The Application Process

The IMPACT Startup Visa (ISV) Program admissions process is multilayered, allowing us to dig deeper into understanding more about you, your core founding team who plan to move to Canada with you (if applicable), and your business model.

While you can submit your application at any time, please keep two things in mind:

  1. We have three intakes a year—January, May and September, each with separate application deadlines. 
  2. The application process takes time, so make sure you apply well in advance to the intake you want to join.

The starting point of the ISV journey is the application form on our website. We recommend preparing in advance by looking at the application questions ahead of time before filling the form and submitting.

What are the program eligibility requirements?
  • Your company is for-profit and focused on having a positive impact on people and/or the planet
  • You want to maximize your market opportunity and impact as a for-profit entity
  • You can demonstrate that your vision will be best served by moving permanently to Canada
  • You clearly articulate the problem you solve and how your unique approach brings value to the market
  • You can demonstrate measurable customer validation and progress
  • You have the financial capital to support the effort
  • You qualify to apply for Canada’s Start-up Visa (SUV) program 
What happens after you submit an application?
1. Initial Application Screening
Once we receive your application, it will be reviewed by our team. We go through your application to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements including the stage of your business and your focus on impact
2. Round One Interview

If you successfully pass the initial application screening, you’ll be invited to a first-round interview. The timeline between submitting your application and the first-round interview invitation is typically 4–6 weeks.

3. Due Diligence Stage

After a successful first interview, you’ll be invited for a due diligence stage. This is where we ask for additional information about you and your business. For example, we may ask you to share more details about your business model, your plan of how you’re going to get set up in Canada, and your financial forecast and references. At this stage, the timeline is often dependent on how quickly we receive the requested information.

4. Round Two Interview

After we obtain and review all of the requested documentation, you’ll receive an invitation to a second-round interview where we dig deeper into the information shared during the due diligence phase. 

5. Acceptance Offer & Terms Sheet

Successful completion of the second-round interview secures you an offer to join our next IMPACT Startup Visa Program intake. At this point, you’ll receive an email with your acceptance offer and contract attached.

6. Letter of Support

Should you accept the offer and sign the contract, we’ll begin asking you for key information relating to your Letter of Support (LOS), which we then send to the Canadian Government as part of your immigration process. Kindly note that once we’ve started the payment schedule and signed the contract as to how we’re going to work together, it takes around three to four weeks for us to send the Letter of Support, depending, again, on how quickly you can get us the necessary information.

We always recommend that at the time candidates apply for their Permanent Residency, they also apply for a Canadian Work Permit. This enables them to work on their business whilst they’re waiting for their Permanent Residency to come through. It is now mandatory for applicants to work with an immigration lawyer or consultant while going through this process. Working with an immigration professional ensures that any potential application errors can be avoided.

What is the program cost and payment process?
Program Cost
The total cost of the ISV program is CAD $30,000 + GST per company application, including the Founder. 

Please note that the cost DOES NOT cover immigration. It covers the program itself, including Visa administration, paperwork, ISV coursework and 16 weeks of sessions.

Payment Process

We divide payments into two instalments leading up to the ISV program start date: The first instalment must be paid once the term sheet (contract) between Spring and the applicant is signed. This happens after official acceptance into the program. The second instalment must be paid right after Spring issues the Letter of Support, to the Canadian Government. The timing of this relies on how quickly candidates can consolidate and send us the required documentation.  

Payment Format

We suggest for anyone located outside of Canada to pay via a wire transfer; we don’t accept credit card payments for such a large sum. Anyone located in Canada has the additional option to pay via e-transfers.

What happens if you apply and get rejected? Can you re-apply?

The reasons why we might reject someone links back to the IMPACT Startup Visa Program admission requirements revolving around whether or not your business:

  1. Meets the Canadian Government Start-up Visa criteria
  2. Is already revenue-generating
  3. Is motivated by having a positive social and/or environmental impact
  4. Includes a well-researched rationale and roadmap for starting up in Canada

What we recommend you first do before immediately re-applying is to reflect on the eligibility requirements and see if there’s anything you need to work on before applying again.

We’re very open to applicants reapplying for subsequent intakes as long as they’ve done the necessary work to improve their application. Improvement can be anything from taking your business to the next stage, such as going from prototype to launch, or adapting your business model in a meaningful way.

Please be aware that we’ve received many applications that have been noticeably tailored and exaggerated to match our program admission criteria. At Spring, we take the Start-up Visa, as initially intended by the Canadian Government, seriously and will quickly dismiss and reject ingenuine applications.