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The role of “Designated Organizations” in Canada’s Startup Visa (SUV) Program

Business Immigration | Start-Up Visa (SUV) Program | Designated Organizations

Canada is a top destination for entrepreneurs and tech-oriented startups are a big component of those wishing to bring innovation to the market. The Canadian government created the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program to facilitate the movement of these businesses and the people behind them to Canada in order to create new jobs and contribute to the overall economic growth in the country. 

Due to the often highly technical nature of the businesses that apply for an SUV, however, the Canadian government wisely decided to include a role for third parties in the process, so-called Designated Organizations

What do Designated Organizations do?

The job of these Designated Organizations is to be involved in a hands-on way that allows them to examine the merits of the business behind an SUV application. The idea is to link each SUV applicant to someone in the private sector who falls into one of three groups – angel investors, a venture capital fund or a business incubator. 

Individuals and organizations representing those three groups are given official recognition as a Designated Organization after an application and vetting process that verifies their expertise. To even apply for Designated Organization status, they must be a member of and recommended by one of two partner organizations of the Canadian government — the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) or the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO)

Once certified as a Designated Organization, these individuals and institutions can develop their own process for receiving proposals from SUV applicants and use their own criteria for evaluating them.

If they receive a proposal that they are interested in, they can look at the business plan that’s included in the SUV application and dive deeper into the people and technologies involved. If they so choose, they can even move forward as an investor in the project in line with these established minimum criteria:

  • Venture capital funds must make a minimum investment of $200,000 into the business
  • Angel investor groups must make a minimum investment of $75,000 into the business
  • Business incubators must accept the entrepreneur behind the SUV application into one of their incubation/acceleration programs

In order to qualify for the SUV program, immigrant entrepreneurs must secure the investment or support of a Designated Organization. When the two parties formally agree to cooperate, the Designated Organization that is working with a particular SUV applicant supplies a Commitment Certificate which is used to advance the visa issuance process. 

Why does Canada use Designated Organizations?

The process that Canada has put together to evaluate SUV applications brings benefits to all three parties involved.

By bringing in third-party experts in technology and startups, the Canadian government benefits from their expertise and judgment when evaluating the technology behind a new business venture. Requiring SUV applicants to get formal backing from Designated Organizations brings a higher level of confidence in the project and shows that it has market potential, which is exactly the kind of startup Canada wants to attract. 

For Designated Organizations, the motivation for participating in the SUV program is simple — it puts them in touch with investment opportunities that align with their background or specialty. Gaining certification as a Designated Organization means access to a constant flow of entrepreneurs who are looking for financial and organizational backing for their projects. 

Finally, the teams and individuals behind SUV applications benefit by getting guidance and advice from Designated Organizations and access to their expertise. They also get a chance to secure financial backing if they can make a persuasive case regarding the business’ potential. Getting a Commitment Certificate is confirmation that the project behind the SUV can succeed under the right circumstances. 

Interested in your own SUV? Talk with Joorney!

Here at Joorney, we specialize in preparing the documentation needed to support SUV applications, including a detailed, comprehensive business plan. We are experienced at helping entrepreneurs pursue their dreams to live and work in Canada so reach out to us today to learn more about taking the next step forward in your business immigration journey. 


Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans is not a law firm nor an immigration consulting firm, and no information provided in this document should be considered as legal advice or recommendation regarding any immigration application program. All information provided in this document should be verified by a licensed or certified immigration professional before the reader can act on this information. As such, it is understood that Joorney Business Plans Inc. shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other), whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this document, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this document.

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