Canada's start-up visa program assumes that a start-up company will turn into a successful business in the future. In this process, capital and expert skills in various areas of entrepreneurship play a crucial role.

Often, the founders of innovative projects that meet criteria of program to immigrate to Canada through a start-up visa are programmers or engineers, themselves. Their experience may not be enough to set up a business and run a company efficiently. In such cases, owners are actively looking for experts in HR, marketing, and other fields to form a team capable of turning a business idea into a profitable venture.

The founders invite professionals who share their vision to join the project. As a result, the start-up develops thanks to the knowledge and experience of specialists involved, who can get a share and position in the company in exchange for providing their services. This step helps a start-up become a full-fledged business, even if it has limited capital.

The executive director of the company as well as founders get a chance to move to Canada in the future under the start-up visa program if his share is 10% or more.

Start-up Opportunities

The Start-up Visa program is designed for foreign entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas and are ready to launch their start-up in Canada. It provides an opportunity to attract investment and develop innovative projects.

Access to specialized resources and ecosystem

Canada offers a rich ecosystem for start-ups, including incubators, accelerators, and technology parks. Residence permit holders can take advantage of access to resources and expertise provided by the entire infrastructure.

Fast approval process

The Start-up Visa program provides relatively fast approval of applications and issuance of visas, which allows entrepreneurs to quickly start working on their business projects in Canada.

Global Growth Opportunity

The Canadian market is open to the whole world. Foreign entrepreneurs who have received a residence permit under the Start-up Visa program can use Canadian base to expand their business globally.

Permanent Residency

Successful participants in the Start-up Visa program can permanently reside in Canada with their family, as well as get the opportunity to work and study in Canada.

Additional benefits of the program

This is a direct
pathway to permanent
residency in Canada and
citizenship in 1.5-3
years after
obtaining residency.
The applicant
can be a
citizen of any
country, including
the Russian
No restrictions
on fields of
activity of
the start-up.
There is
no age limit
for the applicant.
It allows you
to create a partnership
of 5 people in one
start-up (a minimum
of 10% shareholding
is required for
each partner).
It takes about 3 years to obtain a Start-up Visa, but during this time you can reside in Canada on basis of a residence permit as an employee of your own company participating in the program.

Who can get a residence permit:


Basic requirements for participants
in the Start-up Visa program in Canada

Owning an innovative or successful business that generates scalable and sustainable revenue or has a positive reputation in the market
Access to capital to fund a start-up ($150,000 – $200,000 per applicant)
Specialized knowledge, unique experience in a specific area of business, or verifiable experience in business management
Upper-intermediate level of English and/or French

Conditions for participation in the Start-up Visa program for obtaining residency in Canada

Qualified business

Each foreign national shall hold at least 10% of shares in the start-up. Foreign nationals and a legal entity collectively shall own more than 50% of the total number of shares (voting rights) in the start-up.

Confirmation of investment intentions

Foreign nationals shall obtain proof of investment intent from one of entities approved by the Canadian government.

  • Business Incubators
  • Angel investors (investments from $75,000)
  • Mutual Investment Funds (investments from $200,000)

Language Proficiency

Each applicant shall be proficient in English or French according to IELTS/CLB level 5.

Sufficient funds

Each applicant shall prove that they have the minimum required funds to move to Canada (from $13,310 for a single person to $35,224 for a family of 7).


Contacting one of the Canadian government-approved entities (via DH) for proof of investment intent
Intensive training at one of the Canadian government-approved entities (in person in Toronto, or online)
Obtaining proof of investment intent from one of entities approved by the Canadian government
Preparing a file
for submission
Applying for residency under the Start-up Visa program
The application process lasts up to 3 years
Option 1
Waiting for
a decision outside
of Canada
Option 2

Obtaining a temporary residence permit
as an employee of a start-up company

  • Documents processing procedure takes 3-4 months
  • Possibility of obtaining it once needed for the whole family
  • Taking into account half the period of residence in case of citizenship planning
06 Approval
The main applicant and all members of his/her family are granted resident status, and upon arrival in Canada, the main applicant enters into a one-year business support agreement with a business incubator for successful integration.
After a year, regardless of whether the start-up was successful, all owners retain their residency.

Possibility of obtaining
Canadian citizenship

After living in Canada as a resident for a total of 1,068 days out of 1,460 days (3 years out of 4 years), a foreigner is eligible to apply for citizenship. The waiting period for a decision does not exceed 2 years.

In case of moving to Canada before obtaining resident status on basis of a temporary permit as an employee of a start-up company, period before applying for citizenship will be reduced by half the period of residence under a temporary permit.

Thus, if the residence in Canada before obtaining residency status was 2 years, then the time required to live before applying for citizenship after obtaining residency will be reduced by 1 year.



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