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Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa program is unique to Canada and has been implemented to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to come to Canada, create new jobs and stimulate economic growth.

A program such as the Start-Up Visa expects a limited number of applicants due to its narrow focus, but the focus is on quality not quantity and achieving a track record of success.

To be a member of the start-up business class, a foreign national must:

  • have obtained a written commitment for a total investment of at least $75,000 by one or more designated angel investor groups,
  • obtain a written commitment for a total investment of at least $200,000 by one or more designated venture capital funds,
  • have the commitments signed by a person with proper authority,
  • have attained the specified level of language proficiency,
  • have completed at least one year of high school in good standing,
  • have the appropriate funds available as designated by Statistics Canada under the Statistics Act.


In cases where there is more than one applicant concerning the same business, if an applicant deemed essential to the business is refused permanent residency then the other applicants will be classified as not having met the requirements and their applications will be refused as well.

In certain scenarios, peer reviews may be required to assess the commitment.  The peer review panel is not under the Minister’s control and the officer deciding whether or not the applicant meets the requirements for the visa does not necessarily need to consider the assessment.

These regulations, as laid out by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, are in effect up until March 31st, 2018.

For more information, please contact us.

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