Canada Start-up Visa Program (SUV)

Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) allows foreign entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residence in Canada through business immigration. Owners of innovative start-ups or established foreign companies may be able to use this program to permanently relocate to Canada along with other founding partners (up to 5 partners), provided that they meet other requirements for the program.

  • Foreign nationals must get a Letter of Support or investment commitment from one of the Designated Organizations in Canada;
  • Each foreign national must own at least 10% of the shares in the startup. Foreign nationals and their Designated Organization must jointly have more than 50% of the total shares (voting rights) in the start-up venture;
  • Each applicant must meet the minimum English or French language skill at CLB level 5; and
  • Each applicant must have sufficient funds to settle in Canada (at a minimum, between $12,960 – $34,299, depending on the size of the applicant’s family).

In addition to the above, to be successful in this program, entrepreneurs should be prepared to also meet the following basic criteria:

  • Ownership of an innovative or successful business that is generating scalable and sustainable revenue or has strong market validation.
  • Access to capital fund your start-up venture, usually around $200,000 at a minimum per applicant.
  • Have highly specialized knowledge or unique experience in your field or have solid managerial experience; and
  • Have an upper-intermediate level of English and/or French language skill(s)[CLB 5]
Advantages of the Program

Below are some of the pros of the SUV program:

  • A direct pathway for permanent residence in Canada.
  • Open to all nationalities.
  • No limitations on business activities in Canada.
  • No net worth requirement or verification.
  • Allows for a partnership of 5 individuals in the same start-up (min. 10% of ownership for each partner is required); and
  • Opportunity to relocate to Canada by obtaining a work permit while the permanent residence application is processed.
Disadvantages of the Program

Below are some of the cons of the SUV program:

  • High competition to obtain support from designated organizations in Canada; thus, it can be challenging to get such support.
  • Lengthy processing times (3+ years) to obtain permanent residence.
  • High capital investments by the founding partners are often required to secure support from a designated organization.
  • An extremely well-developed, viable and scalable business model is needed with a proven track of success; and
  • Moderate risk of refusals at the permanent residence stage and/or delays due to peer reviews.



PNP Entrepreneur Programs

3.2.1 Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) – Stream for Entrepreneurs

3.2.2 British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)- Entrepreneur Immigration

3.2.3 Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)-Manitoba Entrepreneur Pathway

3.2.4 New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) – Business Immigration Stream

3.2.5 Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLNP)- International Entrepreneur

3.2.6 Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)-Business Stream

3.2.7 Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)- Entrepreneur / International Graduate Entrepreneur

3.2.8 Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)- Business Stream

3.2.9 The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program -Business Impact Stream

3.2.10 Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)- Entrepreneur& Farm

3.2.11 Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)-Yukon Business Nominee Program