The Start-up Visa Program is for talented immigrant entrepreneurs wanting to launch their innovative business in Canada while gaining permanent residency for up to five co-founders and their families.
Planet Hatch's Start-up Visa gets you to Fredericton (Canada's Startup Capital City) and working on building your business faster than any other entrepreneur-visa program, combining an expedited visa process with three months of intense business acceleration inside our incubation centre.
We want to see that you are a hard-working, persevering, and diligent team; you not only have made a viable business, but you will put forth the effort and time necessary to continue to grow.
Is Your Business Ready?
Your team must be the right fit for our program. These requirements are set in place to ensure you can make the most of the three month accelerator.
While we believe every business can make an impact, please note that we are not currently accepting businesses in ideation phase.
Your founding team must be skilled, cross-functional, and coachable.
Business Model & Scalability
What are your distribution channels? What are your expected customer acquisition strategies? What is your revenue model?
Prototype & MVP
You must be able to demonstrate to us what you have built thus far and that you have control of the intellectual property. This includes businesses that are the result of research at university level.
We only accept businesses in the Knowledge Industry (IT, cybersecurity, biotechnology and life sciences, aerospace and defence, advanced manufacturing and design or clean technology).
Customer Traction & Market Validation
You must be able to demonstrate that you have customers (both paying and non-paying). Your business must have clear addressable market segments and be aware of who your competitors would be in the North American market.
The Perfect Startup City
If you could build the perfect startup city, what would it look like?
Low operating costs? A clustering environment anchored by firms like IBM, Salesforce.com, and Siemens? A billion dollar+ exit track record?
You don't need to build your own city. We built it for you.
Welcome to Fredericton, New Brunswick: Canada's Startup Capital.
Choose Your Lifestyle
Why is Fredericton amongst the top eight cities Millennials are Moving to in Canada?
In Fredericton, you'll spend 118 less hours per year commuting compared to the concrete jungle. Along the way, you'll be saving cash in Canada's 2nd most affordable housing market with your new apartment 10 minutes from the office, bars, and gyms.
We're built for your business and your lifestyle.
Designed for the Knowledge Economy
Fredericton’s Digital Product Development Living Lab enables innovators to create and validate their products and services in complex real-world settings with real-world users.
With leading digital infrastructure, a willing user community, and one of Canada’s best research pools, our living lab eco-system attracts the world’s current and future thought leaders in digital products and services. Find out why Siemens Canada, IBM, and Raytheon chose Fredericton’s Digital Product Development Living Lab.
Start-up visa Process
Introducing the only entrepreneur specific visa in the world that grants permanent residency.
Complete an Expression of Interest.
Detail your company in our Start-up Visa Application, describing your team, business, and individuals applying.
Send critical business and immigration documents for thorough assessment and market fit analysis by a 3rd party Due Diligence Committee.
With approval from the Due Diligence Committee, a Letter of Support is provided to accompany your application package for permanent residency to CIC.
Please Note: Only successful Expressions of Interest will be invited to Stage Two.
Expression of Interest
How long does the Start-up Visa process take?
Planet Hatch takes 3-4 months to evaluate your Startup Visa application. This time frame includes 3 stages of application covering business evaluation and due diligence.
Do you take equity in the company?
Planet Hatch takes no equity in your startup at any point.
What do you mean by validation stage?
Validation stage refers to your company having a minimum viable product or service which is verifiable by clients/customers and is able to generate revenue for your business leading to potential growth.
Do I need to speak English to apply?
You need to have completed an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or CELPIP exam. Details of acceptable scores can be found here.
Does my business need to be established?
For international SUV applicants: Yes, you must be able to demonstrate that you have a minimum viable product which has been adapted by customers and which is generating revenue for your business.
For international students studying in Canada: Students must present an innovative idea which should be endorsed by their professors and/or other university affiliated programs.
What industries do you support?
We typically support businesses in the Knowledge Industry (IT, cybersecurity, biotechnology and life sciences, aerospace and defence, advanced manufacturing and design or clean technology) however we consider all business types.
How long can my company remain in Planet Hatch?
We typically provide incubation at Planet Hatch for first 6 months of your arrival but encourage you to stay longer.
What is the minimum required investment to get accepted into the program?
You do not require a minimum investment to be accepted into Planet Hatch’s Start-up Visa program.
What are the eligibility criteria to qualify for the Startup Visa Program?
You must satisfy both Federal as well as Planet Hatch requirements as mentioned below:
Federal requirements can be found here.
Planet Hatch Requirements:
Team: The founding team must be skilled, cross-functional, and coachable.
Industry: We accept businesses in the Knowledge Industry (IT, cybersecurity, biotechnology and life sciences, aerospace and defence, advanced manufacturing and design or clean technology).
Business Model & Scalability: Planet Hatch only accepts high-growth, job creating businesses.
Prototype & MVP: At minimum, applicants must be able to demonstrate they have a prototype or Minimum Viable Product developed.
Customer Traction & Market Validation: Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have customers, or potential customers. Your business must have clear addressable market segments and be aware of competitors in the North American market.
Planet Hatch Membership / Program Acceptance: Each applicant/client must take up a Planet Hatch membership for a minimum of 6 months upon landing in Fredericton and must be accepted into one of our programs. Which program they are accepted into depends on their stage of business and their most pressing needs.
What is the fee structure?
The fee structure for Planet Hatch Startup Visa program has been updated as of September 1, 2021.
The total fee you pay depends on how far you go in the application process.
At the end of stage 2 which is approval of your application, you are required to $1,000 + HST to move into the due diligence phase.
If you are approved by the due diligence committee, you are further required to pay $2,180 + HST in order to receive a Letter of Support. This amount also includes the cost of your membership with Planet Hatch for 6 months upon arrival.