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Opportunity Lives Here

Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program – Business Immigration to Canada

The Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program is a new Canadian immigration pilot project and is the first of its kind in the world. The Start-Up Visa Program links successful applicants with private sector organizations in Canada who are able to provide funding as well as guidance and their expertise on establishing and operating a business in Canada. Successful applicants under this new Canadian immigration program will be granted their Canadian permanent residency. This program is not available for those who are interested in establishing a business in Quebec. Please visit our Quebec Immigration page to find out what your options are in Quebec.

Eligibility Requirements for the Canadian Immigration Start-Up Visa

  1. Letter of Support and Commitment Certificate
    Applicants must have received a letter of support from a designated investor organization. In order to receive a letter of support, the applicant must convince a designated venture capital fund or angel investor group to invest in his or her proposed business.  The investor organization will also have to provide a Commitment Certificate directly to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, summarizing the details of the commitment made with the applicant.

  2. Investment Requirement
    Applicants must secure an investment of at least $200,000 CAD if the investment is from a designated venture capital fund or a secure a minimum of $75,000 CAD if the investment is from a designated angel investor group. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money for this Canadian immigration program.

  3. Language Requirement
    The applicant must be able to communicate and work in English and/or French. Applicants must provide language test results from an approved agency, and must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 in either English or French.

  4. Education Requirement
    The applicant must have completed at least one year of study at a post-secondary institution. The applicant must also be able to provide proof that he or she was in good standing for at least one year while attending a post-secondary institution. Applicants can provide transcripts, a letter of good standing, certificates, diplomas or degrees as proof for this requirement.

  5. Sufficient Settlement Funds
    The applicant must have sufficient settlements funds to support themselves and their family once they immigrate to Canada. The amount of money required depends on the number of family members that will be accompanying the applicant.

  6. Security and Medical Clearances
    As with all Canadian immigration programs, the applicant and accompanying family members must undergo a security clearance and a medical examination to determine whether they pose a security threat or have a health condition that would place an excessive burden on the Canadian health care system.

Peer Review Process

The Canadian government has designated associations to review the commitments between investor organizations and applicants in order to help prevent fraud and ensure the commitments are legitimate.

What if the business fails?

Participants in this program will be able to keep their Canadian permanent residence even if their business fails.

Duration of Pilot Project

The Start-Up Visa program is a pilot project and is set to remain open for 5 years but may be extended or become permanent if it proves to be a successful Canadian immigration program. The Canadian government will only accept up to 2750 applications per year for this Canadian immigration program.


Designated Investor Groups for the Start-Up Visa

Below you will find a list of all Venture Capital Funds and Angel Investor Groups that have been designated to participate in this Canadian immigration program.

Venture Capital Funds

  • BDC Venture Capital

  • Blackberry Partners Fund II LP (doing business as Relay Ventures Fund II)

  • Celtic House Venture Partners

    • Celtic House Venture Partners Fund III L.P.

    • Celtic House Venture Partners Fund IV LP

  • DRI Capital Inc.

  • Golden Opportunities Fund Inc.

  • iNovia Capital Inc.

  • New Brunswick Innovation Foundation Inc.
  • Northwater Intellectual Property Fund

  • OMERS Ventures Management Inc.

  • Pangaea Ventures Fund III, LP

  • PRIVEQ Capital Funds

    • PRIVEQ III Limited Partnership

    • PRIVEQ IV Limited Partnership

  • Quorum Group

    • Advantage Growth (No.2) L.P.

    • Ontario SME Capital Corporation

    • Quorum Investment Pool Limited Partnership

    • Quorum Secured Equity Trust

  • Rho Canada Ventures

  • Summerhill Venture Partners Management Inc.

  • Tandem Expansion Management Inc.

  • Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership

  • Version One Ventures

  • Wellington Financial LP

  • Westcap Mgt. Ltd.

  • Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.

Angel Investor Groups

  • Angel One Network Inc.

  • First Angel Network Association

  • Golden Triangle Angel Network