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How to qualify for the suv program

The Start-Up Visa Class Eligibility Requirements


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

  • Have a qualifying business

  • Get a letter of support from a designated organization

  • Meet the language requirements

  • Bring enough money to settle


Have a Qualifying Business


When you get a commitment from a designated organization, you can include up to five applicants on the business application. Each applicant needs to hold at least 10% of the shares of the company. Further, you and the designated organization need to jointly hold at least 50% of the shares of the proposed business (or the existing business in Canada).


At the time you receive your permanent residence, you must provide active and ongoing management of the business from within Canada. It’s also required that an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada. The business must also be incorporated in Canada.


Get a Letter of Support From a Designated Organization


Your business must be supported by a designated entity in Canada. These entities can be business incubators or Angel Investors who have an interest in supporting your business here in Canada.


Meet the Language Requirements


There is a language requirement; you must show that you can meet Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5, which is considered intermediate English or French. You must do this through an approved English exam (IELTS or CELPIP). You must provide original language results with your application to show that you meet these requirements.


Bring Enough Money to Settle


There is also a settlement fund requirement, as with most immigration applications. For an individual applicant, the settlement fund requirement is about $13,000 CAD for Permanent Residency. This amount goes up if you’re applying for additional family members. This amount goes up if you’re applying for the Start-Up Visa Work Permit. The settlement funds will actually double.


Amounts for Settlement Fund Requirements are as Follows


1 Family Member = $12,960

2 Family Members = $16,135

3 Family Members = $19,836

4 Family Members = $24,083

5 Family Members = $27,315

6 Family Members = $30,806

7 Family Members = $34,299


For each additional family member: $3,492



Other Requirements


You need to show that you intend to operate the business in Canada. The SUV class became a permanent program in 2019. Since the program became permanent, Immigration Canada really likes to see that you’ve made an active effort to set up the business in Canada. This is why we recommend that applicants apply for the Start-Up Visa Work permit as part of the process.


The Start-Up Visa work permit allows applicants to come to Canada temporarily based on their permanent residency application. To apply, you must show the letter of support from the designated entity. This will allow you to come to Canada, start setting up the business, and show Immigration Canada that you’re actively pursuing the business start-up here in Canada.


You must also include police checks/clearances with the application. This is not only for you, but for all family members ages 18 and over.


In terms of family members who can accompany you, you can have up to five applicants on the application with you. Each person can bring their spouse/common-law partner as well as all children aged 21 years and under.


Start-Up Visa Application and Work Permit Processing Time


The processing times for PR under the SUV class take anywhere from 12-16 months. The work permit application is usually approved within two months.


As a final note, Immigration Canada often asks founders for proof of experience in the field of your business (e.g. proof of education, updated business plans, market validation, letters of support, etc.). This is all to show that you will actively pursue the business in Canada.


Our Services

Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.


We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.



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Mailing Address

Calver & Associates

PO Box 20001

Newcastle, ON

L1B 1L0

Direct Line: 289-677-0108

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Appointments available: Monday to Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm

Serving Clients in:

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Durham Region