Start–Up Visa Program

Make yourself at home and make something of yourself at home.

The Start-up Visa Program was created to target foreign entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs and compete on a global scale.

The Genesis Centre is an innovation hub for technology-based ventures with high-growth potential located at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Genesis offers both accelerator and incubator programming, and in order to become part of the Start-Up Visa program a company must be accepted into Enterprise, our flagship incubator program.

Of the three streams of Start-up Visas, Genesis offers the Business Accelerator/Incubator stream to those who are successfully admitted into the portfolio of companies.

Entrepreneurs interested in the program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be willing to live and work in Newfoundland and Labrador;

  • Be a start-up technology company with high growth potential;

  • Register for and complete a prerequisite, early-stage accelerator program:

  • Have a Minimal Viable Product;

  • Have demonstrated traction with customers in the form of letters of support/sales; and 

  • Pitch to and be accepted by the Genesis Centre Selection Board

If accepted by the Selection Board, the entrepreneurs receive a letter of support from Genesis and can apply for a start-up visa directly from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Receive a letter of support from a designated organization (i.e. Genesis)

  • Meet ownership requirements where each entrepreneur holds at least 10% of the voting rights in the business

  • Meet the minimum language requirements via a test from an approved agency 

  • Be able to financially support you and your family for one year

Details on the criteria and FAQs can be found at the Start-up Visa website here.

If you have any questions regarding our requirements, contact Genesis here. No phone calls please.

Apply to the Start-up Visa Program below: 


Think the Enterprise Program is right for you?

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