Applying for a Start Up Visa

Starting Your Business in Canada

Are you a foreign national with a small business looking to grow your company in Canada? Do you think your company has what it takes to help grow Canada’s economy? If so, Canada immigration’s start-up visa program for permanent residency may be of interest to you. If you want to learn more about the program or want to see how you may qualify, read this blog for more about the program.

What is A Start-up Visa

The Start-up Visa program is one of the pathways to permanent residence. The program targets immigrant entrepreneurs who can build innovative businesses in Canada, create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale. To be eligible, you must have a qualifying business, get a letter of support from a designated organization willing to support your business, meet language requirements and have enough money to settle in Canada.
The program allows up to five foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture.

What is Considered a Qualifying Business under the Start-up Visa Program

A qualifying business under this category is a business that:

  •  At the time you get commitment from a designated organization:
    •  each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time; and,
    • the applicants and the designated organizations supporting the business jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
  • At the time the applicant receives permanent residence:
    • He or she provides continues to actively manage the company within Canada
    • An essential part of the business’ operations is in Canada
    • The business is incorporated in Canada

What is a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization for the Start-up Visa Program

Applicants must get a letter of support from a designated organization or business group approved by CIC, that is willing to invest or support the start-up business. The designated organization can be a venture capital fund, angel investor group or business incubator.
It is important to remember that every organization has its own individual process for accepting and receiving proposals or business plans. Therefore, before you submit your proposal or business plan, make sure you should consult the organization in advance to ensure that you meet their requirements.
If the organization agrees to support your start-up business, they will issue you a letter of support which you must include with your application. The organization will
Once you find an organization willing to support your start-up business, the organization will provide you with a letter of support to include with your application. The organization must also send a commitment certificate to CIC directly. The two documents must both be included with your application otherwise it will be refused.

What is the Language Requirement for The Start-up Visa Program

The language requirement is an important component of this application because Applicants must be able to demonstrate they can communicate and work in English or French. Applicants must take one of CIC’s approved tests that will assess four areas – speaking, reading, listening and writing. The approved tests can be either IELTS or CELPIP for English, or TEF Canada and TCF Canada for French. They must score the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French, otherwise the application will be refused.

What is The Amount of Money Required for Settlement under the Start-up Visa Program

Applicants must show their financials to demonstrate their ability to settle in Canada. You will need to have enough money to support yourself and any dependants under the application after you arrive in Canada. Therefore, you will have to consult CIC’s website for the amount required for each family size and make sure you have enough funds available to meet this requirement. The money must be your own and cannot be borrowed from another person.

How Do I Apply for the Start-up Program

You will need to gather all support documents, complete required government forms, pay the processing fee and submit the application to the right visa office.
It is important that you provide truthful and accurate information otherwise your application will be refused, or worse, you may be found to be inadmissible and barred for five years from applying to come to Canada.

What Additional Requirements Are Needed for Start-up Visa

You will need to complete medicals and have a police clearance. You must have your medical exams done before you come to Canada. You will need medicals for you and any family member included in your application, even if they are not coming with you to Canada. You and all family members under the application who are over the age of 18 must also provide police certificates. If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to come to Canada.
You may be required to submit biometrics (fingerprints and photo). You can pay for biometrics at the time of your application and CIC will send you a letter that you will need to take with you to the biometrics centre at your location.

Contact Akrami & Associates

The application process for start-up visa can be quite complex and for some applicants, overwhelming. Ensuring that you meet all the requirements and have the necessary support documents is essential to this application. At Akrami & Associates, we are available to guide and assist our clients through the application process from start to finish.
At Akrami & Associates, we help many of our clients with these types of applications regularly, even the most complex cases, and with successful outcomes. If you want help with your start-up application for permanent residence, or simply want to have your case assessed by qualified professionals, contact us at 416-477-2545 or
We have a track record for assisting our clients to get results and as Top Immigration Law Firm in Mississauga for two consecutive years, you can trust us to get the job done – and fast. It does not matter how complex your case is, we are committed to your cause and are ready to help you. We enjoy helping our clients through even the toughest immigration matter because here at Akrami & Associates, we strongly believe that there’s always a way!
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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