How to apply for the Start-up Visa?-- Program Details and Requirements
Discover how to apply for Canada's Start-Up Visa Program, providing key information for entrepreneurs looking to gain Canadian residency.
After introducing Canada’s Start-Up Visa program eligibility, we hope you have a clear image of the program's details. This article will show you what you need to look out for and what you need to do to apply to the program.
When applicants apply for the Start-up Visa Program, whether it is a work permit or PR application, their business ideas or ventures need to get the support of one or more of the designated organizations.
Definition of the designated organizations: they are business groups approved to invest in or support possible start-ups through the Start-up Visa Program.
Designated organizations include: venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators. Note that to obtain a letter of support from venture capital funds, you would need to be invested a minimum of $200,000 from one of them; to obtain a letter of support from angel investor groups, you would need to be invested a minimum of $75,000 from one of them.
We also attached the list of designated organizations at the end of the blog.
Work Permit and PR, for the optional work permit
Start-up Visa’s applicants do not need to apply for permanent residence first to enter Canada. A short-term work permit is also an option to get into the country first and work. For the “Eligibility requirements” details, please check our last article: How do you know if you’re eligible for Canada’s Start-Up Visa program?
How can you apply for a short-term work permit?
Before submitting an application for a work permit, applicants must submit their ‘self-employed’ offer of employment, and pay the employer compliance fee ($230).
If the business has registered for a Canada Revenue Agency business number, applicants will need to submit the ‘self-employed’ offer and pay the fee through the ‘Employer Portal’.
If your business has not yet registered for a Canada Revenue Agency business number, applicants will not be able to use ‘Employer Portal’. Applicants will need to email the Employer Portal and follow the instructions they emailed back.
Processing Time for Work Permit
Typically, preparing your personal documents takes about a month. Total time can vary depending on how long it took you to incorporate.
The work permit for a start-up visa is prioritized to be processed.
Government processing time
It's usually just a month, unlike a regular work permit. The time also depends on applicants’ country of residence from outside of Canada. If the application is from inside of Canada, five months is the current process time, as of May 2022.
Processing time for Families’ Visas
For your families’ visas, they are very similar to the work permit processing time, and they are typically submitted with the owner’s work permit and will be approved all at the same time.
Processing time for PR
The document preparation time is about a month. Government processing time is 31 months as of May 2022.
As previously mentioned, applicants and their families are all included in their PR applications.
The list of designated organizations
Venture capital funds
7 Gate Ventures
Arete Pacific Tech Ventures (VCC) Corp
BDC Venture Capital
Celtic House Venture Partners
Extreme Venture Partners LLP
Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP
iNovia Capital Inc.
Intrinsic Venture Capital
Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation (o/a Innovacorp)
PRIVEQ Capital Funds
Red Leaf Capital Corp
ScaleUp Venture Partners, Inc.
Top Renergy Inc.
Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership
Version One Ventures
Westcap Management Ltd.
Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.
York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund
Angel investor groups
Canadian International Angel Investors
Golden Triangle Angel Network
Keiretsu Forum Canada
Oak Mason Investments Inc.
Southeastern Ontario Angel Network
TenX Angel Investors Inc.
VANTEC Angel Network Inc.
York Angel Investors Inc.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
Food Processing Development Centre
Alberta IoT Association
Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
Creative Destruction Lab
Empowered Startups Ltd.
Highline BETA Inc.
Innovation Cluster - Peterborough and the Kawarthas
Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
Launch Academy - Vancouver
LaunchPad PEI Inc.
Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
North Forge East Ltd.
North Forge Technology Exchange
Pacific Technology Ventures
Pycap Inc (o/a Pycap Venture Partners)
Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
Roseview Global Incubator
Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
The DMZ at Ryerson University
Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery
Waterloo Accelerator Centre
York Entrepreneurship Development Institute