Startup Visa Program

The Start-up Visa is designed to draw international entrepreneurs who, as part of Canada's innovation revolution, wish to develop modern, scalable companies.

The Start-up Visa Program in Canada invites international entrepreneurs with the expertise and ability to create successful Start-ups in Canada that can generate jobs and compete on a global scale. 

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We partner with CIAI

CIAI (Canadian International Angel Investors) is a designated Government of Canada Start-up Visa organization and a member of NACO, the National Angel Capital Organization.

Networks represented
2800 +
Angel investors
across Canada
400 M+
Direct financing has been
provided to Canadian companies
Investments provided

Who can apply?

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

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A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions:

At the time of obtaining a commitment from us;

Every candidate owns 10% or more of the equity rights attached to all the company’s shares outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners).


Applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time.

At the time you receive your permanent residence:

While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business.

The Pitch

A pitch typically includes:

Preparing a pitch is one of the most important parts of raising funds for your Start-up. You must be able to capitalize on the opportunity of presenting your idea in front of real investors. VDI helps you in preparing the pitch for your business and works with you on its delivery and viability.

paper rocket image pitching for startup

Additional Requirements


The ability to communicate and work in English, French or both languages will help your business succeed in Canada. You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all these four areas:

Failure to do so results in rejection of your Start-up Visa application.


The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new Start-up Visa immigrants. When you apply, you will need to give proof that you have the money to support yourself and your dependents after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. To find out exactly how much money you should bring along, please refer to the IRCC (Canadian Immigration) website. The amount you need depends on the size of your family and is updated every year.

What you’ll need to do next

Share your idea with us

Convince us that you have a business idea that is worth supporting

Pitch for a Letter Of Support from CIAI

We will submit your application to IRCC (Canadian Immigration Department)

To learn more about Start-up Visa Program and its eligibility requirements, click here