Innovative ideas can come from people worldwide, but Canada’s more specific immigration Start-Up visa is designed specifically for founders outside Canada.

Some people are born into an entrepreneurial family and know early on that they would make great entrepreneurs. It can be extremely difficult for an individual to move to another country to start a company without fulfilling some immigration rules.

In this guide, you will get in-depth information regarding Canada’s Start-Up visa requirements. Read on to learn more!

Canada Start-Up visa requirements


What is a Canada Start-Up visa?

The program is a part of the Federal Economic Development Program. It encourages entrepreneurs worldwide to come to Canada with support and funding for a specific business.

An immigrant will only be eligible for the program if they meet all the requirements defined by the Canadian government. The requirements include having a role in the company’s capital, having management abilities and background, and having a minimum amount of education and a skill set that ensures the entrepreneur will contribute positively to the Canadian economy.


Top requirements for a business Visa to Canada

Getting a Canada Start-Up visa can be tricky if you do not have the necessary qualifications. You will save time and money by gathering all the necessary documentation and ensuring you fulfil all requirements before applying. Here are the requirements for a business visa to Canada.


Proof of funds

First, you need to consider how much money you will be investing in the Canadian company as well as how many family members you will be supporting. You can look up the suggested monetary amounts on the Government of Canada website, but it is generally advised to have between $13,000 to $35,000 depending on the family size.

It is a complex investment and probably a large portion of your wealth, that might lead to a tight programming schedule and increase the chances of failure. To achieve this budget, you must calculate all the significant expenses for the first year. Different online tools will help you with this. Consider the minimum annual income requirement if you want to represent yourself financially.

If you have small savings, you most likely will not get a Canada Start-Up Visa. Still, you can always invest in an existing company with an approved and operational business model. It can save you time. Usually, the Start-Up business model is complicated, and the chances of failure are higher.

Language requirements

Most immigrants will have to learn English or French to move to Canada. This applies to direct applicants and their family members who do not speak English from birth. For an immigrant to settle in Canada, they should be able to use it in everyday situations. Immigrant entrepreneur must be able to speak at least one of the two languages fluently.

You must search and apply for a test from a reputable language agency. It is necessary to pass the listening, speaking, writing and reading areas and achieve a minimum level of 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in either English OR French.

The test does not mean that you will use the language fast. It is more of a preparation before you even start the business. If you fail the first test, you can try again after a month or two. You can apply for a Canada Start-Up visa if you still need to pass the test but have a fair employment offer.

Have a competent business

Apply for a Canada Start-Up visa only if you have an innovative business model. It must be something that provides a solution to the market demand. The offer should be unique in Canada and produce an easily available product.

If you have an established business, you can apply for this visa regardless of its kind – retail, manufacturing, distribution, or any other business that works with goods or services. In the case of a new business, however, it should be related to information technology, renewable energy, or life sciences.

Letter of support from a designated organization

You will have to demonstrate the support and sponsorship of a designated organization that will help you with the company’s initial phase – these are venture capital funds, angel investor groups or business incubators. The letter of support from this organization is critical for your approval by the government.

If a formally registered organization is willing to sponsor you, it will be much easier to start a business in Canada. You will also have a lot of advantages since these organizations have everything in place and are well-prepared for you.

Venture capital funds are required to invest a minimum of $200,000 and angel investor groups $75,000.

Education requirements

If you are coming to Canada to start a business, you will be eligible for the Canada Start-Up Visa Program if you have completed a certain level of education. The education requirement is equivalent to a degree or diploma.


Benefits of a Canada Start-Up visa

There are many benefits that you will get with a Canada Start-Up visa. They include:

  1. No limitation to nationality. The government of Canada wants to attract new entrepreneurs that can contribute positively to the Canadian economy. Therefore, there is no limitation to nationality of the applicant. The program is open to any foreigner who meets the requirements and you will be put on a direct path to a PR.
  2. Assistance with establishing a company. If you have a registered organization that can act as a sponsor, you will receive assistance from the organization. It includes many different things related to starting and growing your business. It will help with the time-consuming tasks of getting the final approval from business immigration to Canada.
  3. A higher chance of being approved by the government. Since there are many efforts on behalf of the Canadian government, they usually approve companies with more chances than others, as long as it provides a benefit to the Canadian economy.



Every entrepreneur from all over the world can apply for a business visa to Canada. We trust that the information in this article has enlightened you on Canada’s Start-Up visa requirements.  If you have any questions or are considering this program, contact our immigration lawyers today. 


Upon meeting all requirements, you will need at least $75000 from a Canadian angel investor or $200000 from a venture capitalist recognized by the Canadian government. You will also need to show proof of funds to support you and your family’s cost of living. It is estimated at least $13,000-$35,000 will be needed depending on family size.
You might feel too old to start a business and settle in another country. However, remember that the Canadian government tends to look at the person and their talent more than their age. If you have the right amount of money and skills, obtaining a business visa to Canada will be fine, even if you are over 60.