What is a Canada Start-Up Visa Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support?

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What is a Canada Start-Up Visa Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support?
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Canada immigration news: Both commitment certificates and letters of support from business groups are required by candidates under Canada’s Start-Up Visa program.

Certificates of commitment and letters of support are similar since both are provided by designated entities which invest or support start-ups, but these are different documents and it is important to understand exactly what each one of them is.

When a designated entity – an approved angel investor fund, business incubator, or venture capital group – decides to support a particular applicant’s business venture under the Start-Up Visa program, it must send a certificate of commitment directly to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


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That certificate of commitment must contain information about:

  • the designated entity itself;
  • the applicant;
  • the entrepreneurial team applying under the Start-Up Visa program;
  • the type of business and what it will do;
  • its business structure;
  • background information, and;
  • work permits for the essential applicant or applicants.

Commitment certificates are valid for six months. During that time, the applicant has to apply for permanent residence and, when applicable, a work permit.

The letter or letters of support provided by the designated organization, though, are provided to the applicant or applicants themselves. There can be up to five applicants for each application under the Start-Up Visa program and a letter of support must be provided to each one of them.


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These letters of support are to contain information about the designated organization, the commitment certificate, the applicant and the team heading up the proposed business venture. That letter of support is the entrepreneur’s proof that the designated organization will support his or her business idea.

These letters of support are then included by the fledgling entrepreneur in his or her application for permanent residence under the Start-Up Visa program. 

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