With Special Visas, Canada Seeks To Attract Indian Startups

Canada’s Startup Visa (SUV) program is gaining popularity among Indian entrepreneurs, with upcoming flexibilities like a three-year open work permit further increasing interest. The program offers easy access to the US once entrepreneurs are based in Canada, making it an attractive option. Designated partners, such as business incubators and venture capital funds, are gearing up to support Indian startups in meeting the requirements of the SUV program and expanding their businesses globally. Canada’s favorable government policies and quality of life have positioned it as the most attractive country for startup founders, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

For Indian entrepreneurs the easy access to the US, once they are based in Canada is a huge attraction. The US does not have a separate startup visa program, but an International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) program which enables ‘qualified’ international entrepreneurs (based on prescribed criteria including funds raised) to obtain immigration ‘parole’.

They can stay in the US for two and a half years, extendable to a similar tenure, for nurturing their startup. Canada’s SUV program, on the other hand, comes with a work permit, leading to permanent residency.

Ashutosh Kumar, Toronto based founder of DoorMonk, operating in the enterprise healthcare software segment was incubated at the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC). This company empowers hospitals with the power of AI to make various processes ranging from housekeeping procurement efficient and faster. Kumar told TOI, “I’m happy with the decision to move my company to Canada, which itself is a sizable market, but also opens doors to the US – this is challenging to accomplish from India. Success of our product FlapX in the Canadian healthcare market is a huge validation for global investors. Lastly, the cultural environment in Canada is friendly and open in terms of adopting and experimenting with new technology.”

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