Start-Up Visa Program. Why Consider it as a patch to Permanent Residency?

Get Permanent Residency through the Start-Up Visa Program:

  • Any industry.
  • Need at least a business concept, one that is useful to the Canadian market and scalable (i.e. not a laundromat).
  • Pitch your business concept to an incubator, angel investor or venture capital (together referred as designated organization since they are already pre-approved by the government), who will mentor you on how to accelerate your business, step by step.
  • Can include up to 5 business partners as long as the partners are essential to the business.
  • Each applicant must hold at least 10% of the voting rights. The applicants and designated organization must jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights.
  • Need English or French level 5 (pretty low requirement).
  • When your mentorship is done with them, and the business either is already launched or at a pre-launched stage, you, your spouse and children can get permanent residence to Canada.

The permanent residence application can take 12 to 16 months but you can obtain a work permit while the permanent residency application is being processed.


Attract ambitious, energetic and visionary applicants who will contribute to the country’s economic growth, employment creation, foreign investment attraction, increase exports and overall international competitiveness.

Countries are competing for the best start-up entrepreneurs, but Canada has not only several major innovation hubs said to compete with Silicon Valley, but also offers permanent residency through its Start-Up Visa program.


  • Permanent residency for the Applicant, the spouse and children under 22 years old.
  • No need minimum capital if going through an incubator, otherwise you will need to raise capital through an angel investor ($75,000 CAD) or a venture capital ($200,000).
  • In either case, you must prove enough funds to settle in Canada. Amounts depend on the number of family members you have. For example, a single entrepreneur must show at least $12,960 CAD in his/her bank account whereas a family of 4 must demonstrate an available balance of at least $24,083.
  • Unconditional upon business success since Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recognizes “that not every business will succeed”.
  • Full mentorship from the incubator: from business idea to running the business, access to facilities, help with operational management, marketing, research, and even finding investors. Some incubators provide ongoing support for up to 2 years after coming to Canada and starting the business.

Selection criteria:

Although most incubators are clearly geared toward technology based companies, other criteria such as intellectual property, research and development, job creation, ability to expand to other markets as well as the skills, qualifications and experience of the applicant are very important and judged based on how relevant they are to the business.

A case-by-case evaluation of the basic business idea, skills and experience will be done by us before even liaising with an incubator/angel investor/venture capital and starting any official application.

How to Apply?

  • Have a business idea.
  • Study the Canadian market.
  • Contact us. Depending on your professional and personal background, your business concept, we will outline the process and put you in touch with the right incubator, angel investor or venture capital who will help you scale up and eventually provide you with a support letter which will allow you to obtain permanent residency for you and your family.

Conclusion: A business path to permanent residence in Canada

Compared to other entrepreneur immigration programs, the Start-Up Visa program is made to accommodate any entrepreneur with an interesting and innovative business concept, regardless of age and net worth. Most entrepreneur programs in Canada, only offer a work permit leading to permanent residency after 1 to 2 years, conditional upon setting up and successfully managing the business.

No path to permanent residency is an easy straightforward one, at least when it comes to Canada. However, for individuals who are willing to go through the selection process, the Start-Up Visa program is definitely an option to keep in mind when considering immigrating to Canada and opening a business, program which our office will help you navigate through while putting you in touch with the right people, before, during and after getting your permanent residency.

We help entrepreneurs set up their business and immigration strategy and execute on it.

We believe immigration is more than just a visa. We accompany our entrepreneurs during their entire immigration journey: from business set up to the first work permit, then permanent residency and finally, citizenship.

  • Find the business to buy or rent.
  • Find the location.
  • Incorporate the business.
  • Write a business plan tailored to immigration requirements.
  • We put you in touch with our network to start finding clients, distributors, suppliers.
  • Find schools for your children.
  • Your spouse and children under 22 years old can be included in your application.

To book a consultation with a lawyer and explore your business immigration options, email us.


+1 647.979.7068 (WhatsApp available)

85 East Liberty Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3R4, Canada

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