CANADA START-UP VISA
About the process
Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:
- are innovative
- can create jobs for Canadians
- can compete on a global scale
Do you have an innovative business idea? If you can get support for your idea from one of the designated organisations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada.
List of designated organisations – start up visa
To apply for the Start-up Visa Program, your business idea or venture must get the support of one or more of the designated organisations listed below:
- Venture capital funds
- Angel investor groups
- Business incubators
Designated organisations are business groups that are approved to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-up Visa Program.
Organisations choose which business proposals to review. Each organisation has its own intake process for proposals and criteria used to assess them. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.
If an organisation decides to review your business idea, it’ll assess the potential of your proposal and whether or not it’ll succeed.
If an organisation chooses to support your business idea, it’ll give you a Letter of Support.
Venture capital funds
You must get at least one of these groups to agree to invest a minimum of $200,000:
- 7 Gate Ventures
- BCF Ventures
- BDC Venture Capital
- Celtic House Venture Partners
- Extreme Venture Partners LLP
- Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP
- Impression Ventures
- Innovation Platform Capital International LP
- iNovia Capital Inc.
- Lumira Capital
- Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation (o/a Innovacorp)
- OMERS Ventures Management Inc.
- Pangaea Ventures Ltd.
- PRIVEQ Capital Funds
- Real Ventures
- Relay Ventures
- ScaleUp Venture Partners, Inc.
- Top Renergy Inc.
- Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
- Version One Ventures
- Westcap Management Ltd.
- Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.
- York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund
Angel investor groups
You must get one or more investors connected to these groups to agree to invest a minimum of $75,000:
- Canadian International Angel Investors
- Ekagrata Inc.
- Golden Triangle Angel Network
- Keiretsu Forum Canada
- Oak Mason Investments Inc.
- Southeastern Ontario Angel Network
- TenX Angel Investors Inc.
- VANTEC Angel Network Inc.
- York Angel Investors Inc.
You must be accepted into one of these programs:
- Alacrity Foundation
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
- Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
- Food Processing Development Centre
- Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
- Creative Destruction Lab
- Empowered Startups Ltd.
- Extreme Innovations
- Genesis Centre
- Highline BETA Inc.
- Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
- Invest Ottawa
- Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
- LatAm Startups
- Launch Academy - Vancouver
- LaunchPad PEI Inc.
- Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
- NEXT Canada
- North Forge Technology Exchange
- Platform Calgary
- Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
- Ryerson Futures Inc.
- Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
- Spring Activator
- The DMZ at Ryerson University
- Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
- TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
- Waterloo Accelerator Centre
- York Entrepreneurship Development Institute
- If the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, you must secure a
minimum investment of $200,000.
If the investment comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group, you must secure a
minimum investment of $75,000.
You don’t need to secure a financial investment from a business incubator. You must be
accepted into a Canadian business incubator program.
To qualify for the Start-up Visa Program, you must meet all 4 eligibility requirements, as well as the
admissibility requirements to enter Canada.
Eligibility requirements for the Start-up Visa Program
have a qualifying business
· have a letter of support from a designated organization
· meet the language requirements, and
· have enough money to settle and live in Canada before you make money from your business
- The amount of money you need depends on how many family members will be coming with
In some cases, the designated organization may give you additional money to help cover your
living expenses. You can’t use the investment money for your start-up business to cover your