Breaking ground on foreign soil as an entrepreneur or investor can jump-start your career tremendously. Whether a United States native or having trouble navigating a complicated economic landscape elsewhere, Canada’s Startup Visa Program may best suit your interests. As an alternative that many business owners have pursued in the past, the Startup Program is flexible and accommodating. 

The Basics of the Startup Program

The number one country in the world for an enhanced quality of life, Canada is politically stable, boasts an excellent banking system, a clean environment, and provides free healthcare. It’s no wonder business advisors across the globe are consulting with Canadian immigration advisors. 

Among the top five technology talent markets in the world, Canada is welcoming more immigrants each year. To attend to business immigrants, the Startup Program doesn’t entail a minimum investment and requires only a score of five or higher on the English language IELTS test. Applicants must prove settlement funds of $13,000 (10,000 USD) and under $3,000 (2,000 USD) per family member. 

After three years or more of permanent residency, business immigrants can apply for Canadian citizenship or passport. 

The Startup Program Structure

Before collating due diligence requirements, immigrant entrepreneurs must first develop a viable business plan via three options: 

  • The immigrant can join a business incubator program, spending some time in Canada to formulate a plan with an appointed mentor. The project may take roughly six months to develop and will cost applicants $100,000 (70,000 USD). 
  • The immigrant can get support from a government-designated angel investor group with an investment of under $75,000 (60,000 USD). 
  • The immigrant can get support from a government-designated venture capital fund group with an investment of over $200,000 (150,000 USD).

Either way, immigrants must own at least 10% of the voting shares in a chosen Canadian company and become actively involved in the development process. No other participating entity may own more than 50% of voting shares. 

If you meet the requirements, your sponsoring group will mail you a letter of support or commitment certificate. You can then begin processing your permanent residency application and immediately apply for a short-term work permit to start working on your company. Processing your permanent residency can take up to 18 months—be sure to interface regularly with your immigration lawyer in Toronto. 

Once approved, your spouse can also apply for an open work permit, and your children can attend school in Canada at no cost. For three months from entry, you will also receive free healthcare. 

Immigration consultants advise those travelling to Canada for Compassionate Travel purposes not to fear the process.
Immigrant Entrepreneurs


To secure your business in the future, you might decide that foreign investment is best for you and your family. Although supporting local businesses can help your economy recover, a move might be the key to allowing your business to flourish. 

If you’re starting to set up your business in Canada, Bright Immigration can hook you up with the right Canada immigration lawyer. With detailed information on industry market sectors in our back pocket, we’re well-equipped to provide you with the best advice. 

If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted firm, please contact us at or call 1-888-404-8472.

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