The growing popularity of the Start-Up Visa Program and Business Incubators

June 5, 2020 – Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) created the Start-Up Visa Program (SUV) in in April 2013 as a pilot project and it became a permanent federal immigration program in 2018.

Over its existence, the Canadian Start-Up Visa Program constantly grew in popularity as hundreds of entrepreneurs already earned a permanent resident status in Canada (and permanent resident visas for their family members) by developing their innovative idea in the country.

According to the official figures, 894 Start-Up Visa applications were submitted to the IRCC between 2013 and October 2019.

Year Number of Applications
2013 2
2014 32
2015 60
2016 74
2017 116
2018 294
2019 316

The Canadian Start-up Visa program differs from other Canadian immigration programs as there is no invitation to apply (such as express entry, most PNP program, etc.) or quota systems (such as the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program).  Applicants who receive the support from a designated organization (venture capital fund, angel investor group or business incubator) for their startup can submit an application at any time and obtain permanent residency status in Canada within 12 to 16 months (IRCC, June 5th 2020) .

Besides, more than 80 % of these 894 applications filed from 2013 to October 2019 received the support from business incubators as their designated organization of choice.

Type of designated organization Number of Applications
Venture Capital Funds 55
Angel Investor Groups 122
Business incubators 717