Start up visa (Canada) success stories – CASE STUDY – part 1 of 5


In this series, we interview successful applicants so you can learn about what is required to get the start-up visa for Canada. The success rate for the start-up visa in Canada is very high for those who get a letter of support. Sadi (featured in this video) was successful in securing a letter of support for the start-up visa for Canada.

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:

1. are innovative;
2. can create jobs for Canadians;
3. can compete on a global scale.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:

1. have a qualifying business
2. get a letter of support from a designated organisation
3. meet the language requirements
4. bring enough money to settle
5. Have a qualifying business
6. A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.

Check out here John’s story on how he applied.

At the time you get a commitment from a designated organisation:

1. each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)


2. applicants and the designated organisation jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time

At the time you receive your permanent residence:

1. you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada

2. an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada

3. this business is incorporated in Canada

Get a letter of support from a designated organisation

You must get a letter of support from a designated organisation (a business group that has been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups). Check out Raquel’s story on how she secured her letter of support.

You’ll need to:

1. contact the designated organisation to find out how to get its support
and convince the organisation that you have a business idea that is worth supporting

2. get a letter of support from the designated organisation

3. The process to pitch your idea is different for each organisation. Each organisation has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.

If you reach an agreement with a designated organisation, it will send you a letter of support. You need to include this letter when you submit your application. This is the proof you need to show that the venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator is supporting your business idea.

The organisation will also send a commitment certificate directly. We’ll use both your letter of support and the organisation’s commitment certificate to assess your application.

While your application for permanent residence is being processed, you can apply for a temporary work permit to get to Canada and start building your business. Check out Omar’s story on how he secured the temporary work permit and then start up visa.

The ability to communicate and work in English, French or both languages will help your business succeed in Canada.

You must take a language test from an approved agency and include the results with your application.

You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:

  1. speaking
  2. reading
  3. listening
  4. writing

Sadi’s story on getting a letter of support for the Canadian start up visa

You can hear Sadi’s story on how he secured his letter of support for the start up visa for Canada, and get an idea of his English level.