Start-up Visa

Start-up Visa Program (SUV) – As a Co-Founder

Canada's Start-up Visa Program (SUV) is a relatively new Canada Federal immigration program. It targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative business in Canada.

Key requirements:

  • Have a qualifying business
  • Get a letter of support from a designated organization
  • Meet minimum language requirements equivalent to a CLB 5
  • Meet minimum settlement fund requirements

Processing time:

  • Prior to impact of COVID-19, the processing time was normally in the range of 9 to 16 months. It has slowed down to 32 months in 2022. For those who would like to start their business in Canada as soon as possible, work permit will be an option. They can bring along their family members to Canada and it only takes a few months’ time.
  • But it is important to realize that there is no guarantee that their permanent residency application will be approved, therefore retaining licensed immigration consultants who have extensive experience in the Start-up visa program will help tremendously.      

What are the competitive edges:

  • May choose to get permanent residence directly or to move to Canada earlier with a work permit
  • No specific investment requirements
  • Federal program, destination can be any province other than Quebec
  • Unlike some of the PNP programs, SUV project failure doesn’t affect applicants’ permanent resident status

SUV Program is suitable for:

  • Entrepreneurs with innovation business ideas (founders); and/or
  • Experienced professionals or managers who could contribute to the proposed business ideas both intellectually and financially (co-founders)

The key roles and responsibilities of Co-Founders in a SUV application:

  • Able to contribute to the proposed business intellectually and financially
  • Participate in building up the business plan with the chosen team
  • Involved in the pitching/presentation to designated organization in order to obtain a letter of support


Read More Understanding Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) Status and Citizenship | PR Card Renewal Requirements | How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship


Official links on Canada's SUV Program:
Start-up Visa Program
What happens if my business fails?