Start-Up Visa Program

A fast way for entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada and build a technologically-innovative business. Counselling services are provided to resolve two difficulties investors may encounter: a lack of prosperous innovative program; and a lack of assistance from local professional and experienced organizations.

Program Advantages

  • Related work experience is not required. Application eligibility is relatively easy to meet
  • Applicant does not need to meet personal net worth requirement
  • Current application processing time is approximately 13 months
  • No specified documentation requirement
  • Obtain Permanent Resident Card without any specific conditions
  • Can reside everywhere in Canada, except Quebec

Application Eligibility

  • Applicant must have a qualifying business that is supported by a designated organization and obtain a Letter of Support from IRCC’s designated organization
  • Meet language requirements (CLBLevel5 or IELTS General Training obtaining 5 or above in listening, speaking and writing. 4 or above in reading is mandatory. CELPIP-G test result is also acceptable with at least 3L in listening, speaking, reading and writing)
    About Canadian Language Benchmark Level based on the test results, please checkIRCC’s website.
  • Have enough funds to support his or her family upon arrival in Canada (amount of funds depends on the size of the family, i.e. CAD$23,181 for a family with four members)

Designated Organization

To apply for “Start-Up Visa”:
  • Business proposal must be granted and supported by the a designated Canadian organization
  • Designated organization will issue the Letter of Support if it agrees to support the business
  • Applicant must submit the letter to IRCC along with the completed application package
According to immigration policy, the applicant’s business proposal must be granted by one of the following designated organizations:
  • Designated Venture Capital Funds to invest a minimum ofCAD$200,000
  • Designated Angel Investment Group to invest a minimum of CAD$75,000
  • Investment not required for Designated Business Incubators, but business idea approval from them is mandatory

For details of the Canadian Designated Organizations, please checkIRCC’s website.

Application Procedures

  • Applicant submits resume and questionnaire
  • Can-Achieve responds to applicant’s eligibility within 48 hours
  • Applicant must pass the English Test and the results must meet IRCC’s language requirement
  • Applicant provides all required supporting documents to Can-Achieve
  • Can-Achieve will mail out the application to Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) within 5 weeks upon receipt of all documents
  • Receive application file number from IRCC after submitting the application
  • IRCC issues medical examination request, applicant and all fellow family members must complete medical examination within the prescribed time
  • Receive immigrant visa within 3-6 months upon completion of medical examination

Application Processing Time

Approximately 13 months

Please check IRCC’s website for processing time

Comparison between types of business immigration programs

(Start-up-Visa) BCPNP(Entrepreneur) : Quebec Immigrant Investor :
Age No mandatory requirement
  • Applicant will be evaluated and scored based on different aspects
  • Applicant aged between 35 and 44 will earn full points and 64 or over will receive 0 points
No mandatory requirement
Education Level No mandatory requirement Post-secondary credentials or have at least 3 years of active business owner-manager experience with 100% ownership in the last 5 years No mandatory requirement but get additional point in the QIIP selection process
Proposed Business Ownership
  • Each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)
  • Applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
  • Own at least 33.33% of ownership
  • Earn full point if own 100% of ownership
No mandatory requirement
Business Management Experience No mandatory requirement
  • More than 3 years of experience as an active business owner-manager or
  • More than 4 years of experience as a senior manager
  • A combination of at least 1 year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least 2 years of experience as a senior manager
  • Have at least two years of management experience in the 5 years preceding the application for a selection certificate
  • Management duties related to planning, management, control of financial resources, human or material resources under applicant’s authority
Relevant working experience No mandatory requirement Industry of proposed business in BC must be relevant to the previous industry No mandatory requirement
Source of funds No mandatory requirement
  • Provide all supporting financial documentation that demonstrates source of funds
  • Must obtain a verification report from a BCPNP-qualified supplier
Need to provide all supporting documentation that demonstrates source of funds
Minimum of personal net worth Requirement
  • No mandatory requirement
  • Only need to demonstrate that applicant has enough money to settle upon arrival in Canada (amount of funds depends on the size of the family, i.e. CAD$23,181 for a family with four members)
Have at least a minimum of $600,000 in personal net worth Have at least a minimum of CAD$2,000,000 in personal net worth
Residency Can reside everywhere in Canada except Quebec
  • Must reside in B.C.
  • Applicant must demonstrate that he or she has resided in B.C. for at least 75%of the time within 100 kilometers of the business applicant operates in BC while on a work permit
Must reside in Quebec
Language Proficiency Mandatory:
  • CLB Level 5
  • Or IELTS General Training, 5 or above in listening, speaking and writing; 4 or above in reading
  • Or CELPIP-G, 3L in listening, speaking, reading and writing
Language proficiency is scored
  • English level < CLB3, 0point
  • CLB4, 2points
  • >=CLB5, 4points
No mandatory requirement but applicant will earn points if he/she has English or French test result.
Application processing time Total processing time is approximately 13 months
  • Receives overall scores within 6 weeks upon online registration
  • Receives invitation letter within 6 months upon submission of registration
  • After passing interview stage, applicant gets work permit within approximately 4 months
  • Once applicant arrives in B.C. with valid work permit, applicant will have up to 18-20 months to implement his business plan, actively manage business and satisfy the performance expectations of the signed Performance Agreement
  • Once the applicant has been approved as a provincial nominee, applicant and eligible family members then apply for permanent residence. Obtaining permanent resident status takes approximately 19 months
  • The total processing time is approximately 53 months
Total processing time is approximately 45 months