Designated Organizations for the Start-up Visa Immigration

The Start-up Visa Program targets entrepreneurs and innovative business people. It is a federal immigration program for those who intend to immigrate to Canada, and their destination is anywhere but the province of Quebec. A vital component of the Start-up Visa program is to receive a Letter of Support from a designated organization by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). These organizations fall into three major groups:

  • Venture capital funds – According to bdc.ca, “a venture capital (VC) fund is a sum of money investors committed for investment in early-stage companies. The investors who supply the fund with money are designated as limited partners. The person who manages the fund is called the general partner. The general partner decides which early-stage companies the fund will invest in based on criteria established by the fund partners.” A valid letter of support from a designated venture capital fund means they agreed to invest your idea in a minimum amount of CAD 200,000.
  • Angel investor groups – A group of angel investors create an angel investor group. According to bdc.ca, angel investors “are wealthy, experienced business people who invest their time and money in your high-growth business in exchange for equity.” IRCC expects a minimum of CAD 75,000 along with a letter of support from a designated angel investor group to consider the letter acceptable.
  • Business incubators – According to bdc.ca, “a business incubator is a program that gives very early-stage companies access to mentorship, investors and other support to help them get established.” Business incubators usually do not invest capital in a business but offer their services to them. Acceptance by a business incubator and a letter of support without any investment is good enough for IRCC.

You only need one letter of support from one designated organization. For example, if you receive a letter from an incubator, you do not need a venture capitalist or angel investor letter.

The following lists show the existing designated organizations for the Start-Up Visa program. I copied them verbatim from the IRCC website on December 9, 2018, and updated the list on December 27, 2020. Please visit their website for the official version. The following list is not official and is not endorsed by IRCC.

<<Read: What is happening with the Start-up Visa and Self-employed Class applications 2021>>

Venture Capital (VC) Funds

Angel Investor Groups

Business Incubators

Read the following article for more information about the Star up visa immigration.

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    Update: May 28, 2021

    *Note: For the official list of designated organizations for the Start-up visa program click here.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches immigration courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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