Startup Visa Program
Establish your new, high-growth businesses in Canada

Alacrity Canada Startup Visa Program

About the Program

Created by the Government of Canada, the Start-up Visa (SUV) Program is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high-growth businesses in Canada, that will support innovation and job-creation.

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa program, entrepreneurs must be accepted into a program offered by a designated Canadian business incubator.

Prospective applicants must be ready to provide detailed information regarding the potential viability of their business venture.

These include business plans, financial documents, founder biographies, curriculum vitaes (CV) and other relevant information as required by Alacrity.

The proposed business must demonstrate that it is potentially viable from both a financial and market perspective. Entrepreneurs must have relevant education, experience, and expertise that will support the success of the proposed business in Canada.

Applicants must be able to effectively communicate and work in English or French languages to conduct their business in Canada.

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements established by the Government of Canada for the Startup Visa Program.

Your Business Plan
Applicants must clearly articulate the market opportunity for their product/service offering in Canada and internationally.

The entrepreneur should demonstrate early technology validation and/or customer traction.

The proposed business must have access to sufficient working capital to meet its initial needs.

You and Your Team

Applicants under the Start-up Visa Program may apply as a single entrepreneur, or as an entrepreneurial team of up to five members.


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 the designated incubator must also hold at least 50% of the voting rights in the proposed venture to qualify.

How to Apply
Alacrity’s Start-up Visa Program application process starts with applicants contacting our start-up visa team.

They will provide you with additional program details and ask you to fill out an online application form. If applicants successfully pass this initial stage, a thorough due diligence consideration of the applicants, their proposed business and business plan is required before formal acceptance by Alacrity.

Please email us below to begin the application process.

services you will get from Alacrity in the first 12 months

Alacrity Shared Services

From the Reference Date until the expiration of the Term, Alacrity will make the following shared services available to the Applicant’s Venture (the “Shared Services”):
  • Business registration (if required)
  • Welcome and doing business in Canada guide
  • Basic legal support
  • Human resource support
  • Initial internal accounting controls setup
  • Canadian business address for registration and mail
  • Office space for up to two staff in Alacrity’s Victoria office
  • Introductions to investors
  • Access to local tech events and seminars
  • Access to Alacrity Partnerships
  • Mentorship, coaching and advisor support
  • Investor readiness support
  • Marketing support
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Cultural guidance support
  • Business development
  • Credibility of working with an international foundation
  • Potential for government funding support
Where do I apply?

The Start-Up Visa Program Application is an online application accessible on the program page or the link below.

Please complete our online application form.

I’ve applied but haven’t heard or received anything…

Please check your spam or promotion folders for an email from us. If you still haven’t received an email from us, we are currently reviewing your application and should get back to you soon. If it’s been more than 2 weeks, please contact us at

How long does it take to be approved for the program?

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 the applicant. 

IRCC’s approval process is currently listed at 18 – 24 months.

What kind of support and services do you offer?

Alacrity Canada has structured the program to offer a diverse set of services and resources to meet the needs of each team and to grow a successful business. 

To see a detailed breakdown of the support we offer, please view our Application Package here.

Does Alacrity invest in the business?

Alacrity does not offer any direct financial support or investment. We do, however, provide introductions to potential investors. 

When do your program and 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 PR or if you decide to apply for a work permit while IRCC is processing your application.

What is the payment process and are the program fees refundable?

For a complete breakdown of the payment process, fees, and refund eligibility, please see our Application Package.

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.

Do you offer discounts?

We are unable to provide any adjustments or discounts to the program fees as we are expected to deliver a consistent and fair program to all participants.

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 providing services and resources. While we prefer applicants to be in British Columbia as we are headquartered in Victoria, BC, we will not restrict you if you wish to be in Toronto or elsewhere in Canada. The one limitation that the Federal Government has imposed is that applicants cannot move to 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, see here. 

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.

What are the program fees for?

Alacrity Canada designs the 12-month program to fit each company’s specific needs, including developing a plan that supports the team and growth of the business in Canada.

We utilize our expertise and program services so your business gains access to various services, resources, and mentors/advisors to achieve milestones and goals while overcoming key challenges that you may face.