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Start-Up Visa

With the Start-Up Visa Program, Canada is inviting innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide to contribute to its dynamic business landscape. Uniquely designed to attract and nurture the brightest entrepreneurial minds from across the globe, this program stands as the world’s first, linking visionary entrepreneurs with the seasoned expertise of private sector organizations specializing in start-ups. Dive into an ecosystem ripe with possibility, where your innovative ideas can flourish into high-growth businesses, propelling Canada’s position as a leading hub for innovation and job creation.

Why Canada's Start-Up Visa Program?

Global First: The Canadian Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind globally, offering a unique blend of resources, expertise, and opportunities tailored for ambitious entrepreneurs eager to make their mark on the international stage.

Private Sector Partnerships: Forge powerful alliances with experienced private sector organizations, including venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubators. These partnerships are designed to provide the mentorship, resources, and networks essential for your start-up’s growth and success.

Innovation and Growth: Canada is committed to fostering a thriving start-up ecosystem. This program is your gateway to contributing to this vibrant landscape, driving innovation, and creating high-value jobs that bolster the economy.

Welcoming Business Environment: With a stable economy, a highly skilled workforce, and a government supportive of entrepreneurship, Canada is the ideal backdrop for your start-up ambitions. The Start-Up Visa Program exemplifies Canada’s open-arms approach to international entrepreneurs ready to innovate and succeed.

Work Permit: Until your permanent residency application is processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to start your business in Canada.

Program Highlights?

Comprehensive Support: From navigating the initial stages of your business idea to scaling your start-up into a global powerhouse, the program offers end-to-end support. Leverage expert guidance every step of the way.

Pathway to Permanent Residency: Entrepreneurs and their families can transition smoothly into life in Canada, with the Start-Up Visa program offering a direct pathway to permanent residency.

Networking Opportunities: Gain exclusive access to industry events, workshops, and meet-ups, connecting you with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors that can catapult your business forward.

Access to Funding: Tap into a wide array of funding opportunities, from government grants and loans to private investment, ensuring your start-up has the financial backing to thrive.

A Multicultural Landscape: Immerse yourself in one of the most diverse and welcoming countries in the world, benefiting from a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and perspectives that can enrich your personal and professional life.

Who can apply for Start-Up Visa (eligibility requirements)?

Qualifying Business 

Make sure your business meets these criteria if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur:

  • At the commitment stage, you (and up to 4 other owners) must each hold a minimum of 10% of the business’s voting rights.
  • Combined, the applicants and the designated organization must hold over 50% of the total voting rights.
  • Your business must be incorporated in Canada and actively managed within Canada at the permanent residency stage.

Letter of Support

You must get a letter of support from a designated organization. List of designated organizations

Venture Capital Funds 


Angel Investor Groups 

Business Incubators 


  • If the investment is coming from a Canadian venture capital fund, it must be at least $200,000 CAD.
  • If the investment is coming from an angel investor group, it should be at least $75,000 CAD.
  • It is not necessary to secure investment from a business incubator. Applicants must, however, be accepted into a Canadian business incubator program.

You do not need to invest your own money. You will retain your permanent residency status if your start-up fails.


The applicant must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all four areas (speaking, reading, listening & writing).

Financial Readiness

Demonstrate you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents after landing in Canada.  The amount you need depends on the size of your family. Funds must be your own and not borrowed.

How Can X Can Help?

Navigating the complexities of the Canadian Start-Up Visa Program requires expert guidance and comprehensive support. Can X is dedicated to helping ambitious entrepreneurs like you successfully establish businesses in Canada. 

Expert Guidance on Eligibility and Application Process: Can X provides tailored consultations to ensure you understand the program’s eligibility requirements and the application process. Our experts will guide you in preparing and submitting a compelling application, helping you every step of the way.

Business Plan Development: Writing a robust business plan is crucial for securing support and investment through the Canadian Start-Up Visa Program. Can X crafts detailed, effective business plans that outline your business model, market analysis, operational strategies, and financial projections. This critical document not only supports your visa application but also guides your business’s strategic direction.

Legal and Administrative Support: From incorporating your business to managing legal documentation, Can X offers the essential legal and administrative support to ensure your business complies with Canadian laws and regulations.

Financial Planning and Access to Funding: Can X help with financial planning and connect you to potential investors, ensuring your startup is well-equipped for growth.  

Ongoing Support: Can X remain your partner beyond the visa application process, providing ongoing mentorship and support as your business grows. Access expert advice and practical solutions to meet the challenges of expanding your business.

Pathway to Permanent Residency: Can X offers guidance on the transition from a temporary work permit to permanent residency, ensuring a seamless process for you and your family.

Partner with Can X to navigate the Start-Up Visa Program effectively and set the stage for your business success in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs )for Start-Up Visa Program

The Canada Start-Up Visa Program is an initiative that invites innovative entrepreneurs globally to establish businesses in Canada. It offers a pathway to permanent residency, linking entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations like venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubators

Yes, it’s the world’s first program of its kind, specifically designed to attract global entrepreneurs by offering resources, expertise, and a supportive business ecosystem.

Benefits include access to private sector partnerships, a path to permanent residency, comprehensive support, funding opportunities, and integration into a multicultural landscape.

Eligibility criteria include owning a qualifying business, obtaining a letter of support from a designated organization, meeting language requirements (CLB 5 in English or French), and demonstrating financial readiness to support oneself and dependents.

A qualifying business must have at least 10% of the voting rights held by the applicant (up to 4 owners), with the applicant and designated organization collectively holding more than 50% of the voting rights. The business must be incorporated and actively managed within Canada.

You must secure a letter of support from a designated organization (venture capital fund, an angel investor group, or a business incubator).

The minimum investment is $200,000 CAD if it comes from a venture capital fund or $75,000 CAD if it’s from an angel investor group. There’s no investment requirement from a business incubator, but acceptance into a program is necessary.

No, you do not need to invest your own money. The investment must come from one of the designated organizations.

You will retain your permanent residency status even if your start-up does not succeed.

You must meet a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English or French across all four areas: speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

The amount varies depending on the size of your family. You must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents after landing in Canada. These funds must be your own and not borrowed.

The program offers end-to-end support, from guiding you through the initial stages of your business idea to scaling your start-up into a global entity. This includes mentorship, funding access, and networking opportunities.

Yes, entrepreneurs and their families can transition smoothly into life in Canada, with the program offering a direct pathway to permanent residency for both the primary applicant and their dependents.

The program provides exclusive access to industry events, workshops, and meet-ups, connecting entrepreneurs with potential investors, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs.

The program nurtures high-growth businesses, driving innovation, creating high-value jobs, and reinforcing Canada’s position as a leading hub for innovation and economic growth.

Partners include venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubators, each offering different forms of support, mentorship, and funding opportunities.

Designated organizations assess and support potential start-ups through investment and mentorship. They also issue the letter of support necessary for the visa application.

Yes, while your permanent residency application is processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to start building your business in Canada.

Changing your designated organization after receiving a letter of support is generally not recommended as your visa is linked to the specific commitment of the designated organization. 

The Start-Up Visa Program does not prioritize specific industries; it’s open to any sector. The key is innovation, market potential, and the ability to create jobs for Canadians.

Ownership is verified through legal documents such as incorporation papers, shareholder agreements, and investment agreements. These documents must clearly state each party’s ownership percentage and voting rights.

Currently, there is no cap on Start-Up Visas issued annually. 

If the designated organization withdraws its support, your application will likely be affected, and your visa might not be issued. It’s crucial to maintain a strong relationship with your designated organization and have clear agreements in place.

Actively managed within Canada’ means that the core operations of the business occur in Canada and that the key decision-makers are based in Canada.

Disputes should be resolved internally through mediation or arbitration. This is outlined in the agreement between the start-up and the designated organization. It’s crucial to have a solid agreement in place that outlines the dispute resolution mechanism.

Yes, you can participate if your business is established abroad. However, you must demonstrate that the core operations will move to Canada and the company will be incorporated there. The intent is to support business growth in Canada.

Receiving additional funding is generally positive and demonstrates your business’s viability. However, you should maintain the ownership ratios required by the program and keep your designated organization informed about significant financial changes.

Ownership of IP can be critical in your application. It’s important that your start-up has legal rights or licensing agreements for any IP that is central to the business model and product/service offered.

Yes, participation in accelerators or incubators abroad can be a positive factor in your application. However, you’ll still need to secure a commitment from a designated Canadian organization and meet other program requirements.

If the relationship deteriorates, it’s crucial to communicate with immigration authorities and seek legal advice. The impact on your status would depend on the specifics of the situation, including the reasons for the relationship breakdown.

Yes, you can extend your temporary work permit if your permanent residency application is still in process. This will ensure you maintain legal status in Canada.

While the program is federal and open to all provinces and territories, some regions may offer additional incentives or support for start-ups. This is especially true for sectors aligned with economic priorities.

A joint venture with a reputable Canadian company can positively influence your application. This is especially if it demonstrates strong market potential, financial stability, and alignment with industry standards in Canada.