Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) program is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high-growth businesses in Canada. To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa program, entrepreneurs must be accepted into a program offered by a designated Canadian business incubator or accelerator like Spark Centre.

Spark Centre serves technology and innovation entrepreneurs who require knowledge and support to launch, develop and grow. We are dedicated to economic growth and sustainability in Durham Region and Northumberland County. 

For all of those applying through our SUV program please ensure that you have used the Business Plan Template below. Only applications with this template will be considered. 

Spark Centre Eligibility Criteria

  • Ownership of a business that is generating revenue that is scalable, sustainable, and in the sector of technology and innovation
  • Business model must be appropriate for this jurisdiction.
  • Submission of Business Plan, LinkedIn Profile(s), CV/Resume(s), Demo Video
  • The business is financially self-sustaining
  • Applicant is willing to live and work in Durham Region area of Ontario
  • Applicant will allow Spark Centre to conduct a due diligence process on your business, background, education and financial capabilities
  • Applicant is able to fund business obligations for a one year period in Canada
  • Applicant is able to meet business ownership and voting rights requirements
  • Applicant is willing to work/co-locate at Spark Centre for the first year of operation in the province, and sign a one year Spark Centre service contract

Immigration Canada Criteria

  • Applicant is able to register business within 60 days of arrival to Canada
  • Applicant is able to meet or exceed minimum language requirements, in either English or French
  • Applicant is able to fund family obligations for a one year period of living in Canada
  • Applicant is able to meet business ownership and voting rights requirements
  • Applicant is able to pass criminal background check

Depending on what stage your business is at when you arrive to Canada, we offer a range of services. To understand how we help your business grow once you have arrived in Canada, go here and select your level of business.

Startup Visa FAQs

Due to the large number of applications, our processing times have increased. You should expect a response within 4-6 months as we will process applications in the order in which they were received.   We appreciate your patience.

We would be delighted to arrange a tour of our facility, however, business plans are reviewed by staff and any questions will be emailed.  All applications and required documents must be submitted through our website portal.

You may want to consider registering for our two-week cohort-based program, Pioneer Program, that is designed to introduce the immigrating start-ups to the Canadian way of doing business. You will gain access to workshops, mentorship, advisors and events. This program is ideal for start-ups that have technology and innovation embedded in products and are considering applying for a work permit or permanent residence visa, through the Start-up Visa Program.

We only support and accept companies with technology and innovation built into their products or services. 

At Spark Centre desk space is available at no cost for SUV clients; however, offices are rented