By Published On: May 31, 2022


The Canadian federal government has recently announced that a Start-up visa program, which was launched by the previous conservative government, will now become an integrated part of the Canadian Immigration policy.  The purpose of in introducing a Start-up visa program is to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to establish their companies in Canada. 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Start-up visa program, the applicant company must:

  • Have the support of one of the designated organization (see the “Minimum Investment” section below for a list of all the organization approved by the Federal Government);
  • Show that their business meets the ownership requirements;
  • Meet the minimum language requirement level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French;
  • Be financially sufficient to settle in Canada;
  • Successfully pass a physical medical exam; and
  • Obtain a police certificate to show that you do not have any criminal record and do not pose to a threat to Canada’s security.

Minimum Investment Requirement From a Designated Organization

Under the Start-up Visa Program, a designated Canadian venture capital fund must invest a minimum of $200,000 in the applicant’s business. 

  • The following is the list of the designated venture capital funds that have until now been approved by the Government of Canada.
  • BDC Venture Capital
  • Blackberry Partners Fund II LP (doing business as Relay Ventures Fund II)
  • Celtic House Venture Partners
    1. Celtic House Venture Partners Fund III LP
    2. Celtic House Venture Partners Fund IV LP
  • DRI Capital Inc.
  • Extreme Venture Partners LLP
  • Golden Opportunities Fund Inc.
  • iNovia Capital Inc.
  • Lumira Capital
  • New Brunswick Innovation Foundation Inc.
  • OMERS Ventures Management Inc.
  • Pangaea Ventures Fund III, LP
  • PRIVEQ Capital Funds
    1. PRIVEQ III Limited Partnership
    2. PRIVEQ IV Limited Partnership
  • Real Ventures
  • Rho Canada Ventures
  • Summerhill Venture Partners Management Inc.
  • Tandem Expansion Management Inc.
  • Top Renergy Inc.
  • Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
  • Version One Ventures
  • Wellington Financial LP
  • Westcap Mgt. Ltd.
    1. Canadian Accelerator Fund Ltd.
  • Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.


Under this program, a designated Canadian angel investor group must invest minimum $75,000 in the applicant’s business. 

  • The following is the list of the designated Canadian angel investor group that have been approved by the Government of Canada.
  • Angel One Network Inc.
  • Canadian International Angel Investors
  • First Angel Network Association
  • Golden Triangle Angel Network
  • Oak Mason Investments Inc.
  • TenX Angel Investors Inc.
  • VANTEC Angel Network Inc.


With respect to Canadian business incubator, there is no minimum investment required.  However, the applicant’s business must be accepted by one of the designated incubators. 


  • The following is the list of the designated Canadian business incubator that have been approved by the Government of Canada.
  • Alacrity Foundation
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
    1. Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
    2. Food Processing Development Centre
  • Bioenterprise Corporation
  • Canada Accelerator Co (d/b/a HIGHLINE)
  • Communitech
  • The DMZ at Ryerson University
  • Empowered Startups Ltd.
  • Extreme Innovations
  • Genesis Centre
  • INcubes Inc.
  • Innovacorp
  • Innovate Calgary
  • Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Istuary Idea Labs
  • Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
  • Launch Academy
  • LaunchPad PEI Inc.
  • NEXT Canada
  • Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
  • Ryerson Futures Inc.
  • Spark Centre
  • Spring Activator
  • Toronto Business Development Centre
  • Waterloo Accelerator Centre
  • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute


What if my business fails?

Despite the failure of an applicant’s business, the applicant will be able to keep their permanent residency status even if the business does not succeed. 

Have any questions regarding your business start-up eligibility?  With nearly 30 years of experience, we can provide you with professional and reputable legal counseling.  Get in touch by calling us at (613) 226-8989 or sending us an email at


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