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Canada to welcome record-number of Start-up Visa applicants



Canada’s Start-up Visa is on track with its intake targets – and is in terms of welcoming new permanent residents owing to the popularity of the program. 

In the first quarter of 2022, Canada welcomed 160 newcomers through the Start-up Visa (SUV) program. If the trend continues throughout the year – Canada will target to open doors to 640 new permanent residents this year


This showcases the growing interest in SUV, which is Canada’s only business immigration program that requires no previous management experience. 

Like all programs offering pathways to immigrate to Canada – the SUV took a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Having increased in each of the previous five years, the numbers dropped to 260 in 2020. Canada’s result-oriented approaches did bring back the numbers somewhat in 2021, and with a solid start – the Great White North will now look to set new heights in 2022. 

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Start-up Visa Settlement Funds

The Canadian government recently announced a marginal increase in the settlement funds required under the SUV for 2022. Such settlement funds are required by SUV applicants to cover the cost of living for themselves and their families. This applies even if the family is not accompanying the applicant to immigrate to Canada. 

The funds are required for both, when applying for the Start-up Visa and when a Canada PR visa is issued. 

Immigrants can get Canadian permanent residency under the Start-up Visa program if they qualify as immigrant entrepreneurs. 


There are three types of private-sector investors that are considered: 

Business Incubators

Angel Investor Group: A designated Angel Investor Group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business. SUV applicants can also qualify with two or more investments from Angel Investor Groups totaling $75,000.


Venture Capital Funds: A designated Venture Capital Fund must invest at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. SUV applicants can also qualify with two or more investments from Venture Capital Funds totaling $200,000.

Business Incubators: A designated Business Incubator must accept the applicant into its Business Incubator program. It is up to the immigrant investor to develop a viable business plan that will meet the due diligence requirements of such government-approved designated entities. 

What are the requirements for the SUV program?

Applicants applying under Canada’s Start-up Visa program can initially come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canadian investor – before the application for Canada PR visa is finalized. 


In order to be eligible under the Start-up Visa program, applicants must have:

  • a qualifying business.
  • a commitment certificate and letter of support from a designated entity.
  • sufficient unencumbered, available, and transferable settlement funds to meet settlement funding.
  • proficiency in English or French at the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level 5. However, it frequently occurs that higher levels of English are needed to meet due diligence requirements imposed by designated entities.

Canada’s Start-up Visa program does not require previous management experience – unlike almost every other federal and provincial-level entrepreneur immigration program, requiring a minimum of one or two years of previous experience either owning a business or in top-level management.

Having the support of a government-designated entity is enough. This support can be either financial or in the form of accepting the candidate into a business incubator program.

For candidates to qualify for Canadian permanent residency:

  • The intended business must be incorporated and carrying on business in Canada;
  • The candidate must own at least 10% of the voting rights in the corporation, and;
  • No other person can hold 50% or more of the voting rights in the corporation.

As many as five applicants can have their permanent residency application supported by the same business investment. 

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