The Start-Up Visa for Canada

The Start-Up Visa for Canada

The Start-Up Visa Program of Canada is commonly known as the SUV program of Canada. It is an easy way for skilled business people to immigrate to Canada.

The SUV program aims at immigrants who can effectively build their companies in Canada. It occurs by connecting innovative entrepreneurs with private-sector investors in Canada.

These candidates will be eligible to obtain Canada PR once their firm is fully established in Canada. Initially, they will enter the nation on a Canadian work permit, funded by their authorized Canadian investor.

The SUV candidate can apply for a temporary work permit to enter Canada and establish their firm there while their application is processed for Canadian permanent residence.


These requirements must be fulfilled for a candidate to be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the Start-Up Visa program.

These include owning a qualified business, being able to speak English fluently enough to participate in the SUV program, a letter of support from one of the recognized organizations, and the necessary financial condition to settle in Canada along with the family.

A business that satisfies all the conditions established by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [IRCC] is referred to by the term “qualified business.”

The person must be providing “active and continuous” management of the business by staying in Canada at the time they receive their permanent resident visa for Canada.

A major part of the business operations must be carried out in Canada.

To meet the language requirements, the candidate must have achieved at least Level 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmark [CLB] in speaking, reading, listening, and writing in either English or French.

Now, to obtain a Letter of Support as part of the SUV program eligibility procedure, a person must secure the support of one of the IRCC-authorised organizations.

The group which is endorsing the person will produce a Letter of Support for the SUV program.

Business incubators, an angel investor group, or venture capital funds of them can be designated organizations for the Start-Up Visa program for Canada. Successful candidates must obtain a minimum amount of funding for their Canadian start-up. The investment must be at least $200,000 if it comes from a recognized Canadian venture capital fund. If coming from a group of angel investors, it must be at least $75,000 in value.

One or more recognized organizations can offer their support to the startup.

The proposal varies for different businesses. It depends on the organization. The Letter of Support must be provided at the time of applying to the IRCC.

You’ll have to provide evidence of your financial capability to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada. The amount needed will depend on how many other family members, in addition to the primary applicant, plan to relocate to Canada.

Processing time of the visa

The processing period is usually as follows if an entrepreneur has a startup with a strong business plan :
  • Obtaining a Letter of Support will take 4 to 6 months, and
  • completing the visa application will take around 18 months.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Startup Visa

It would be smart to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this program before moving forward. It is essential to comprehend everything this program has to offer and determine whether it is the best fit for you.

Benefits of the Programme

Here are a few advantages of the SUV program:

  • A direct way to Canadian permanent residency.
  • All nationalities are welcome.
  • No restrictions on conducting business in Canada.
  • No demand for or verification of net wealth.
Enables a collaboration of up to five people in a single startup (each partner must own at least 10% of the company); provides the chance to move to Canada while the application for permanent residency is being completed.

Challenges with the Program

Here are a few drawbacks of the SUV program:

It can be difficult to secure such sponsorship due to the fierce rivalry for funding from Canadian authorized organizations.

Lengthy (3+ years) processing times for obtaining permanent residence.

To obtain support from a specified organization, the founding partners frequently need to make large monetary investments.

With a track record of success, a very well-developed, viable, and scaleable business model is required. There is also a moderate risk of rejections at the stage of permanent residency and/or delays because of peer evaluations.

How to Request a Support Letter for the Startup Visa Program in Canada

Follow these crucial procedures to get a letter of support from a Designated Organization:

  • Prepare your business concept pitch deck or business plan.
  • Submit your application for review and assessment to the appropriate organization.
  • Have a meeting with a chosen organization.
  • Sign a contract with the chosen organization.
  • Pay the specified organization’s fees.
  • Obtain a letter of support from the specified organization.
  • Submit your work permit and permanent residency applications.

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