Federal Startup Visa Program

Canada’s Startup Visa offers entrepreneurs who can obtain the financial backing of venture capital funds or angel investors, or who are accepted by business incubators, the right to start and operate a new business in Canada.

The program offers a path to permanent residency in Canada in as few as two years and citizenship in as few as five.

Though there are no specific physical presence requirements, applicants are expected to take an active and ongoing managerial role in their startups and, therefore, in practice spend most of their time in Canada.


Program at a glance

Program TypeActive Investor Visa
Time to citizenship5 years
Time to permanent residency2 years
Minimum investmentNone, but external financing needed (see How to Qualify)
Physical presence requirementNone, but applicant must engage in active management of the business from within Canada.
Application processing time12-16 months
Citizenship grants visa-free travel to185 destinations, including Schengen countries and the US
Contribution types availableNo investment required

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Direct Citizenship Programs

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Active Investor Visas

Programs that offer residence permits within months to those who physically relocate to start and/or run a business. Startup and entrepreneur visas fall under this category.

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