Maple FAQs2024-01-29T07:31:51-08:00

FAQs – Canadian Startup Visa & Launch’s Maple Program

Where is Launch located?2023-06-20T20:30:46-08:00

Launch is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Currently, we only have one location located in the heart of Yaletown 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)2023-06-22T08:26:10-08:00

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.


2. 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.


3. 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.


4. 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?2023-04-03T23:21:16-08:00

Yes, Launch has been a designated organization since 2015.

What criteria is my application based on?2023-06-22T08:17:03-08:00

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

  1. Why does [the business] want to expand 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?2023-06-20T20:26:13-08:00

Unlike other accelerator programs, Launch takes 0% equity in your company. Instead, there is a program fee starting at $42,000* CAD over 12 months (plus applicable taxes, legal, immigration and settlement fees that are incurred outside of our program. Note, for companies outside of Canada, all local non-Canadian taxes will be the sole responsibility of the international company). Fees are broken down into 12 equal monthly payments of $3,500 payable during the 1st year of the program

How long does the program take to complete?2023-06-20T20:42:27-08:00

The Maple Program is a 24-month program broken down into multiple modules. 

What is the Maple Program?2023-06-20T20:30:29-08:00

The Maple Program is a 24-month program broken down into multiple modules, each designed to provide you with information, resources and tools to help support your current business and to prepare your company to establish itself within Canada. By the end of the program, your team will be part of a 200+ community of entrepreneurs from all over the world, established your company in Canada, participated in various Launch programming, and land in Canada as a Permanent Resident.

Does Launch help me get funding or VC partner for a scalable business venture through the Maple Program?2023-04-03T23:15:26-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:15:19-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:13:46-08:00

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?2023-06-20T20:38:20-08:00

Receiving your Permanent Residency (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 PR processing times.

When do we receive the Letter of Support?2023-06-22T08:29:06-08:00

The Letter of Support will only be issued once a company has completed all the deliverables and their roadmap package has been approved during the acceleration phase of the Maple program.

How many people can apply with the Letter of Support?2023-06-20T20:36:22-08:00

Up to 5 people can be identified as essential people on the Letter of Support. 

What is essential vs non-essential?2023-06-22T08:31:14-08:00

Essential candidates for Startup Visa Program would mean they are applying for a work permit to land in Canada and start immediately. Non-essential candidates would mean they are applying for their permanent residency without applying for a work permit.

Can Non-Essential candidates on Start-up Visa Program apply for Permanent Residency?2023-06-20T20:35:56-08:00

Yes, all co-founders listed on the Startup Visa Commitment Certificate will need to apply for their Permanent Residency before the expiry date. Everyone should apply for Permanent Residency as soon as they receive their Letter of Support. 

How will children/spouses receive their work/study visas?2023-04-03T23:10:44-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:10:27-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:10:09-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:09:47-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:09:23-08:00

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?2023-06-20T20:32:31-08:00

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.

Who can apply for the Start-up Visa Program?2023-04-03T23:07:52-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:07:20-08:00

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.

How much does the Start-up Visa Program cost?2023-04-03T23:06:03-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:05:04-08:00

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?2023-06-22T08:19:41-08:00

You can apply to our Maple program here.

Do you take companies in their ideation stage?2023-04-03T23:03:35-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:03:08-08:00

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

What does the application review process look like?2023-04-03T23:02:44-08:00

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?2023-04-03T23:02:25-08:00

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

Why did my application get rejected?2023-04-03T23:01:37-08:00

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.

When is each payment due?2023-06-20T20:28:11-08:00

Fees are broken down into 12 equal monthly payments of $3,500 payable during the 1st year of the program. At the end of the 12-month subscription period, your company will transition into the MOMENTUM portion of the Maple Program in which you receive an additional 12 months of program access at no additional cost.

Is the cost per company or per founder?2023-04-03T22:58:18-08:00

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?2023-06-20T20:42:22-08:00

There will be three main sections of the Maple Program.

  • Ignition, 4 weeks – Familiarise yourself with the program structure, with introduction, immigration, incorporation webinars and office hours.
  • Acceleration, 48 weeks – This core acceleration program will cover your roadmap deliverables, issue of Letter of Support, Permanent Residency application and Work Permit application if applicable.
  • Momentum, 52 weeks – This part of the program will provide momentum to scale your startup in North America, with a family support package, housing and accounting support for your company as well as access to our exclusive non-dilutive funding and Traction modules.
What kind of checkpoints are required to receive a Letter of Support?2023-06-20T20:41:56-08:00

Each company must be a part of, and have completed the deliverables on their roadmap assignment in order to receive a Letter of Support from Launch.

Do all of our founders/team need to participate in the program?2023-04-03T22:52:00-08:00

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?2023-06-22T08:36:25-08:00

We have start dates all throughout the year. We do accept applications on an ongoing basis and you can apply anytime via our online application form.

How soon can I come to Vancouver?2023-06-22T08:38:11-08:00

You can land in Canada as soon as your Permanent Residency is approved or once your Work Permit is approved (optional).

How many team members can I bring?2023-06-20T20:39:38-08:00

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 Permanent Residency (PR) through the Start-up Visa Program.    

Ideal Maple Candidate2024-02-20T03:06:58-08:00

The ideal team of candidates should be well educated with at least a bachelor’s degree in Business, Technology, or related. They should have had a wealth of experience either being part of past startups, or a pedigree of building successful businesses in the past. Some members of the team (up to 5 applicants can apply as owners) should have experience developing or managing technology products.

They are currently running a startup in one of the following areas of emerging technology: Artificial Intelligence, VR/AR/MR, Blockchain, Financial Services, Data Science, Quantum Computing, Health Tech, AgTech, PropTech, CyberSecurity, and SaaS.

They either are self-sustainable through the revenue of their company (or a previous exit) or have already raised enough investment to sustain a runway beyond both the Maple Program fees (starting at $18,000* USD). Each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights/shares of the corporation (up to 5 people can apply as owners) and they jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights.

Maple Features2024-02-20T03:11:33-08:00

– Private workshops on immigration, incorporation in Canada, transferring IP to Canada, accounting and tax implications, and more.

– Lifestyle and landing pad support for your team members and families, including banking, insurance, and housing information.

– Guidance and support through your company’s immigration needs, including connections to the most experienced business immigration experts in Canada.

– Office hours with some of the brightest minds in startups and mentorship from Launch’s seasoned startup mentors and industry experts.

– Business matchmaking for your company’s needs.

– Get a better understanding of the fundraising environment in North America by attending fundraising workshops and accessing our fundraising courses (Non-dilutive sources of funding in Canada and Fundraising in North America) – Maple Comprehensive only.

– Join Launch’s unique community of 250+ founders from more than 60 countries.

– Exclusive access to LaunchPad – LaunchPad is designed for tech startups looking to learn and grow with fellow entrepreneurs driven to build global technology businesses. Every resource & tool in the program is meticulously created for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. Featuring:

  • Access to up to $700,000 CAD of start-up perks (including AWS credits, Azure credits, Stripe credits, Zendesk, Hubspot and more).
  • Connection to investors – participate in our Demo Day and pitch competition to get exclusive introductions to investors in our network.
  • Weekly online and offline events including AMAs (Live sessions to ask questions to seasoned start-up mentors), Workshops (Live Learning Sessions with mentors and partners), Standups (Group discussions to meet your fellow members and build strategic connections), Pitch Sessions (sessions for members to participate in honing their pitches), Reverse pitch sessions (Live session to ask all your burning questions to investors and request introductions to them), and more.
  • Traction webinars bringing leaders from Google, Shopify, Uber and top-tier VCs.
Maple Fee2024-02-20T04:42:03-08:00

Unlike other accelerator programs, Launch takes 0% equity in your company. Instead, there is a program fee starting at $18,000* USD over 6 months for the Maple Core program and $30,000 USD over 12 months for the Maple Comprehensive program (plus applicable taxes, legal, immigration and settlement fees that are incurred outside of our program. Note, for companies outside of Canada, all local non-Canadian taxes will be the sole responsibility of the international company). Fees are broken down into 6 or 12 equal monthly payments payable during the program.

As Launch is a not-for-profit organization, all program proceeds will be reinvested back into building the Canadian tech and talent ecosystem.

Please note that the Maple Program fees are not correlated to the success and failure of the company’s immigration status, but rather for the programming and services provided to help companies acclimate to the North American Market.

Maple Timeline2024-02-20T04:49:10-08:00

The Maple Program is a 12-month (Maple Comprehensive) or 6-month (Maple Core) program broken down into multiple modules, each designed to provide you with information, resources, and tools to support your business creation and prepare your company for establishment in Canada. By the end of the program, your team will be part of a 250+ community of entrepreneurs from all over the world, established your company in Canada, participated in various Launch programming, and landed in Canada as a Permanent Resident.


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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