In contrast to other investment immigration programs, the Start-Up Visa (SUV) has no minimum net worth requirement and allows multiple applicants from one business project to apply. It also has one of the fastest processing times for getting a Canadian permanent residency. Unlike the provincial investment programs, applicants are not limited and confined to a specific region, meaning that applicants have a higher level of flexibility in where they want to settle. Since this program works along with reputable venture capital, angel investors and incubators, there is a slightly easier transition for entrepreneurs as there is extra support to help facilitate the success of the startup.
To be eligible, applicants of the Start-Up Visa Program must meet the following requirements:
- Applicants must fulfill ownership requirements by holding at least 10% or more voting rights to all shares of the corporation and assuming an active and ongoing management role in the business. Essential operations must also be done within Canada to be considered for this program.
- Applicants must secure a minimum investment from a designated organization for their Canadian start-up. If the designated organization is a venture capital fund, the investment must be at least CAD 200,000. If the application is with an angel investor group, the total investment must be at least CAD 75,000.
- Although each organization has a different process and requirement, applicants must obtain a letter of support from a designated organization in Canada. Both the organization and applicant have to send a letter which summarizes relevant details of the commitment between both parties to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the letter to be assessed as part of the application.
- Applicants must show that they have sufficient funds to support their settlement into Canada for themselves and their family members. The exact proof of funds requirement depends on the number of family members: a minimum of CAD 12,960 for individual applicants, CAD 16,135 for a family of two, CAD 19,836 for a family of three, and CAD 24,083 for a family of four. Add approximately CAD 3,500 for each additional family member for numbers beyond that. Keep in mind that this money cannot be borrowed from another person.
- Applicants must receive a minimum of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or (ITLS) Level 5 or equivalent in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.
- Pass Canadian security and medical clearance
- Demonstrate proof to settle in any province in Canada (except for the Province of Quebec)