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The Start-up Visa Program is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high growth businesses in Canada that will support innovation and job creation.

Under this program, Millworks - Centre for Entrepreneurship can recommend entrepreneurs to receive a start-up visa from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada under the business incubation stream.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Eligibility 

To be eligible to receive a start-up visa, you must prove your business venture is supported by a designated organization; meet the language requirements; meet the ownership requirements; and have sufficient settlement funds. You can find more eligibility details on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

Millworks Start-up Visa Eligibility

Companies accepted into Millworks’ start-up visa business incubation program will receive business incubation and support services for at least one year.

Entrepreneurs interested in obtaining a start-up visa through Millworks incubation program must meet the following requirements:

  • New knowledge-based product and/or service– The business proposition must be a unique technology product and/or service that cannot be easily duplicated. In addition, the business must be passed the idea stage and have a working prototype. The entrepreneur must demonstrate early technology validation and/or customer traction.
  • Ontario based– The head office is located in the Algoma region and the business is registered in Ontario once the company is accepted into Millworks’ incubation program and issued a start-up visa.
  • Start-up business venture– Start-up refers only to sales revenue and not to the number of years in business. To qualify as a start-up, the business has generated cumulative sales revenue of less than $1 million in the most recent two years.
  • People – Industry knowledge and management experience, commitment to the venture.
  • Market– Large, growing international market.
  • Execution– Credible plan to reach key milestones.

If accepted into Millworks’ incubation program, entrepreneurs will receive a letter of support from Millworks-Centre for Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs then apply for a start-up visa directly to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which will proceed with confirming that applicants meet the program’s eligibility requirements and complete the formal application process.

Please note that becoming a Millworks incubation client through the start-up visa program does not guarantee that you will obtain financing through any of Millworks or Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation partners.

To Apply

Please complete our Start-up Visa program Expression of Interest form. The Millworks team will review the initial questions and then invite eligible applicants to submit further information.