Maple FAQs2023-03-09T00:17:17+00:00

FAQs – Canadian Startup Visa & Launch’s Maple Program

Where is Launch located?2023-04-03T23:18:56+00:00

Launch is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Currently, we only have one location located in the heart of Gastown which is abundant with local small businesses, restaurants, tech startups and more importantly – coffee shops. 

What immigration routes are there? (Startup Visa, Express Entry, Global Talent Stream)2023-04-03T23:18:25+00:00

There are multiple pathways of Immigration. These include:

  1. Startup Visa Program – This is the most popular and most powerful immigration program offered by the Canadian IRCC as it supports up to five co-founders as well as their spouse and children. The basic requirements for the Startup Visa Program include, majority shareholding rights, the company must be a BC entity, all applying founders must control at least 10% of the company shares, and the company must hold a Letter of Support from a designated entity.


  1. Express Entry – The Express Entry program has multiple sub-programs under the name that entrepreneurs can apply for. Your qualifications are based on a series of criteria and a point system, each applicant will be required to collect a certain number of points from qualifications such as education, work experience, language ability and so forth. However, those that are planning to use EE for their immigration must note that this will only support an individual and remaining team members would have to apply through their own designated immigration channels. In order to find out if you qualify for Express Entry, please fill out the IRCC’s questionnaire here.


  1. Global Talent Stream – GTS is a unique immigration program that was designed by the IRCC for Canadian companies to gain access to highly-skilled global talents and to bring them to Canada. There is a list of Global Talent Occupations that you must qualify under in order to apply, as well as minimum wage requirements for each profession. To learn more about the occupations that qualify, please review here.


  1. BCPNP – The BC Provincial Nominee Program is an alternative way for high-demand foreign workers and experienced entrepreneurs to gain permanent residency in BC. There are three sub-programs on a provincial level, such as Express Entry BC, Entrepreneur Immigration and Skills Immigration. To learn more if you qualify under any of these streams, please review here.
Is Launch a designated organization for Start-up Visa Program?2023-04-03T23:21:16+00:00

Yes, Launch has been a designated organization since 2015.

What criteria is my application based on?2023-04-03T23:20:43+00:00

Evaluation is focused on four key aspects (in order of priority):

  1. Why does [the business] want to move to Canada? There must be proof of a valid business related reason for the move.
  2. Would [the applicant(s)] be an asset to Canada? Would your skillset be relevant to furthering innovation in Canada, and contribute to exciting new businesses?
  3. Would [the business] be an asset to Canada? Is the business something that is relevant and viable in Canada? Is there a track record or proof that the business can be sustainable and grow to create jobs in Canada? Is your company already in revenue?
  4. Is your business in one of the areas of emerging tech that Launch Academy is looking to work with? The areas include Artificial Intelligence, VR/AR/MR, Blockchain, Financial Services, Data Science, Quantum Computing, Health Tech, CyberSecurity, and SaaS.
How much does the Maple Program cost?2023-04-03T23:20:06+00:00

The Maple Program starts at $41,800 CAD + any applicable taxes, paid over the length of the program, 21-36 months. The program fee can change depending on how many team members are involved in the program.

How long does the program take to complete?2023-04-03T23:19:30+00:00

The length of the program can be anywhere from a minimum of 22 months to 36 months to complete.

What is the Maple Program?2023-04-03T23:16:09+00:00

The Maple Program aids international companies in their growth and expansion to Canada and North America by providing a landing pad with resources, mentorship, networking & business matchmaking to overcome the challenges that occur when moving your business and family to Canada. It is a 22-36 month program that is broken down into 5 separate phases, each designed to provide your team as much information, resources and tools to help strengthen your business and give your team the confidence to make the transition.

Do we have to land in Vancouver or can it be anywhere in Canada?2023-04-03T23:15:45+00:00

Launch is based in Vancouver, BC so at this time we are only looking for companies who want to reside in/expand to Vancouver for at least the next 6-8 months. After you have completed the Maple Program, you are free to relocate to any part of Canada. 

Does Launch help me get funding or VC partner for a scalable business venture through the Maple Program?2023-04-03T23:15:26+00:00

We provide connections through the Maple Program, which may lead to funding, however if you are looking for funding, we highly recommend you look at a different designated organization to first get your letter of support from them – there are lots of programs that provide immediate funding, but Launch is not one of them.

If I applied in the past, can I apply again with a different start-up?2023-04-03T23:15:19+00:00

Absolutely. You are welcome to re-apply as many times as you would like. We want to make sure you have the right market fit, so if that is what you focus on, you will have a much higher chance of getting your application through.

Will Launch take equity of my company?2023-04-03T23:13:46+00:00

Launch is a not-for-profit and does not take equity from any of its startups.

How long does it take to receive PR through Start-up Visa?2023-04-03T23:13:19+00:00

Receiving your PR through the Startup Visa Program is the fastest and can take anywhere from a minimum of one year to up to two years total based on the country you are applying from. To get the most accurate information, please go to Canada’s IRCC website in which you can get an up-to-date estimation of WP and PR processing times.

When do we receive the Letter of Support?2023-04-03T23:12:51+00:00

The Letter of Support will only be issued once a company has completed all the benchmarks of Phase 2 and their Roadmap package has been approved. Furthermore, Launch works closely with the immigration partners so that the LOS will only be provided once your team has submitted all necessary documents for your Work Permit and they are ready to have it submitted. Please note that Launch will also take in consideration the time it takes for your Work Permit application to be processed and the landing date of your Phase 4 start so your LOS may be issued earlier or later based on that timeline. 

How many people can apply with the Letter of Support?2023-04-03T23:12:24+00:00

Up to 5 people can be identified as essential people on the Letter of Support. However, only one is required to land in Canada for the completion of the Maple Program. All other founders can apply directly for their PR in Phase 4. 

What is essential vs non-essential?2023-04-03T23:11:28+00:00

Essential candidates for Startup Visa Program would mean they are applying for a work permit to land in Canada and start immediately. The Maple Program requires that at least one founder per team is listed as an essential candidate in order to receive their work permit and complete the remainder of the Maple Program in Vancouver.

Can Non-Essential candidates on Start-up Visa Program apply for Permanent Residency?2023-04-03T23:11:08+00:00

Yes, all co-founders listed on the Startup Visa Commitment Certificate will need to apply for their Permanent Residency before the expiry date. All companies are required to apply for their Permanent Residency after one of their founders have landed in Vancouver and have begun Phase 4 of the program.

How will children/spouses receive their work/study visas?2023-04-03T23:10:44+00:00

Spouses and dependents that company founders are planning to bring a long must apply for their respective work visa or study visas at the same time. Any children under the age of 15 are required to apply for a student visa and any older children may apply for a work visa.

Is the work visa an open permit for spouses/children?2023-04-03T23:10:27+00:00

Yes, the work visa that your spouse and children can apply for will be an open work permit meaning that they will be able to work anywhere they wish.

Is the work visa supplied through the Commitment Certificate for founders an open work permit?2023-04-03T23:10:09+00:00

No, the conditions of the Startup Visa Program require that founders are arriving in Canada on the premise that they will be working within their own company.

What kind of documentation will we need to apply for our Work Visa?2023-04-03T23:09:47+00:00

For the Maple Program, we will require the following documentation in order to prepare your Letter of Support:

  • Bank records, financial statements
  • Detailed Applicant Chart (Listing all applying founders, children and spouses)
  • Maple Timeline (A detailed timeline listing all of the planned actions, steps and goals that each company has planned for the next 12 months)
  • Incorporation Certificate (Each company must be incorporated in British Columbia as a Canadian entity)
  • Capitalization Chart (This must also include anyone with shares within the company or have made an investment)
  • Roadmap form – This is a form that all companies will be required to fill out. Upon the submission of a Roadmap, this will be sent to Ray (CEO of Launch) and upon approval, the preparations for your Letter of Support will begin.
What kind of documentation will you need for the Permanent Residency?2023-04-03T23:09:23+00:00

Based on the immigration path you choose or your country of origin, some of the documentation may require additional documentation. The general list that is across all PR applications include, a Medical Examination certificate (Nation based), a Police Certificate (Nation based), a copy of your Passport/Travel Documents, proof of work experience and proof of funds.

How long does the immigration process take?2023-04-03T23:08:58+00:00

The timeline varies based on your nationality and the type of immigration application that is submitted. Work Permit and Permanent Residency processing times vary per your country, please check the Canadian Government website to get an exact estimate of the time frame for both Work-Visa and Permanent Residency applications. You can find all information here. 

Is Canada still closing their borders? If so, how can we enter?2023-04-03T23:08:25+00:00

Canadian borders are now open for non-essential travel. Please note that your origin country might have travel restrictions and regulations in place.


Who can apply for the Start-up Visa Program?2023-04-03T23:07:52+00:00

While anyone can apply to the Start-up Visa Program, we only consider issuing a Letter of Support to companies that are enrolled in our Maple Program. However, for companies that have a pre-existing relationship with Launch they may be eligible to receive a Letter of Support without enrolling in the Maple Program

What are the requirements to apply for the Start-up Visa Program?2023-04-03T23:07:20+00:00

You must meet the minimum Level 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in English by the time you apply for your PR. Applicants must individually hold at least 10% of the company’s voting rights and applicants all together must hold at least 50% of the company’s voting rights. At least one applicant has control over the intellectual property of the business. Applicants must have the necessary funds to sustain its runway after the fees from the Maple Program.

Can I join the Start-up Visa Program if I live in Canada?2023-04-03T23:06:55+00:00

The Start-up Visa Program is a government immigration program that is focused on bringing companies that are not currently Canadian. So, if you have PR or citizenship and your partner does not, your company will not be eligible to apply for the program.

How much does the Start-up Visa Program cost?2023-04-03T23:06:03+00:00

Please note that any fees associated with the Start-up Visa Program process and application are separate from the Maple Program fees. Fees associated with the Start-up Visa Program are listed here.

Is your business in one of the emerging technical areas that Launch Academy is looking to work with?2023-04-03T23:05:04+00:00

We are looking to work with companies in the following emerging areas of tech:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • VR/AR/MR
  • Blockchain
  • Financial Technology
  • Data Sciences
  • Quantum Computing
  • Health Technology
  • CyberSecurity
  • SaaS and
  • Other Tech Sectors
How can we apply?2023-04-03T23:04:00+00:00

You can apply to our Maple program here.

Do you take companies in their ideation stage?2023-04-03T23:03:35+00:00

The simple answer is no. We work with companies that already have a product in the market, are financially stable, have already raised funding either internally or externally, and/or already have revenues, and are focused on the expansion of an existing business into North America through Canada. However, if you come from a strong start-up or business background, we may consider your application.

How long will it take to process the application?2023-04-03T23:03:08+00:00

It can take us abour 4 weeks to review your application once you’ve submitted it.

What does the application review process look like?2023-04-03T23:02:44+00:00

The review process begins about a month before the beginning of each cohort. The Launch team diligently reviews each section of the application, and will then contact each company that has been shortlisted for the next stage of the application process directly. Once we have our shortlist confirmed and each company on that list has been contacted, we present each application to a panel of esteemed judges who will provide their thoughts on the fit of each company both for the Maple Program, as well as the local tech community. Our judges include notable founders, CEOs, mentors, Maple alumni and other prominent names in the community.

What happens if my application gets rejected?2023-04-03T23:02:25+00:00

If we do not accept your company’s application to the Maple Program, we will contact you.

Why did my application get rejected?2023-04-03T23:01:37+00:00

Due to the volume of inquiries and applications we receive for the Maple Program, we will not be able to specify the exact reasons as to why your application was rejected. However, we do encourage rejected applicants to continue to work on their company or startup and apply for the Maple Program again, if this is still something that you’re interested in pursuing.

What is the payment structure?2023-04-03T23:00:52+00:00
  • Phase 1, Information: $5,000 CAD – Paid prior to the start of the program.
  • Phase 2, Roadmapping: $5,000 CAD – Paid upon acceptance into Phase 2 of the program.
  • Phase 3, Transition: $10,000 CAD – Paid upon acceptance into Phase 3 of the program.
  • Phase 4, Landing: $16,800 CAD – 3 payments of $5,000 + $600 (Desk Fee) CAD due at the beginning of each month of Phase 4 (3 months). This excludes any additional fees that may incur during your immigration process, legal fees & additional services that may be required.
  • Phase 5, Launch: $5,000 CAD – Paid upon acceptance into Phase 5 of the program.
When is each payment due?2023-04-03T22:59:26+00:00

The payment for Phase 1 is due prior to the start of the program. The payment for Phase 2 is due upon the company’s acceptance into Phase 2 of the program. The payment for Phase 3 is due upon the company’s acceptance into Phase 3 of the program. The payment for Phase 4 is split into three installments, each due at the end of each month of the phase. The payment for Phase 5 is due upon the company’s acceptance into Phase 5.

Is the cost per company or per founder?2023-04-03T22:58:18+00:00

The cost of the Maple Program is charged per company. However some additional fee (immigration fee, incorporation fee etc) may vary depending on how many founders/team members are participating in the program.

How is the program structured?2023-04-03T22:57:26+00:00

There are five separate phases of the Maple Program. Each phase is designed to provide enough information and resources for each of the companies to make the preparations necessary for transitioning your company to Canada. For a detailed breakdown, you can find all information here: Maple Program

What kind of checkpoints are required to receive a Letter of Support?2023-04-03T22:55:08+00:00

Each company must be a part of, and have completed Phases 1 and 2, as well as the Roadmap assignment in order to receive a Letter of Support from Launch.

Do all of our founders/team need to participate in the program?2023-04-03T22:52:00+00:00

The short answer is no. However, anybody from your team that is planning to make the move to Vancouver is required to participate in the program. As mentioned above, if your company is taking the Start-up Visa Program route for immigration, they will allow you to bring a maximum of 5 team members including yourself.

When does the program start?2023-04-03T22:51:38+00:00

We have start dates all throughout the year. February, April, July, September and November. However, we do accept applications year-end, in preparation for those specific start dates.

How soon can I come to Vancouver?2023-04-03T22:51:18+00:00

In theory, you can apply for a Work Permit as soon as Phase 1 and Phase 2 (approximately 3-6 months) of the Maple Program are completed. However, we do not issue the Letter of Support until the successful completion of Phase 2. Based on the structure of Phase 2, the faster your company is able to complete all checkpoints required by our program, the sooner you can apply for the following intake of Phase 3 companies.

Landing dates fall in either January, May or September, but as part of the Maple Program, the essential team members of your company will be required to apply for a Work Permit before arriving in Vancouver for Phase 4. Work Permit processing times vary per your country, please check the Canadian Government, Processing Times to get an exact estimate which you can find here. 

How many team members can I bring?2023-04-03T22:50:48+00:00

The number depends on the immigration route that you decide on. The Start-up Visa Program will allow you to bring a total of 5 members of your team, including yourself.

As mentioned in the ‘Start-up Visa Program’ section, each team member needs to hold at least 10% of shares/voting rights and must also be able to pass all required If one of your team members does not qualify, the application for the other members will be impacted as well.

Each team member is also allowed to bring their spouse and immediate dependents (children). All of these parties will receive PR through the Start-up Visa Program. They are also allowed to apply for work/study/visitor visas before their PR status is issued.    


Launch’s CEO Ray Walia sits down to discuss an overview of the tech industry in Canada and cover options that tech founders, co-founders, and entrepreneurs have when it comes to: immigrating to Canada, assistance in answering the uncertainties that startup founders and their families can face when it comes to moving to a new country. We want to help founders to understand how to best position themselves for success in North America given the challenges around immigration.

Making the leap to move your company and family in order to establish your tech company in a new country isn’t an easy choice. Hear from some of Launch’s Maple members and alumni about why they made the move and what they’ve learned.

Alumni Testimonials >>

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