Top 5 Reasons to Use Canada’s Startup-Visa

by Northen Road, January 14th, 2022
Top 5 Reasons to Use Canada’s Startup-Visa

Top 5 Reasons to Use Canada’s Startup-Visa

Author: Nolan Clack, Guest Blogger

Canada’s startup visa program has been geared towards attracting innovative entrepreneurs worldwide to start their business in the Great White North. Since the start of Canada’s startup visa, the program has brought entrepreneurs worldwide to set up their innovative business ideas within Canada’s favourable market conditions.

But what is exactly Canada’s startup visa? Why should you consider Canada’s startup visa program?

Simply put, Canada’s startup visa

program is similar to the TV show Shark Tank or Dragons Den. However, rather than presenting their business ideas in front of a panel on live TV to gain investments, business owners applying for Canada’s startup visa program must solicitate the investment of Designated Organizations. These organizations are business incubators, angel investors, and venture capitals funds approved by the Canadian government.

For example, suppose one of the designated organizations loves your business idea and selects to work work with you. In that case, the application process for Canada’s startup visa can then commence once a letter of commitment has been issued by the organization.

Canada’s startup visa program allows up to 5 business stakeholders to apply for a Canadian permanent residence visa. Each stakeholder can apply individually and include their immediate family members in their application!

Now that you know what Canada’s startup visa program is, let’s look at the top 5 reasons to use the startup visa program to immigrate to Canada.

It’s a safe program

Jumping into a new market and not knowing anything about Canadian business practices, laws, regulations, and no business connections is a daunting endeavour. However, with Canada’s startup visa program, entrepreneurs will work closely with their designated organization that sponsored their application. These designated organizations have all the connections needed to make introductions to help set up your business, explain Canadian laws, and help understand and launch in the Canadian market. For this reason, immigrating to Canada as a startup has its own safety net providing a large leg-up to support entrepreneurs along the way.

Additionally, other Canadian business programs available such as the Provincial Nominee Program require individuals to come to Canada on a work permit and set up a business first. Whereas, this is not the case with Canada’s startup visa program as it is a direct permanent residence application. Meaning, once a letter of acceptance from a designated organization has been secured, the applicant can then apply for a permanent residence visa.

The point for this example is that for Canada’s startup visa, applicants are not required to set up a business to be accepted. Thus, resulting in less risk and commitment until the application has been approved.

2. No personal minimum investment amount

Unlike other immigration programs to Canada, Canada’s startup visa program does not have a minimum personal investment amount. For example, all (5) stakeholders do not need to invest their own personal money within the investment. Therefore, immigrating to Canada as a startup is a lot more flexible under this program. Applicants are welcome to apply to Canada as long as a designated organization has provided a certificate of acceptance to the program.

Although there isn’t a minimum personal investment, there is however minimum investment required from a designated organization to qualify for Canada’s startup visa program.

Those minimum investments are:

  • Accelerator or Incubator Programs: No investment from accelerator or incubator programs is required.
  • Angel Investment: To be accepted within Canada’s startup visa program, an angel investment of at least $75,000 Canadian dollars is required.
  • Venture Capital: Immigrating to Canada as a startup under Canadian venture capital requires a minimum investment from the firm of at least $200,000 Canadian dollars.

Regardless of which designated organization sponsoring the Canadian startup visa, you will need to show the Canadian government that you can support yourself for the first year residing in Canada on your own personal finances.

3. It’s fast

Unlike other immigration programs in other countries, Canada’s startup visa program has reasonable processing times for permanent residence that take on average between 12 to 18 months.

Individuals looking to immigrate to Canada as a startup before gaining Canada’s startup visa have the option to come to Canada beforehand by applying for a work permit.

Applying for a work permit before receiving your startup visa will provide additional time getting started on your business, bringing family over, and settling in while you wait for your Canadian startup visa permanent residency to be processed.

Although it is unnecessary to come to Canada beforehand to get your business started, it is an option as some industries and business models have a shelf-life. So it can make sense to apply for a Canadian work permit to immigrate to Canada as a startup to prepare for things beforehand.

4. It benefits the Canadian economy

Canada’s startup visa program has attracted many foreign talents for good reasons. Given

Canada is a G7 country with a highly recognized education system, startup communities, and government support, making it an attractive economic market to immigrate to Canada as a startup.


However, when applying for Canada’s startup visa, the government will also factor in the following criteria to determine your business idea:


  • Does your business idea benefit the Canadian economy?


  • Does your business create jobs for Canadians?


  • Is your business idea able to compete on a global scale?

Generally, a brick-and-mortar business model is probably not best suited for Canada’s startup visa. However, suppose you still wish to immigrate to Canada as a startup with a brick-and-mortar type business model, then the Provincial Nominees Program might be right for you.

However, as previously mentioned, applying for one of the Provincial Nominees Program will not provide the same support that designated organizations provide entrepreneurs under Canada’s startup visa program.

5. It’s flexible

It doesn’t matter how small or big your business is. As long as your business idea is innovative and creates jobs for Canadians, and can compete globally, Canada’s startup visa program is a viable immigration option.

For example, if your business happens to be in the idea phase but you haven’t gotten started on it yet, then designated organizations such as accelerator or incubator programs can support making your idea come to life in the Canadian market.

Additionally, the flexibility in Canada’s startup visa is that there are no requirements for managerial experience. The flexibility of this criteria is well suited for software engineers, coders, designers or marketers with no managerial experience for this reason.

Lastly, immigrating to Canada as a startup has no age limit. What does matter is if you have an innovative business idea that meets the three earlier determining criteria that were previously mentioned, then you’re welcome to apply to Canada’s startup visa program.

Now that you have a better understanding of Canada’s startup visa, perhaps it’s your time to apply to immigrate to Canada as a startup? If you’re unsure whether your business model fits under Canada’s startup visa program, contact us. We will provide insights to align your business goals to a realistic approach to Canadian immigration programs.


At Northern Road, we are 100% Canadian-owned and licensed Canadian immigration consultants, supporting entrepreneurs with business model validation, Canadian market entry, and immigration service.

Contact us today!

Together we can ignite your dreams and take you further.