Start-Up Visa

Qualifying Business

Section 7 of the MI7 defines a “qualifying business” in this context

  • Applicant must hold a minimum of 10% equity.
  • No persons or entities (other than the applicant) hold 50% or more equity.
  • Must be incorporated in Canada or have conditional incorporation status.
  • No more than five applicants may be included in one business enterprise.
  • If there are multiple applicants and one is deemed to be essential to the success of the venture, should they be refused, all applicants will be refused.

Designated Organizations

To be eligible for a start-up visa, the business idea must obtain the financial support of:

  • Designated venture capital funds
  • Designated angel investor
  • Designated business incubators

Business Incubators

IRCC more recently added the support of a business incubator as another means to meet the criteria for application under this program.

A business incubator is not required to commit a specific amount of money to the project but can in lieu of financial investment, provide business support to the applicant and the project. A list of designated business incubators is also published by IRCC.