Canada Startup Visa Incubators: What Are They?

Updated: 4 April 2022

Canada allows foreign citizens who are approved into its Startup Visa program instant permanent residency. This is a great immigration opportunity for entrepreneurs or investors who want to contribute to Canada’s economy by launching a new company.

A business incubator is a great way to start your Canada Startup Visa story. You can find all you need to know about this strategy in this article.

What Is a Canada Startup Visa Incubator?

A business incubator is a non-profit organization that tries to help startups and early-stage companies expand faster. They usually give useful services like office space, mentorship, management training, and even startup investment options.

If an incubator accepts your project, it indicates that they believe in your business concept and want to support you in achieving your success fast.

What Does an Incubator Do in the Application Process?

Whether your business will be profitable in the future or not, is one of the main concerns of the Canadian government for Startup Visa applicants. If you get accepted into an incubator program in Canada, you’re going to prove that a reputable organization believes in your project. 

The difference between getting support from a business incubator or an angel investor group or venture capital funds is that, with the former, there is no financial investment involved. If your support is from a venture capital fund, the minimum investment is Can$200,000; if it’s from an angel investor you need to secure a minimum investment of Can$75,0000. However, when you apply for the Canada Startup Visa through an incubator, no financial investment is required. The incubator only needs to confirm that you’re accepted into their accelerator program. Thus, this process will be completed.

Criteria for Incubator Accreditation

If you want to start a business in Canada, you can’t just meet an incubator and submit a proposal. You need to choose one that has been approved by the Canadian government. For Startup Visa Canada applicants, there are currently  30 “designated” incubators accepted.  A business incubator needs to be a member of and approved by the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) in order to be accredited.

How To Apply for Startup Visa Through an Incubator

Please find details about how to apply for the Canada Startup Visa with an incubator if you want to go on your immigration journey through this process. 

1. Figure out which incubator suits you best

Some programs focus on a specific sector, while others are focused on a specific location. Also, some programs will take startups that are nothing more than a business concept, while others would demand a profitable firm. So, each program has its own set of admittance criteria.  However, they all have one thing in common: They are generally very competitive. You should apply to one or more incubators that seem to be a suitable fit for your business idea — thorough research is crucial at this point.

2. Get accepted

It’s almost certain that you’ll be granted a Canadian Startup visa once you’ve been accepted into a business incubator program. The government (and your legal representative) will start processing the required paperwork at this point. The waiting period for this type of visa is generally between 12 and 16 months.

3. Arrive in Canada

If you are already in Canada, arrange a brief interview with an immigration officer to check through your documentation, verify your address, and confirm that you’re meeting all of the requirements.

If you arrive in Canada after being accepted, you would go through a similar procedure with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer.

You might also qualify for a temporary work permit, which allows you to keep working while their application is being processed. Please remember, though, that if you really want to immigrate to Quebec specifically, you’ll have to apply through the Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program.

For further reading, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions about Startup Visa Canada and Canada Startup Ecosystem articles.

Get Golden Visa: Who We Are and How We Can Help You

At Get Golden Visa, we are here to help you learn more about and apply for the Startup Visa in Canada. We have experienced business immigration professionals, who provide prompt and cost-effective advice to any individual applying for the program. Contact us and let us help you in finding the right solution for your specific case.

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