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Canada Start-up Visa - Immigrate to Canada with an Innovative Business Idea

For the Canada Start-up Visa, your business must be innovative, with potential for creating jobs for Canadians, and able to compete on a global scale. 12 to 16 months processing.

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Canada’s Start-Up Visa is targeted at immigrant entrepreneurs that want to settle in Canada as permanent residents. Here, we will see the eligibility requirements, application process, processing times, costs involved etc.

What is Canada’s Start Up Visa Program?

The Start-up Visa Program, offered by the federal government of Canada, provides a Canadian immigration pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs that possess the skills as well as the potential to set up businesses in Canada.

What kind of businesses come under Start-Up Visa?

  • Innovative
  • Create employment for Canadians
  • Compete on a global scale 

Under the Start-up Visa Program, Canada is looking for talented entrepreneurs who can start businesses in Canada that will stimulate the economy of the country. Such innovative businesses must also create employment opportunities for Canadians - permanent residents and citizens of Canada - and be able to compete on a global scale.  

Can I work in Canada while my Start-Up Visa application is under processing?

Yes. You can apply for a short-term work permit before you submit your application for Canada PR under the SUV program of Canada. You will need the following to apply for a short-term work permit - 

  • Commitment Certificate and
  • Letter of Support.

Your Canada PR application must be submitted within six months from the date of issue of your Commitment Certificate.

Who can apply under the Start-Up Visa program of Canada?

To be eligible for the SUV, you must be an entrepreneur with an innovative business idea.

What are the eligibility requirements for a Canadian Start-up Visa?

There are four requirements to be fulfilled.

  1. A qualifying business
  2. Support from a designated organization
  3. Language requirement
  4. Proof of funds

1. A qualifying business

  • Hold a minimum of 10% of the voting rights (attached to all shares of the company), and
  • Hold at least 50%, when considered along with the designated organization, of the voting rights (attached to all shares of the company)

At the time of receiving their Canadian permanent residence visa, the applicant must be actively managing their business on an ongoing basis from within Canada. While your Canada PR application is under processing, you can apply for a Canada Temporary Work Permit, allowing you to go to Canada and start building your business. 

The business, to have been incorporated in Canada, must have an essential part of the business operations happening within the country.

2. Support from a designated organization

  • Be able to show support of an organization
  • Support can be from an angel investor group, business incubator, or venture capital fund
  • Business idea to be pitched to the organization
  • Must be convinced that the business idea is worth supporting
  • Pitching process varies 
  • If pitch approved, support might be given 
  • A Letter of Support issued 
  • This letter must be included in SUV application

For the Canadian Start-Up Visa Program, a designated organization is a business group approved for investing in or supporting a potential start-up business in Canada. 

Additional business information might be asked for, if required for reaching a final decision on the application.

3. Language requirement

  • Appear for a language test from an approved agency
  • Meet the minimum required level of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 5 in either English or French, in all the four abilities assessed

For a business to succeed in Canada, the ability to communicate and work in English, French, or even both the languages will be required. 

To meet the language requirements for the SUV Program of Canada, you will be required to appear for and pass a language test from any of the agencies specifically approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The language test results will have to be included with the application. 

As compared to other immigration programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) of Canada’s Express Entry, the minimum language requirement for Canada’s SUV is that of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 5, in either French or English.

4. Proof of funds

  • Enough funds towards financial support when you arrive in Canada
  • Amount required will be as per the size of the family
The proof of funds requirement is updated annually. At the time of applying, proof of funds will have to be submitted showing that you have the money to support yourself and family when in Canada. Do keep in mind that as per IRCC, you can’t borrow this money from someone else.

Do I need a nomination for Canada Start-Up Visa?

Before you can apply for a Start-Up Visa for Canada, you will have to get an organization to support you for the same. The organization supporting you must be specifically designated for the purpose by the federal government of Canada through IRCC.


Why do I need support from an organization for my Canada SUV application?

If an organization is convinced that the business idea is worth supporting, a Letter of Support will be provided by them to the applicant. The designated organization will have to be directly contacted to find out the process for lending support to an immigrant start-up in Canada. 

The Letter of Support, to be included in the Start-Up Visa application, will prove that your innovative business idea has the support of an angel investor group, business incubator, or venture capital fund. 

Additionally, the designated organization will also be sending a Commitment Certificate directly to IRCC. For the assessment of the SUV application, IRCC will require both the Letter of Support as well as the Commitment Certificate. 

The process for pitching a business idea varies from organization to organization. Some organizations might ask for the submission of a detailed business plan. Others, however, can ask for a business concept to be presented by the applicant in person.

How much is needed as funds for a Canada Start-up visa?

Depends on the number of family members of the applicant. The cost of living in Canada will vary from place to place, depending to a large extent on where exactly in Canada you plan to settle as PR

Business Immigration to Canada - Start Up Visa - Proof of Funds requirement in 2024

The proof of funds requirement has been updated with effect from April 25, 2023. To remain eligible, you must ensure that settlement funds are accordingly updated in your Express Entry profile. 


IRCC Express Entry Proof of Funds Requirement in 2024

Number of family members 

Funds required in Canadian dollars (CAD)

Approximate in Indian Rupees (INR) 

As per 1 CAD = 60.05 INR


CAD 13,757



CAD 17,127



CAD 21,055



CAD 25,564



CAD 28,994



CAD 32,700



CAD 36,407


For each additional family member 

CAD 3,706


What are the designated organizations for Canada’s Start-Up Visa program?

To be able to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Start-Up Visa Program, your business venture or idea must have the support of one or more of the designated organizations. 

A designated organization might be - 

  • Angel investor group, a minimum of CAD75,000  investment required
  • Business incubator, must get support 
  • Venture capital funds, a minimum of CAD200,000 investment required

Choosing which business proposals to review, each of the designated organizations has its own intake process for proposals as well as the specific criteria used for an assessment. The designated organization is responsible for assessing the potential of a business proposal and the likelihood of its succeeding. A Letter of Support will be given to the applicant if any of the IRCC-designated organizations chooses to support their business idea.

How to apply for a Canada Start-up Visa?

The basic stepwise process for applying for a Start-up visa for Canada -

  1. Get your application package, containing a Document Checklist and an instruction guide. 
  2. Fill out your application form. You will have to fill out the Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008] on your computer. Click ‘Validate’ to check if all fields are filled up. Print the validated application form. Make sure you get your encoded data through the medium of the unique barcodes. Sign and date the form wherever asked. 
  3. Gather all documentation, in the order mentioned in the Document Checklist. Print the checklist and sign it, placing the same as the cover page of your application. Place your documents in a sealed envelope.
  4. Pay the applicable fees. This will include the processing fees for you and anyone included on application, your Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), and biometrics fees.
    While you can pay the application fees without the RPRF, it is recommended that you include the same to avoid delays in the future. The RPRF will have to be paid before you can become a Canadian permanent resident.
    Other costs involved include medical examination, police certificates, and language testing.
    In most of the cases, biometrics fees will have to be paid at the time of application submission. The biometrics fee includes the cost for collecting a digital photograph and fingerprints. 
  5. Submit the application, by regular mail or courier.

Where do I submit my application for Canada Start-up Visa?

There is no need for sending the application to a visa office or any other processing centre. 

You must mail your completed application to - 

By Regular Mail

By Courier

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Centralized Intake Office – Start Up Business Class

Centralized Intake Office – Start Up Business Class

P.O. BOX 8700

49 Dorchester Street

Sydney, NS B1P 0G2

Sydney, NS B1P 5Z2




Do ensure that you write “Start-up business visa” on the outside of the envelope. You can send your application to any one of the given addresses. You must include the completed form, supporting documentation, and fee payment in a 9 inches by 12 inches envelope.

What is the cost for a Start-up Visa application?

The total amount of fees to be paid by you to IRCC will include the application fees, Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), and biometrics. 

Other third-party fees include the language testing, medical examination, police certificates etc.

Canada Start-up Visa - Calculate your fees 

Application, per person 

Fees in Canadian dollars

Fee in Indian rupees (approx.)

Main applicant - processing fee

CAD 1,625*

INR 97,718

Main applicant - Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)

CAD 515*

INR 30,969

Spouse/partner - processing fee

CAD 850*

INR 51,114

Spouse/partner - RPRF

CAD 515*

INR 30,969

Dependent child 

CAD 230*

INR 13,830

Biometrics fees, per person 

CAD 85

INR 5,111

Biometrics, family of two or more, applying at the 

same time and place

CAD 170

INR 10,222

*As per the new IRCC fee for permanent residence, effective April 30, 2022. 

What is the processing time for Canada Start-up Visa?

Currently, the processing time is between 12 to 16 months. The individual processing time might vary based on many factors, such as the type of application submitted, whether or not the application is complete in all respects, etc.

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