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Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm

Canadian Federal Start Up Visa Program

The Federal Start Up Visa program was established to encourage foreign nationals to open innovative companies that will create employment opportunities for Canadians and will be able to compete internationally. The program offers a direct pathway to Permanent Residence for qualifying entrepreneurs who will link with government designated organizations in Canada to receive funding, guidance, and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.


  • Creation of a qualifying business where the applicant holds a minimum of 10% of the voting rights for outstanding shares
  • Have a letter of support from a government-designated organization
    • The designated organizations include:
      • Angel investors
      • Venture capital funds
      • Business incubators
  • Applicant and the designated organization must together hold at least 50% of the total voting rights for outstanding shares
  • Minimum language requirement for the applicant: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5
  • Meet basic personal settlement funds criteria


The benefits and considerations for Start-Ups to establish in Canada include:

  • Shareholding Entrepreneurs can apply for Canadian Permanent Residence for themselves and their families
  • Partners organizations willing to invest at least $75,000 as a designated Angel Investor, or at least $200,000 as a designated venture Capital Fund, provided the Start-Up is accepted by the organizations.
  • From an immigration perspective, the program allows for priority processing and permits residence in any city in Canada (other than in the Province of Quebec) as the intended location of the business
  • Up to 5 applicants can apply as owners, where each applicant holds a minimum of 10% of the voting rights for outstanding shares and plays a role in the business.


  • Working with Canada’s oldest and largest immigration law boutique
  • Relationships and networks with variety of stakeholders that will assist with comprehensive incubation programs, North American market entry strategies, accessing necessary funds and business modelling and development
  • An unequalled track record of success under this relatively new program
  • Expertise to manage any issues that may arise as efficiently as possible