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What is a Start-Up Visa (SUV) Program?

Welcome to Canada's Start-up Visa Program, an innovative initiative designed to attract talented entrepreneurs from around the globe and facilitate their journey towards building successful businesses in Canada. The Start-up Visa Program is a pathway for entrepreneurs who wish to establish their start-up ventures in Canada. The program is for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas who will spur economic growth. It provides a unique opportunity for individuals with innovative business ideas and the potential for growth to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

If you are a foreign entrepreneur who is considering applying for a Start-Up Visa program, this InfoGuide is for you.


Key Features:

Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Start-up Visa Program offers entrepreneurs the chance to establish their business ventures in a thriving ecosystem known for its innovation and economic stability.

Permanent Residency: Successful applicants and their families can obtain permanent residency status in Canada, allowing them to live, work, and study in the country.

No Minimum Investment: Unlike many other immigration programs, there is no minimum investment requirement for the Start-up Visa Program. Instead, applicants must secure funding or support from designated organizations.

Supportive Ecosystem: Canada boasts a supportive ecosystem for start-ups, including access to world-class research institutions, vibrant tech hubs, and a diverse talent pool.

Accelerated Processing: Applications under the Start-up Visa Program are processed on an expedited basis, allowing entrepreneurs to swiftly embark on their business ventures in Canada.

Key Benefits of the SUV Program:


Residency and Family Inclusion: The Start-up Visa Program not only grants permanent residency to successful applicants but also extends this privilege to their immediate family members, including spouses, common-law partners, and children under the age of 22. This ensures that families can stay together and thrive in Canada's welcoming environment.

Travel and Quality of Life: Upon approval, participants in the Start-up Visa Program have the freedom to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada. Additionally, they gain access to high-quality subsidized education for their children and can benefit from Canada's advanced healthcare and welfare system, contributing to a high standard of living and quality of life.


No Age Limit and Path to Citizenship: Unlike some immigration programs, the Start-up Visa Program has no age limit, making it accessible to aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages. Furthermore, successful applicants can apply for Canadian citizenship after residing in Canada as permanent residents for just three years, offering a clear pathway to long-term integration and participation in Canadian society.


Strategic Advantage - Accessing the Entire North American Market: Canada is geographically positioned as a gateway to the entire North American market, offering unparalleled access to one of the world's largest and most lucrative consumer markets. Entrepreneurs can leverage Canada's proximity to the United States, Mexico, and other North American countries.

Eligibility Criteria to apply for SUV Program:


The eligibility criteria for the Start-up Visa Program are designed to ensure that applicants possess the necessary qualifications and attributes to contribute to Canada's entrepreneurial ecosystem. To successfully apply for the SUV Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Qualifying Business Idea: Applicants must have a viable business idea that is innovative, scalable, and has the potential to create significant economic benefits for Canada. The business idea should be supported by a comprehensive business plan outlining its feasibility and growth prospects. Up to five people may apply for a startup visa as owners of a single business.

Endorsement from Designated Organization: Applicants must secure a letter of support or commitment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator. These designated organizations play a crucial role in evaluating and selecting promising start-up ventures.


Language Proficiency: Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French by providing language test results from designated testing agencies. Adequate language skills are essential for effective communication and integration into the Canadian business environment.


Settlement Funds: Applicants must possess sufficient funds to support themselves and their families upon arrival in Canada. While there is no minimum investment requirement, applicants must demonstrate that they have the financial means to establish and operate their business ventures in Canada.


Educational Background: While not mandatory, a post-secondary education or equivalent experience in a relevant field can strengthen an applicant's profile. Educational qualifications or professional experience in areas such as business administration, technology, or entrepreneurship can enhance the credibility of the business proposal.


Admissibility Requirements: Applicants must meet Canada's admissibility requirements, which include passing medical examinations, security screenings, and background checks. Individuals with criminal records or health issues that pose a risk to public safety may be deemed inadmissible.


Commitment to Residency: Successful applicants must demonstrate a genuine intention to reside in Canada and actively manage their business ventures. The Start-up Visa Program is intended for individuals who are committed to contributing to Canada's economy and society on a long-term basis.

By meeting these eligibility criteria, aspiring entrepreneurs can position themselves for success in applying for the Start-up Visa Program and embarking on their entrepreneurial journey in Canada.

The Application Process for Start-Up Visa:


The application process for the Start-up Visa (SUV) Program involves several steps and interactions with designated organizations and Canadian immigration authorities. Here's an overview of the application process:

Developing a Business Idea: Aspiring entrepreneurs begin by developing a viable business idea that is innovative, scalable, and has the potential for significant economic impact in Canada. The business idea should align with the eligibility criteria of the SUV Program and address market needs or opportunities.


Securing Endorsement from a Designated Organization: Applicants must secure a letter of support or commitment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator. This endorsement validates the potential of the business idea and demonstrates the support of the Canadian entrepreneurial community.


Gathering Required Documentation: Applicants gather all necessary documentation, including business plans, financial statements, language test results, educational credentials, and proof of settlement funds. It's essential to ensure that all documentation is accurate, up-to-date, and meets the requirements outlined by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


Conducting Due Diligence on the Business Plan: Designated organizations and immigration officials may conduct due diligence on the business plan to assess its feasibility, scalability, and potential for success. This may involve reviewing market research, financial projections, and the applicant's business acumen to ensure that the proposed venture meets the requirements of the SUV Program.


Submitting the Application for PR and Work Permit: Once all required documentation is prepared, applicants submit their application for the Start-up Visa Program to IRCC. The application must include the endorsement letter from the designated organization, along with other supporting documents and forms.


Application Processing: Upon receiving the application, IRCC begins processing it, which may involve verifying the authenticity of documents, conducting background checks, and assessing the eligibility of the applicant and their business idea. The processing time can vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications and the complexity of individual cases.


Medical Examinations and Security Clearances: Applicants may be required to undergo medical examinations to ensure they meet Canada's health admissibility requirements. Additionally, background checks and security clearances may be conducted to assess the applicant's criminal record and admissibility to Canada.


Decision and Issuance of Visa: After completing the necessary processing steps, IRCC makes a decision on the application. If approved, the applicant and their family members are issued permanent resident visas, allowing them to travel to Canada and establish their business ventures.


Landing in Canada and Commencing Business Activities: Upon arrival in Canada, successful applicants become permanent residents and can begin implementing their business plans. They have the freedom to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada and are encouraged to actively manage and grow their start-up ventures.


Throughout the application process, applicants may receive updates and requests for additional information from IRCC. It's essential to stay informed and responsive to ensure a smooth and successful application experience.

Obtaining a Letter of Support for Canada's Start-Up Visa Program:

Securing a letter of support from a Canadian Designated Organization is a critical step in the process of applying for Canada's Startup Visa Program. However, this endeavor can be challenging, as it requires demonstrating strong market validation or recurring scalable revenue for your startup. If you possess an innovative idea, relevant skills, and capital to execute it, partnering with specialized business consultants to develop, test, and validate your idea prior to seeking endorsement from a designated organization can greatly increase your chances of success.

To obtain a letter of support from a Designated Organization, follow these key steps:

  • Do I need a permit to study in Canada?
    Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. Some people in specific situations may not. You should apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. Only some people can apply for a study permit from within Canada. Before you apply, you must have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution in Canada.
  • Study Permit eligibility requirements
    You can come to Canada to study if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller If you’re under 18, you don’t have to be fully vaccinated. You do need to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. are enrolled at a DLI prove you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required) are in good health and get a medical exam (if required) and prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires
  • Who can apply under Student Direct Stream?
    You must be a legal resident living in one (1) of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda Brazil China Colombia Costa Rica India Morocco Pakistan Peru Philippines Senegal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago Vietnam have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution live outside of Canada at the time of application have proof you have paid your tuition for your first year of study have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000 have a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration This is only if you’re planning to study in Quebec get a medical exam before you apply get a police certificate before you apply (if applicable in your situation) have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s) have a language test result that shows either: an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic or general training score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening), or a Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score that is equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening) Depending on your situation, you may also need to provide other documents.
  • I am an international student in Canada. How can I apply to become a permanent resident?
    There are several permanent resident categories that you may fit into, including the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Provincial Nominee Program. Some of those categories require eligible Canadian work experience. If you want to work in Canada after you graduate from your studies, you must apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.
  • How can I extend my stay as a student?
    The expiry date on your study permit tells you when you have to stop studying and leave Canada. If you want to study in Canada longer, you need to extend your study permit. It is recommended to apply at least 30 days before your current study permit expires. Make sure your passport doesn’t expire at the same time. Your study permit cannot be extended beyond your passport’s expiry date.

By following these steps and diligently preparing your application, you can increase your chances of obtaining a letter of support for Canada's Startup Visa Program and take a significant step forward in realizing your entrepreneurial aspirations in Canada.

Proof of Funds Requirement

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This table shows the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada as of April 25, 2023.

Why Choose ASTECO for Assistance for your SUV Program Application?


At Asteco, we understand the complexities and challenges associated with navigating Canada's Start-up Visa (SUV) Program. As a leading immigration agency specializing in assisting entrepreneurs and innovators, we offer a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the unique needs of applicants seeking to participate in the SUV Program. Here's how our agency can be beneficial for individuals embarking on their entrepreneurial journey:

Expert Guidance and Support: Our team of experienced immigration professionals possesses in-depth knowledge of the SUV Program requirements and application process. We provide personalized guidance and support at every step of the journey, ensuring that applicants have a clear understanding of the program's intricacies and requirements.


Strategic Planning and Preparation: We work closely with applicants to develop strategic business plans and pitch decks that effectively showcase their innovative ideas, market potential, and scalability. Our team assists in refining business concepts, conducting market research, and articulating value propositions to enhance the competitiveness of applicants' submissions to designated organizations.


Network of Designated Organizations: Leveraging our extensive network of designated Canadian venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubators, we connect applicants with reputable organizations that align with their business objectives and industry focus. We facilitate introductions, assist in building relationships, and guide applicants through the endorsement process to maximize their chances of securing support.


Comprehensive Application Assistance: From compiling required documentation to preparing and submitting applications to designated organizations and immigration authorities, our agency provides end-to-end support to streamline the application process. We ensure that all paperwork is meticulously completed, accurate, and submitted within designated timelines to avoid delays or complications.


Ongoing Communication and Updates: We maintain open lines of communication with our clients throughout the application process, providing regular updates, feedback, and guidance as needed. Our team remains accessible to address any questions or concerns and offers timely assistance to resolve issues or challenges that may arise.


Post-Approval Support: Upon successfully obtaining a letter of support and securing permanent residency in Canada, our agency continues to support entrepreneurs in their transition and settlement process. We offer assistance with relocation logistics, accessing essential services, and integrating into the Canadian business ecosystem to facilitate a smooth transition and maximize opportunities for success.


Commitment to Excellence: At Asteco, we are committed to delivering exceptional service and exceeding our clients' expectations. We prioritize professionalism, integrity, and transparency in all our interactions, striving to ensure a positive and rewarding experience for every applicant we serve.

In conclusion, choosing our agency for assistance with the SUV Program offers applicants a strategic advantage in navigating the complexities of the application process and positioning their business ventures for success in Canada. With our expertise, support, and dedication to client satisfaction, we empower entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and unlock the limitless opportunities that await them in Canada's vibrant start-up ecosystem.

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