Canada Start Up Visa: A Comprehensive Guide on the Application Process


The Canada Start Up Visa Program is a special immigration route offered by the Canadian government. The primary aim of this program is to assist foreign entrepreneurs by providing them with a Canadian permanent residency visa. Moreover, the Start Up Visa Program is intended to increase economic growth and innovation in Canada by bringing in new ideas, business opportunities, and creating jobs for Canadian citizens.

The process of obtaining a Start Up Visa may appear daunting, but with the correct guidance, it can be a seamless process. In this article, we will discuss all that you need to know about the Startup Visa program, the application process, and the most frequently asked questions related to it.

What is the Start Up Visa Program?

The Start Up Visa Program was introduced in 2013, and it is one of Canada’s new business immigration programs. This program is designed to support and encourage the growth of new businesses and startups in Canada. Essentially, the Start Up Visa Program gives investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators an opportunity to bring their business ideas and innovative products to Canada.

Eligibility for Start Up Visa

To be considered eligible for the Start Up Visa Program, an applicant must meet specific requirements. Below are the three requirements:

1. Applicant must have a letter of support from a designated organization. The designated organizations are business incubator, angel investors, venture capitalists, and startup accelerators.

2. The applicant must provide proof that they have enough financial resources to settle in Canada and support themselves as they start their business.

3. An applicant must meet the language requirements of speaking, reading, writing, and understanding either French or English.

The Application Process

To apply for the Start Up Visa Program, one must follow the following steps:

1. Secure Letter of Support from a Designated Organization

The first step in the Start Up Visa application process is to obtain a letter of support from a designated organization. You can apply and pitch your business ideas to eligible investors and organizations, such as angel investors and venture capitalists, for a letter of support.

The designated organization at this step will review your business proposal and decide whether to give you a letter of support. If they approve, they will issue you with a letter of support that you will use in your application.

2. Gather Your Documents

After you have acquired your letter of support, you must begin to gather your personal documents such as educational certificates, proof of language proficiency, and police certificates.

You will also need to provide evidence that you have enough money to finance your business operations in Canada for at least a year.

3. Complete the Application Forms Online

Once you have all the necessary documents, the next step is to complete the application online, which involves filling out various forms and uploading your documents.

It is essential to carefully read and follow instructions provided in the application forms to avoid errors and delays.

4. Submit Application

After filling out the forms and uploading your documents, pay any applicable fees and submit your application. You may be asked to provide more information or have an interview if the immigration officer needs further clarification on your application.

5. Wait for a Decision

After submitting your application, you will have to wait for a decision to be made. The processing time varies, but generally, it takes about 12 to 16 months to receive the decision from the immigration office.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I apply for a Start Up Visa if I do not have a letter of support from a Designated Organization?

No, a designated organization’s letter of support is a mandatory requirement needed to apply for the Start Up Visa Program.

2. How much money do I need to demonstrate for my Start Up Visa application?

You must prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Canada for the first year of your stay without relying on social assistance.

3. How is the typical processing time for the Start Up Visa application?

The processing time for the Start Up Visa program application takes around 12 to 16 months, but it may vary due to individual circumstances.

4. Can I bring my family with me if I get accepted for the Start Up Visa?

Yes, the Start Up Visa Program allows you to bring your spouse and dependent children under the age of 22 to Canada with you.


The Start Up Visa Program is an excellent opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to start and grow their businesses in Canada. However, to be successful, you must meet the program’s eligibility criteria and follow the necessary application process and guidelines. If you are considering the Start Up Visa Program, ensure that you do your research, seek professional guidance, and prepare yourself before applying.

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