Canada: Startup Visa

The overall process:

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is made for immigrant entrepreneurs who have the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada:

  • show innovation
  • have the potential of creating jobs for Canadians
  • are competitive on a global scale


To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:

How to apply:

  1. Get the application package
  2. Pay your application fees
  3. Submit your application

All the forms, supporting documents, signatures, language test results and the proof of payment of the processing fees must be included. Make sure no documents are missing, else, your application will be incomplete, and your documents will be sent back to you without being processed.

Pay the application fee:

Most of the time the fees include:

  • the processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • the right of Permeant Residency Fee
  • biometrics fee
  • other fees (third party fees)

The fees are paid online.

Submit application:

Make sure you have a complete application:

  • all questions answered
  • application and all forms are signed
  • all supporting documents
  • processing fees are paid with a copy of the receipt attached to your application

Make sure that you do not forget anything, else, your application will be sent back to you and you will have to fix any errors and resubmit it.

The complete application should be sent by mail to the address mentioned in the instruction guide.

Do not send your application to any other processing center or visa office.

After you apply:

How are start-up visas applications assessed:

After you apply, these things will be verified:

  • application forms are filled correctly and signed
  • processing fees are paid
  • all required documents are included

Note that the processing time is 12 to 16 months and there are different ways to avoid delays:

  • telling the visa office about any changes to your personal information, such as your address, telephone number or email, or the birth of a child and
  • not contacting the visa office more than once about the same issue

Your application will be delayed in case:

  • there are criminal or security problems or more background checks are to be done
  • your family situation is not clear (divorce,  an adoption that is not yet complete, or child custody issues that have not been resolved)
  • the visa office has to contact other visa offices in Canada or abroad to verify the data you gave

You can always check the status of your application once the visa office has started processing it.


Your application will be considered for decision if you:

  • meet the eligibility criteria
  • have enough money to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Canada
  • pass the medical exam and police certificate

You will be contacted you if you need to send more documents or go to an interview.

If your application is approved, you will be asked to send your passport to the visa office so we can issue your permanent resident visa.

Source: Government of Canada
Last Updated: 07/2020

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