The ISV 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.

We accept applications to the program on a rolling basis throughout the year. What this means is that anyone interested and qualified can apply at any point during the year.

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

  1. We have two cohorts a year—one in April and the other in September.
  2. The application process takes time, so make sure you apply well in advance to the cohort you want to join.

The starting point of the ISV journey is the application form on our website. We recommend preparing in advance by reviewing the ISV application questions prior to starting the process.

INITIAL APPLICATION SCREENING

Once we receive your application, it is 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.

ROUND 1 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.

DUE DILIGENCE

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.

ROUND 2 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. Successful completion of the second-round interview secures you an offer to join our next IMPACT Startup Visa Program cohort!

Q: What happens if somebody applies and gets rejected? Can they re-apply?

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

  1. Meets the Canadian Government Start-up Visa criteria
  2. Is an existing business past the ideation phase
  3. Is motivated by having a positive impact
  4. Includes a well-researched rationale and roadmap for starting up in Canada


You can learn more about Spring’s ISV Program admissions criteria in the information pack.

What we recommend you do first 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 cohorts 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 quickly dismiss and reject ingenuine applications.

Q: One of the requirements of the Canadian Start-up Visa program is to get a Letter of Support from a designated organization. When does that happen and how long does it take?

As soon as you’re accepted into the program, we begin asking you for key information relating to your Letter of Support which we then send to the Canadian Government.

Immediately after acceptance is also when we cover the conversation around program fees. Once we’ve started the payment schedule and signed the terms sheet 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 candidates 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. Note that 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.

Attend an Information Session

We’re excited to be hosting our first live information session of 2021 on our IMPACT Startup Visa Program, and we’d love for you to join. This session is open to all entrepreneurs and immigration lawyers and consultants interested in learning more. 

Details | Wednesday,  January 20 at 9 am (PST!)