Canada Start-UP Visa Program Meant For International Students

28 Feb 2018


Several international students of British Columbia are guided towards an entrepreneur immigration using the federal Start-Up Visa program for an extension of their stay in Canada after they complete the graduation.

An event organized at the University of British Columbia, which had an aim to link students with entrepreneurs sparked the interest of youths and educated, who were looking out for a good future in Canada.

There are many potential benefits of pursuing PR by using the Start-Up Visa program which has a major element of not requiring any management experience previously.

All entrepreneur programs at the federal and provincial-level require a previous experience of one or two years where the applicant owns a business or is placed at the top-level management.

This Start-Up Visa needs securing support from a designated entity by the government like a business incubator, an angel investor group, or a venture capital fund. The support could be of financial nature or in accepting the candidate into an incubator program.

When other requirements are fulfilled, the candidate gets Canadian PR.The aim of the program is to recruit innovative entrepreneurs, in Canada, and linking them with the business in the private sector in Canada and provide all facilities for establishing a start-up in Canada.

It was first launched as a pilot in 2013 and will make the transition to becoming permanent on March 31, 2018. By August 2017, 68 companies were launched in this program and attracted an investment of $3.7 million.

The success appears limited here in comparison to Quebec, which accepted 1,900 immigrant investors in a year and generated $275 million at the rate of $146,000 per investor given to qualifying companies in Quebec.

The Applicants for Start-Up Visa program should meet the following requirements for eligibility:

  • Obtaining a commitment from a designated entity through a Commitment Certificate/Letter of Support;
  • Having adequate unencumbered settlement funds, which are available and transferable;
  • Having one year of post-secondary education;
  • Having proficiency in English/French in the testing (CLB level 5);

The commitment given by the designated entity should meet these criteria:

  • An angel investor group which is designated must confirm that it has a plan to invest $75,000 in the qualifying business, or two commitments from them totaling $75,000; or
  • A venture capital fund which is designated must confirm that it has a plan to invest $200,000 in the qualifying business or two commitments from them totaling $200,000; or
  • A business incubator which is designated must confirm that it will accept the applicant in a Business Incubator Program.

The proposed business must have been incorporated and the applicant must be managing a business in Canada when the commitment is made and:

  • The applicant needs to own 10 percent voting rights in the corporation; and
  • None others must hold 50 percent or above of the total voting rights in the corporation.

 Start-Up Visa Program: Government-Designated Entities

Designated Venture Capital Funds

  • BDC Venture Capital
  • Blackberry Partners Fund II LP (doing business as Relay Ventures Fund II)
  • Celtic House Venture Partners
  • Celtic House Venture Partners Fund III LP
  • 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
  • PRIVEQ III Limited Partnership
  • 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.
  • Canadian Accelerator Fund Ltd.
  • Yaletown Venture Partners Inc.

Designated Angel Investor Groups

  • Angel One Network Inc.
  • First Angel Network Association
  • Golden Triangle Angel Network
  • Oak Mason Investments Inc.
  • TenX Angel Investors Inc.
  • VANTEC Angel Network Inc.

Designated Business Incubators

  • Alacrity Foundation
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
  • 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/ an 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

This program is another way to promote the pro-immigration position of the federal government towards the business community. It is a new initiative, apart from the Global Talent Stream, which allows processing of a merely two-week application for selected in-demand jobs meant for registered companies.

Major Elements of Global Talent Stream

  • It requires only Two-weeks for processing Canadian work permit applications needed by highly skilled talent
  • Dedicated service in companies which aim to make major job-creating investments in Canada
  • Reduction of the work permit requirement, for short-term top skilled work (30 days only in a 12-month period), and brief academic stays,
  • Companies which apply for workers using the Global Talent Stream will have access to an application process which provides:
  • Client-focused service for guiding eligible employers in application process of the Labour Market Benefits Plan,
  • Eligibility for workers to process work-permit applications in ten business days


To find out if you are eligible to Immigrate to Canada permanently, fill out a free evaluation form or contact us at or call us 7207111222. One of our experts will meet your expectations and provide answers to queries.


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