News report | | 02-05-2024 | ±3 minutes reading time

Entrepreneurs who want to found a company in Canada, can use a special start-up visa. The visa is supposed to stimulate the Canadian economy and can be applied for through the Canadian government. However, Marc Miller, the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recently announced that the maximum amount of applications would temporarily be limited to shorten the processing times.

What is the start-up visa?

The start-up visa for Canada is a programme which allows foreign entrepreneurs to start up a company in Canada. You need to meet a number of requirements to be eligible for the start-up visa. Also, you need to prove that you do not suffer from any serious diseases which could threaten the public health of Canada, and you must disclose your criminal record.

To be eligible for this visa, you must have an innovative business idea which is supported by a designated Canadian investment group. In the framework of the start-up visa programme, these investment groups are called ‘designated organizations’. These designated organizations have a special permit from the Canadian government to be allowed to finance foreign start-ups in Canada.

The visa processing times

After submitting all required information for the visa application, it can take up to 37 months for your application to be fully processed. After the visa is issued, you may immigrate to Canada. Because of the long processing times, many entrepreneurs apply for a temporary work permit first. A work permit allows you to work on your own business in Canada, while waiting on the issuance of your start-up visa. If your start-up visa is issued eventually, you may remain in Canada permanently. Afterwards, you should personally lead your company in Canada. Also, significant parts of the business activities should be conducted in Canada.

Partly due to the long processing times, the Canadian government decided to limit the number of applications for the start-up visa. Starting immediately, Canadian designated organizations may sponsor a maximum of ten start-ups per year for start-up visa applications. This way, investment groups are forced to focus on the most promising start-ups only, reducing the workload of the Canadian immigration services. This should reduce the processing times for visa applications. Start-ups within the technology sector are given priority because these companies are expected to contribute most to the Canadian economy.

Other changes of the visa policy

The start-up visa programme is not the only visa programme facing policy changes. The Canadian authorities will temporarily pause the ‘self-employed persons programme’, allowing them to process backlogged applications. The self-employed persons programme allows people who work in the arts, culture or sports sectors to apply for a residence permit for Canada. This programme is not only for musicians, writers and painters, but also for professional interpreters and translators, journalists, athletes and presentors, among others.

The Canada eTA

Travellers from most European countries, including the UK and Ireland, do not need to apply for a visa to travel to Canada. If you travel to Canada for tourism, you can apply for an eTA instead. You can apply for the eTA within minutes online. You only need to provide a number of personal details, as well as some information about your trip. Your eTA application will be processed in 3 days, on average. You may also use the eTA for business purposes, as long as you do not work for a Canadian employer or do any physical work. You may also follow a short study programme of up to 6 months. is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the eTA Canada. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an eTA directly with the immigration service (7 CAD per eTA, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 7 CAD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 25,25 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous eTA Canada was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.