Canada's Start-Up Visa Pathway for Business Owners

20 Oct 2022

Experienced business owners know that balancing risk and reward is key. Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program (SUV) balances the risks of starting a tech business with the opportunities Canada has to offer. Read on for more information about this pathway to permanent residence.


Many entrepreneurs select Canada as their destination for its high quality of life, growing technology sector, and great educational opportunities for families.


Canada's Start-up Visa Program is designed for tech entrepreneurs with the skills to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, create jobs, and compete on a global scale. It applies to all provinces except Quebec.


What makes the Start-Up Visa program unique?

The SUV program has a lot of flexibility. An important benefit of the program is that the applicant’s permanent residency is not impacted by the success or failure of the business.


Which Businesses Qualify for the SUV Program?

To qualify, a business must be in the technology sector. For example, creating a mobile app to be used in the restaurant industry could qualify, but a restaurant business would not.


Do I need to run the business? Do I need to own it?

You must be involved with the day-to-day operations of the business. You also need to own at least 10% of voting shares in the business. Being more invested and involved in the business can show that you are serious about its success.


How long does the application process take?

The amount of time the SUV program will take depends on your circumstance, especially because each country has a different processing time. It normally takes at least one year (in summer of 2022, the processing time was 30-33 months). The best way to determine timelines is to speak with an experienced immigration consultant.


Who should apply for the SUV program?

Applicants should be able to invest in a business and have funds to support themselves in Canada. Strong applicants also have good experience in business management, business ownership, or technology.


How do I know if the SUV Program is the best option for me?

If you are interested in the SUV path to permanent residence, it’s helpful to speak with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). An expert consultant can discuss the Start-Up Visa process and other options so you can make the best choice!


If you’re ready to explore business immigration options, our licensed consultants can help. To find out if you qualify, please visit our business immigration page.


Please note: The information in this blog should not be considered advice, and details of the SUV Program may change. For current details about this program, please visit the Government of Canada’s website or speak with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.