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Start-up Visa Program (SUV)

Start-up Visa Program

  • S.D: Sponsor-driven

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Start-up Visa Program (SUV)
The Start-up Visa Program is for innovative entrepreneurs to become permanent residents in Canada while assisting them to become established in Canada.

Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their business in Canada.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.



The following requirements must be met if you are applying to Start-up Visa Program:

1- Eligible Business Idea

You must have a business idea that:
  • is innovative
  • can create jobs for Canadians
  • can compete on a global scale

A single business proposal can include up to five (5) applicants each holding at least 10% of voting rights attached to all share of business. In addition, the applicants and the designated organization should jointly hold at least 50% of the voting rights attached to all shares.

2- Support of a Designated Organization

For your innovative business idea, you must be able to get support from one of the designated organizations listed below:
  • Venture capital funds
  • Angel investor groups
  • Business incubators

Designated organizations are business groups that are approved by IRCC to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-up Visa Program.

If an organization chooses to support your business idea, it’ll give you a Letter of Support that you must include in your application. The designated organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to IRCC.

To see a complete list of Designated Organizations for Start-up Visa Program go to (➨Appendix 4)

3- Business Requirements

You and each applicant in your team must have a qualifying business in Canada. A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions:

At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:

  • Each applicant controls at least 10% of the voting rights of the business.
  • The designated organization and the applicants together control more than 50% of the business’ voting rights.

At the time you receive your permanent residence:

  • you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
  • an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
  • this business is incorporated in Canada

4- Language Ability

You must have taken an approved test results and have obtained a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark CLB 5 in all for abilities in English or French (➨Appendix 5).

5- Settlement Funds

You must show that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada based on 50% of Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) (➨ Appendix 2).

6- Ineligibility

You are not eligible to apply under the Start-up Visa Program if you are a refugee claimant in Canada, a failed refugee claimant, had a removal order, are prohibited from entering or being in Canada, do not have status in Canada or are living illegally in your country of residence.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.



Step 1: Get Support from a Designated Organization

You must get a letter of support from a designated organization (a business group that has been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups) (➨Appendix 4) .You need to contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support.

You need to convince the organization that you have a business idea that is worth supporting.

The process to pitch your idea is different for each organization. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.

If you reach an agreement with a designated organization, it will send you a letter of support. You need to include this letter when you submit your application to IRCC. This is the proof you need to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting your business idea.

The organization will also send a commitment certificate directly to IRCC. Both your letter of support and the organization's commitment certificate are used to assess your application.

Step 2: Apply for Permanent Residence

Your next step is to submit a complete application for a permanent resident visa online.
Your Commitment Certificate is valid for six (6) months from the day it is issued. You must submit your application for permanent residence before it expires.
Optional Step: Apply for a Temporary Work Permit

Once you receive a commitment certificate and support letter from a designated organization, you will become eligible to apply for a temporary work permit under the International Mobility Program. The designated entity must support the request for a work permit (➨Page).

Please note that your Commitment Certificate is valid for six (6) months from the day it is issued. You must submit your application for permanent residence before it expires, whether you apply for a work permit or not.

You must submit your application using the IRCC Permanent Residence Portal (PR Portal) (➨ 

If your application is complete, you will receive a letter or an email confirming that your file has been received and accepted for processing. This letter is called the Acknowledge of Receipt (AOR) and will include your IRCC file number.

Permanent Residence


Apply Online (PR Portal)
Official Program Guide:
IRCC Application Fees:
Main applicant: $1625
Spouse: $850
Each child: $230
RPRF main applicant: $515
RPRF spouse: $515
Biometrics: $85
(per person if applicable)
Processing Time:
Document Checklist:

1-888-242-2100 (in Canada)

1-613-944-4000 (outside Canada)

Web Form:

Visa Office:

Once you have received your acknowledgement of receipt, you can create an online account and link your application to it. By creating an account, you will be able to receive email updates and a more detailed case status.

Step 3: Biometrics

During processing, you will be asked to submit your biometrics.

You and any member of your family between 14 and 79 years old need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for permanent residence application you submit, even if you gave your biometrics in the past, and they’re still valid. You will be contacted to give your biometrics and you will have 30 days from the date on the letter to do it.
If you apply for permanent residence and are in Canada, you may qualify for an exemption from having to give your biometrics.
In order to give biometrics you need to go to an official biometrics collection service point. You must give your biometrics in person.

Before you go, check the location’s website for its services and fees at (➨ Depending on the location, you may need to make an appointment.

Step 4: Medical and Background Checks

After the assessment of your application based on the eligibility criteria of the program is completed, a decision is being made on your application based on the results of your medical exam, police certificates and background checks.
You and your family (and all your dependents, accompanying or not) must pass medical, criminal and security checks to receive permanent residence. If you or any of your dependents are found medically or criminally inadmissible, your application will be refused.
Medical Check:

Instructions on how to get the medical exam done will be sent to you upon completion of selection based on the program’s eligibility criteria. You and your dependents must go for the medical exam within 30 days of receiving these instructions. Only an approved panel physician (➨ can do a complete medical exam for immigration reasons.

Once the exam is done, the physician will send the results to IRCC and will give you a document confirming that a medical exam is done.
Background Check:

Background check is a required procedure to verify your criminal and/or security background to ensure you are admissible to Canada. Criminality and Security together are background checks. Criminality check is performed by RCMP (Police Service of Canada), and Security by CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency).

Step 5: Landing in Canada

If your application is approved, you will be asked to pay your right of permanent residence fee if you haven't already done so. You will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) and if you are from a country that requires a visa you will also be issued a permanent resident visa.

You will only become a Permanent Resident of Canada when you cross a Canadian port of entry. This is referred to as ‘landing in Canada' (➨Page).

You must land in Canada before the expiry date, which appears on your Canada Immigration Visa. Usually, the expiry date is one (1) year from the time medical examinations were completed. As this is not always the case, be sure to verify the expiry date as soon as the Canada Immigration Visa is received.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.







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