visa Canada, also known as the Canada Startup Class (SUV), might be the ideal program for you.

The program was created by the Canadian government to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world and provide them with the cash and support they need to succeed in their businesses.

In exchange, Canada expects these companies to expand, contribute value to the economy, and create more jobs for Canadians.

The application process for startup visas will be expedited. The goal is to approve qualified applications in a matter of weeks. 

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Let’s get into more details.

Startup Visa Canada: Check Your Eligibility

If you want to immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur, the first step is to identify a Canadian angel investor group, business incubator, or venture capital fund to back you up. At least one of these firms should be interested in investing in your new business.

To participate in the Entrepreneur Startup Visa program, the investment organization must be a designated angel investor group, a qualifying business incubation program, or a designated venture capital by the Canadian government.

There is a separate application for each fund or group.

You’ll need to contact these organizations and apply to submit and pitch your company idea to them through various stages. Some parties will demand you to have a detailed business plan, while others will not.

Spend some time learning about these organizations. Examine their websites to see what types of businesses they are interested in. Each organization or fund may have different goals and invest in different areas or types of enterprises. You can also get an outline of their application process on their websites.

They will issue you a letter of support if you submit your proposal and convince one of the recognized incubators, angel investor groups, or venture capital firms to back your business. They also submit a completed Commitment Certificate to the IRCC. The certificate defines the terms of the candidate’s agreement and commitment to the chosen organization.

You might get help from more than one investor. Syndication is the term for this. In this situation, the organizations that are assisting you will supply IRCC with a single joint Commitment Certificate.

You are now ready to apply for your Startup Visa if you have received the letter from your investor or investors and have checked all of the other boxes.

The bare minimum you must secure for your company is:

  • If the investment comes from a Canadian VC, the amount is 200,000 CAD.
  • If the investment comes from an angel investor, the amount is 75,000 CAD
  • If your business is approved into a business incubator program in Canada, the amount is 0 (yes, “Zero”).

Language Requirement

You must be able to communicate and work in one or both of the following languages: English, French, or both. This means you must take a language exam from an IRCC-approved provider and meet the following requirements:

English: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in speaking and listening and 4 in reading and writing.

French: Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) 5 in speaking and listening and 4 in reading and writing.

Education Requirement

You must have completed at least one year of study at a tertiary institution to be eligible. You also need to provide transcripts, a letter of good standing, diplomas, and certificates to show that you fulfill this requirement.

Sufficient Funds

When you immigrate to Canada, you must have enough money to maintain yourself and your family. The amount is determined by the size of your family; here is a recent chart:

  • Number of Family Members
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • For each additional family member
  • Required Funds (Canadian Dollars)
  • 12,960 CAD
  • 16,135 CAD
  • 19,836 CAD
  • 24,083 CAD
  • 27,315 CAD
  • 30,806 CAD
  • 34,299 CAD
  • 3,492 CAD

Although these are the bare minimums, it is recommended that you bring as much money as possible with you when you relocate to Canada. New enterprises and startups take time to break even, so you’ll need all the cash you can obtain to keep your family afloat in the interim.

Note that if you have more than $10,000 CAD in your possession when entering the country, you must tell a Border Services and Agency (CBSA) officer.

Security and Medical Clearances

Security clearance and a medical examination are required from you and your family members in order to ascertain whether you:

  • Pose a threat to the country’s security,
  • Have a serious illness that would place a strain on the Canadian healthcare system.

Application Costs

You can find the application costs in the chart below. Note that these are subject to change on Canadian Government’s will.

  • Application Fee
  • Main Applicant
  • Spouse
  • Dependent Child
  • Required Funds (Canadian Dollars)
  • 1,540 CAD
  • 1,040 CAD
  • 150 CAD

There are also legal fees involved, which might vary depending on the law firm you choose to work with.

Startup Visa Canada: Application Process

You can apply for a Permanent Residency in Canada if you meet all of the above requirements. It usually takes 12 to 18 months for the application to be processed. Here are the phases:

  • Phase 1: Business Plan Draft (1-2 months)

    For preliminary qualification, you must submit a thorough CV together with the other first essential documents. At this point, you should also start putting together a draft of your business strategy.

  • Phase 2: Letter of Support (6-10 months)

    Make sure your business plan is finished and you’ve presented it to a designated investment organization at this point. The designated entity or entities must have accepted your planned strategy and provided you with a letter of support as well as an IRCC Commitment Certificate.

    Phase 2: Letter of Support (6-10 months)

  • Phase 3: Application for Permanent Residency (8-12 months)

    Submit your application for Permanent Residency, along with your investment letter and required documents.

What Else You Need To Know

There you have it. We’ve given you the basics for Startup Visa Canada. Here is some useful side information that might help you during your application.

  • Your family may potentially be eligible for Permanent Residency as a result of your application.
  • Your spouse and children under the age of 22 are included.
  • You and your family can access the country’s healthcare and educational systems.
  • Because this is a federal program, you can live in any Canadian province.
  • After three years of residence in the country, you can apply for citizenship.
  • Only 2,750 applications will be accepted per year by the government.

Have you ever lived in Canada? Have you ever thought of moving there and started a business there? Please let us of your experience…Before you leave, also check out our ultimate guide on Startup Visa Countries.

We’re also looking forward to seeing you in our growing community. Please feel free to join the discussion in our forum.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I keep my Canadian permanent visa if my business fails?

Yes, you can keep it even if your business doesn’t succeed.

What is the Startup Visa Program in Canada?

Entrepreneurs and their families can apply for permanent residency through the SUV if they develop a qualifying business in the country. It enables immigrant entrepreneurs to submit a business plan as well as other personal data. Applicants can come to Canada if their immigration applications have been granted.

Who is considered as an SUV Dependent?

Dependent family members can include the main applicant’s spouse and children. The age limit for children is 22.

Is Canada an entrepreneur-friendly country?

Yes, it’s. Canada is one of the best countries for entrepreneurs. The government offers many incentives for startups and there are powerful startup communities in the country.