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Discover Canada’s Top Sectors With The Start-Up Visa

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Date Published: June 14, 2023 | Date Updated: June 14th, 2023
By June 14, 2023 No Comments
Discover Canada’s Top Sectors With The Start-Up Visa

Canada has long been a desirable destination for immigrants. The North American country even prides itself on being “a country for immigrants built by immigrants,” and the abundance of Canadian immigration streams confirms that notion.  

The country recently decided to increase its intake of immigrants in the upcoming three years, a plan which encompasses all of its immigration routes, and among them is the Canadian Start-up Visa (SUV). 

Although not relatively new, the SUV has been garnering greater interest from global investors in the past five years, especially when the Quebec Investor Program shut down a year before the pandemic. That closure left the SUV as the leading federal investment program that offers applicants a direct permanent residency in Canada.  

The simplicity of the Canada Start-Up Visa, coupled with its affordability and direct permanent residence (which ensures investors maintain their status regardless of how their business performs), made the SUV one of the best immigration programs on offer in Canada.

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The Canada Start-Up Visa numbers were growing rapidly before the pandemic, as the program, which saw 160 applications in 2015, suddenly saw greater interest, culminating in an impressive 1,173 applications four years later (2019), resulting in a Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) of 48.95%.

Applications understandably took a dip during the COVID-19 closure, but they are on the rise again, as evident by 2022 registering 189% more applications than the year before. 

The SUV requires applicants to have a CLB 5 English/French Language Level, a clean criminal record, and obtain a letter of support from a designated organisation for their business idea to qualify for the program.

Citizenship by investment - Savory & Partners

Canada prides itself on being “a country for immigrants built by immigrants”.

To get a letter of support, applicants need to submit an innovative idea to an approved business incubator, angel investor, or venture capitalist. Innovate here refers to any new idea or any business new to Canada, of which there are many, making the SUV qualification criteria quite simple. This actually helps the business to succeed, as 19% of failed businesses in Canada are due to immense competition, an issue that is not a concern with SUV applicants as their business has no competition or it would not be considered innovative in the first place.

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The business also needs funding, and that investment must correspond to the business itself. A fair average investment amount for approval under the SUV is about CAD $160,000 (USD 120,000), making it one of the most affordable residency by investment routes in not only Canada but the world. 

In this piece, we will highlight the most important factors regarding the investment aspect of the SUV and the provinces with the best sector-specific economic output.

A Federal-Scale Permanent Residency Program

One of the most important aspects of the Start-up Visa is that it is a federal program, meaning it is not limited to a specific province or area of Canada, unlike the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which limit applicants to reside and work in a specific province.  

This flexibility can have significant financial implications, as applicants can choose provinces with lower business running costs or living costs, and the disparity in the cost of living between the nation’s provinces can make a big difference. For example, Alberta is 36% more expensive than New Brunswick on average, which could translate to significant savings in the long run.

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The SUV awards applicants with a permanent residency. This means their status isn’t conditional on the success of their business, and they are not obliged to manage their business on a day-to-day basis, making it a way for investors to diversify their assets when they reach Canada as they can establish another company there as permanent residency holders, a matter that isn’t possible on the work permit offered by PNPs.

Canadian Provinces Sector Output

Canada’s massive size and resources mean that different provinces offer varying suitability to certain businesses. Below is a closer look at the top-performing provinces per economic sector.


It won’t come as a surprise that Canada’s best performing provinces in the field of agriculture are the southern ones, as warmer climates allow for better farming and output.  

Alberta and Ontario lead the pack in terms of agriculture businesses, both producing an economic output of over $17 billion in 2019, while Saskatchewan comes in third with over $15 billion. 

The Canadian government has been putting a lot of effort into agriculture technology (ag-tech) in recent years, which is why it makes for an excellent option for SUV applicants. Ag-tech’s market value in Canada is nearly $1 billion, and the market is ripe for harvest.

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Agricultural technology has opened a field of opportunities with respect to investments and improvements in agricultural practices.

Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a critical foundation of Canada’s economy, and the recent boom in logistics and supply chain technology (LSCT) that came from the pandemic’s shackling of global shipping has continued, and Canada has been making massive strides in that sector.

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In terms of provinces, Ontario leads the way in terms of supply chain output with over $78 billion dollars, more than double that of second-placed Quebec ($38 billion). Alberta and BC both have an output of over $35 billion, but Ontario remains the main trading hub in Canada.

Information & Communication Technology (ICT)

The ICT sector is one full of innovation, which pairs it nicely with the SUV and its main goal of bringing in new, innovative businesses. Canada has its own Silicon Valley in Ontario, which boasts an impressive $58 billion annual output from ICT.

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Ontario’s ICT sector brings in more money than those of the next three provinces on the list combined, as Quebec ($22 billion), British Columbia ($16 billion), and Alberta ($11 billion) make up the top four list.

Financial Services

Fintech is one of the fastest-growing global industries, and that is the case in Canada as well. 

Ontario trumps the rest of the provinces with an impressive financial sector output of over $214 billion in 2019, accounting for a massive 48% of all of Canada’s output for the sector. 

Quebec and British Columbia come in second and third with $82 billion and $59 billion, respectively.

Citizenship by investment - Savory & Partners

Toronto is the second-largest financial centre in America, behind only New York, and is ranked seventh globally, in employment.

Oil & Gas

Applicants with oil and gas experience have plentiful options to choose from in Canada. Whether they are proposing a business to boost mining and extraction research and development practices, or to add to the process by introducing helpful tech yet to reach Canada, they are flush with choice.

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Alberta is Canada’s major mining, oil, and gas hub, producing a staggering $118 billion in 2019 alone. Saskatchewan comes in second with $23 billion, while British Columbia is in third with an impressive $18 billion of its own.

Greater Flexibility Within A Great Program

Canada’s SUV provides investors with a simple program that can be a highly-profitable one if done correctly. Thoughtfulness and careful consideration are key, and the best way to get the maximum benefit from the SUV is by working it with a trusted firm like Savory & Partners.  

To know more about Canada’s SUV contact us today to book a free, comprehensive consultation with one of our experts.


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Jeremy Savory

About Jeremy Savory

Jeremy Savory, the founder and CEO of Savory and Partners, runs one of the world’s leading HNW citizenship by investment firms. The second passport company has coverage in over 20 jurisdictions including Europe.

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