The Canadian Startup Visa programme allows foreign entrepreneurs to establish innovative businesses in Canada and apply for permanent residence. 

These businesses add to the Canadian economy as they contribute about 79% of jobs. This is why the Canadian economy needs to support small businesses and tech startups. 

Canada also has a lot of opportunities for these businesses to fill which is why immigrant founders of high-growth tech company founders have sought after them. 

Why Canada? Canada is a great country to run a business because it has a stable government and a stable legal system which allows customers to trust brands. Businesses also get support from the government in terms of grants and tax credits.  

The country also has a strong ecosystem of investors, and a pipeline of channels to sell products and get involved with different organisations to establish partnerships with banks, hospitals, and educational platforms. 

Business incubators: A startup must be accepted into one of the Canadian-based business incubator programs before applying for the Startup visa. 

There are designated Canadian-based business incubators registered under the Startup visa program. Some of them are Pycap Inc (o/a Pycap Venture Partners). Others are Alacrity Foundation, Platform Calgary, Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator, etc. 

These incubators can also provide support and mentorship to startups if they need to pivot from their original plan based on changing demands from the market. Various Startup visa-designated organisations such as these, are VC firms which provide letters of support for tech startup founders who wish to set up their startup in Canada and in return receive permanent residency.

 These incubators even provide consulting/ business strategy services for tech startups or any business solely seeking entry into the Canadian market, not needing the PR visa pathway. 

What tech founders should know: Tech startup founders need to be aware that their business must have been in operation for three to six months before arriving in Canada. They can also manage their business remotely to keep it running before moving to Canada because it takes about 30 months before the PR is released. 

As a rule of thumb, the business should be expected to grow quickly within three to four years. 

IRCC, the official Canadian immigration body, lists the requirements that need to be met, as well as the IELTS English test score and what to do after application.  

The startups which stand a good chance to be accepted into the incubator programs are usually those in healthcare, financial services, medtech and so on.

 These incubators enable the startups to get up to standard and they evaluate the applicant based on what IRCC will evaluate them on. These incubators look at innovation, track record etc. 

To commence your application for the Startup visa, apply here.