Determine your eligibility – Start-up Visa

To be eligible to receive a Start-up Visa, you must:

Prove your business is supported by a designated organization

Before you can apply for a Start-up Visa, you must have the support of a designated organization. If a designated organization decides to support your business, it will provide you with a Letter of Support.

You must include the Letter of Support with your application. If you do not include the letter or do not meet any of the eligibility requirements below, your application will be refused.

Show that your business meets the ownership requirements

Up to five people can apply for a Start-up Visa as owners of a single  business. However, to meet the ownership requirements:

  • each applicant must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business, and
  • the designated organization and the applicants must jointly hold more than 50 percent of the voting rights in the business.

Note: Voting rights are the right of a business owner to vote within a company. The right to vote is attached to each share of a business that is outstanding at a given time.

Meet the language requirements

The ability to communicate and work in English, French, or both will help your business succeed in Canada.

You must take a language test from an agency approved by CIC and include the results with your application for your application to be processed.

You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:

  • speaking
  • reading
  • listening
  • writing

Use your test results to find your CLB level.

If you do not meet the minimum language skills, your application will be refused.

Bring sufficient settlement funds

The Government of Canada does not provide financial support to new Start-up Visa immigrants

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. You will need to provide proof that you have the money when you submit your application.

The amount you will need depends on the size of your family. These amounts are updated every year.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,164
2 $15,143
3 $18,617
4 $22,603
5 $25,636
6 $28,913
7 or more $32,191

How much money should you bring?

Find out how much it costs to live where you are planning to settle in Canada.

Bring as much money as possible to make moving to Canada and finding a home easier.

Disclosure of funds

If you are bringing more than CAN $10,000 across the Canadian border, you must tell a Canadian official when you arrive. If you do not, you may be fined, and your funds could be seized. These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash,
  • securities that belong to you (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills), or
  • bankers' drafts, cheques, travellers' cheques or money orders.

Top questions about Start-up Visa

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