Are you a tech entrepreneur currently outside of Canada and interested in moving to British Columbia to establish your business? The Startup Visa Program has been designed to support your ambition.
Created by the Government of Canada, this program intends to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new high-growth businesses in Canada that will support innovation and job-creation.
Grow Your Business In Canada
Alacrity will accelerate growth through a 12 month program that’s responsive to each entrepreneur’s or company’s needs. Companies will receive access to expertise, services, resources, mentors, and advisors so that they can conquer milestones, achieve goals, and overcome any challenges they may face in setting up a business in Canada.
Doing business in Canada guide
Basic legal support
Accounting controls setup
Office space in Victoria, B.C.
Access to local tech events and seminars
Investor readiness support
Introductions to investors
Access to Alacrity partnerships
Mentorship, coaching, and advisor expertise
What Makes You Eligible For Application?
Be a single entrepreneur, or an entrepreneurial team up to 5 members
Have access to sufficient working capital to meet initial needs
Be able to demonstrate early technology validation and/or customer traction
Be able to clearly articulate the market opportunity for the product or service offering in Canada and internationally
Have relevant education, experience, and expertise that will support the success of the business in Canada
Be able to effectively communicate and work in English or French to conduct business in Canada
Be ready to provide detailed information regarding the potential viability of the business venture. This includes business plans, financial documents, founder biographies, curriculum vitaes (CVs), and other relevant information as required by Alacrity.
Demonstrate how the business is potentially viable from both a financial and market perspective
Each applicant must be an active member of the venture team with at least 10% of the voting rights to qualify. The combination of the applicant and Alacrity must also hold at least 50% of the voting rights in the proposed venture to qualify for the Startup Visa Program.
How to Apply?
The first step is to complete the application form. The Alacrity team will review all submissions, and if your application screens through, they will schedule a 30-minute call to discuss your proposed business and provide additional program details. If you successfully pass this initial stage, a thorough due diligence consideration of you and your proposed business and business plan is required before formal acceptance. Alacrity typically takes 1-3 months to approve an application; however, that is dependent on how quickly we can receive information and specific documents from you.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) approval process is currently listed at 18 – 24 months. The Startup Visa Program application is accessible online through the link below.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve applied, but have yet to receive a response...
Check your spam or promotion folders, and if you still haven’t received an email from us, it means that we are still in the process of reviewing your application and will get back to you soon. If it’s been more than two weeks, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does Alacrity invest in businesses?
Alacrity does not offer any direct financial support or investment. However, we do provide introductions to potential investors.
When do program services begin?
The program and services start when you are able to come to Canada. This is either when you are approved by IRCC and receive your Permanent Residency or if you decide to apply for a work permit while IRCC is processing your application.
Does Alacrity hold a stake in the business?
Yes, Alacrity does receive equity in the new business. Please view our Application Package for more information.
Where can I start my business and where do I have to move to?
The closer you are to Alacrity Canada, the easier it is for meetings and receiving services and resources. While we prefer applicants to be in British Columbia as we are headquartered in Victoria, B.C., we will not restrict you if you wish to be somewhere else in Canada. The one limitation that the Government of Canada has imposed is that applicants cannot move to the province of Quebec.
What is a work permit and how do I apply for one?
A work permit grants applicant(s) the ability to come to Canada and work on their business while their application is being processed and reviewed by IRCC. You must notify Alacrity Canada if you wish to apply for a work permit. For more information and how to apply for a work permit, visit the IRCC’s Work permits for Start-Up Visa applicants page.
Alternatively, you do not have to apply for a work permit and can wait for the final decision from IRCC before moving to Canada to begin our program.