June 8, 2024

How to Get Startup Visa in Canada | 2024 Guide

Canada is one of the most sought after countries to emigrate to due to its strong economy, high living standards, and beautiful nature. With a resource heavy economy, Canada is looking to diversify and attract foreign startups that will establish in Canada and employ Canadians. In 2013, Canada introduced a pilot program called the Start-up Residency Program to offer foreign talent a pathway to a Canadian visa. In this article, we will cover the basics of how to get a startup visa in Canada. You will get the rundown on:

  • Benefits of Acquiring a Canadian SUV
  • How to apply for a startup visa in Canada
  • Canadian startup visa requirements
  • SUV processing and what to expect

What is a startup visa in Canada and how does it work?

With the Start-Up Visa Program, Canada provides a supportive environment for immigrant business owners and also establishes itself as a worldwide center for innovation and entrepreneurship. The primary requirements are that startups have to be innovative, employ Canadians, and be globally scalable.  The Canadian Startup Visa offers a path to permanent residence for entrepreneurs who can find a Designated Organization to support their startup in Canada. These Designated Organizations comprise of qualified venture capital firms, angel investors, and business incubators. 

Applicants need to contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support, convince the designated organization you have a business worth supporting and get a letter of support from the designated organization. While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business.

Getting the help of a professional consultancy firm can help you streamline the process and save you from spending resources on inefficient tactics. 

Canadian Startup Visa Requirements

Applicant Requirements

The requirements for applicants are straightforward for the Canada startup visa program. You have to be a working professional with experience in work or education to qualify. 

  • Language Requirement: English or French IELTS Level 5 
  • Certificate of a Clean Criminal Record

Bringing Enough Funds for Residency

Applicants have to come prepared to Canada with their own funds, not from venture capital firms or other investment money. The Canadian government makes it clear that they will not be supplying any financial support to those in the Canadian SUV program. 

Number of family members

Funds required (in Canadian dollars)















If more than 7 people, for each additional family member



Business Requirements

Canada wants businesses that will be innovative, employ Canadians, and be scalable globally. While the definitions are not very definable, it is important to show that your startup has the potential to satisfy all needs. 

Get a full breakdown of your requirements from an expert who can guide you in the right direction. 


One of the most difficult parts of acquiring your Canadian SUV is figuring out how to find a designated organization to give a Letter of Support for your business idea. The competition is fierce and startups especially face difficulty with little funds to set themselves apart. 

A Letter of Support means that a designated organization is ready to support your idea:

  • Venture capital funds need to agree to invest more than CAD $200,000
  • Angel investor must give at least CAD $75,000
  • Acceptance into a qualified Business Incubator Program

Securing this validation is of the utmost importance. One way to ensure that your startup proposal is going to look its best is to partner with an expert. Specialists will guide you in all the best business practices. 

Applying with Other Members

Startups need their team with them. In order to qualify for a Canadian startup visa, each applicant from the startup must hold 10% or more of the total voting rights. Applicants and the designated organization together must hold more than 50% of the total voting rights. When applying together, it is best to have a consultancy firm as your medium to ensure everyone is on the same page when applying. 

How to Apply for a Canadian Startup Visa

When deciding to commit to such an important program it is best to get professional help. Every bit of insight helps and can be the deciding factor in your startup visa approval. Time is especially crucial to startups as trends can change quickly and getting the attention of venture capital firms, business incubators, and angel investors for your startup is very dependent on how you compare to the competition. With an ever growing pool of startups competing for the same resources, it is in your best interest to get it right the first time and not lose your spot to competition. 

SUV Processes and Expectations

When you receive your Letter of Support, and your application for permanent residence is in processing, you are eligible to apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business. This will not only give you a headstart but also show that you are committed to your startup and be judged favorably by the government committee reviewing your application. 

Due to the long processing time of the application of up to 3 years, it is important to be patient and know that the majority of startups that received funding went on to establish in Canada. As long as you are working with a professional consultancy firm, you and your team can rest assured that the application process is being processed at every step of the way to prevent anything that would jeopardize your startup. 

How a Consultancy Helps

From creating a business plan to settling in Canada, Mirabello Consultancy has all of your bases covered. It all starts with due diligence and making sure your startup and team are eligible. Then comes the difficult part, attracting a designated organization. We have the experts needed to best articulate your startup’s potential and lay down a realistic assessment of your business strategy through a business plan. With our experience, we know exactly what designated organizations are looking for, as well as constructing the right approach to secure a Letter of Support.

Moving forward, Mirabello Consultancy has the connections with licensed partners needed to streamline communications with Canadian government institutions and get you closer to moving to Canada to build your startup. We will help you get your work permit, begin finding the real estate needed to start your business, and assist in all other aspects of settling in Canada with your StartUp. 


The complete Canadian Startup visa process is a timely and costly journey that requires proper preparation, expert consulting, and a competitive edge. After meeting the application requirements on the individual level, finding an investor for your startup is the biggest hurdle. With expert guidance, your business plan proposal will have a much higher chance of finding the right investor to grant you a Letter of Support. With the hard part over, we can then start planning the logistics of building your startup in Canada. 

Get in contact with an expert today for a zero-obligation call about your startup visa application.


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