Global Startup Visa

Global Startup Visa

Platform Calgary’s Global Startup Visa program is for entrepreneurs from around the world who are looking to bring their innovative tech or tech-enabled businesses to Canada.

  • 1 year
  • $30,000 CAD per team
  • Virtual & In-person

The Global Startup Visa Program is for international founders who:

  • Have a tech-based or tech-enabled company
  • Have a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Are looking to connect into Calgary’s tech community
  • Are interested in applying for either the Startup Visa or Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur immigration streams

More about Global Startup Visa

Application Deadline: July 14th, 2024

Bring your tech company to Calgary, Canada.

Platform Calgary's Global Startup Visa is for entrepreneurs from around the world who are looking to bring their innovative tech-based or tech-enabled businesses to Calgary. 

What is SUV and FGES? 

The Startup Visa (SUV) program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Calgary that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale. Learn more about SUV eligibility.

The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (FGES) is an economic immigration program that nominates talented and qualified foreign-educated graduates (within the past ten years) from outside Canada for permanent residence once they have launched their startup or innovative business in Alberta. Learn more about FGES eligibility.

What’s required to apply?

  • Current business plan
  • Current pitch deck
  • Resume

Please note, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada have additional eligibility requirements. See here for SUV and for FGES. There is no guarantee that by attending this program participants will be nominated for the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream or accepted into the Startup Visa program.

Program Breakdown:

  • Phase 1: Action Plan
    • Gain the tools you need to build out your business plans and pitch decks as you prepare to make the move to Calgary:
      • You’ll join the upcoming cohort for 5 weeks of structured programming
      • You’ll get the opportunity to meet with law firms like KPMG Law and Fasken.
  • Phase 2: Building Blocks
    • Receive continued support from Platform Calgary as you work on your business and wait to hear back from the government:
      • Unlock access to pre-recorded content designed to help with building your business
      • Gain access to our in-house service firms (Pillar Team)
      • Monthly private sessions with Startup Advisors
  • Phase 3: Integration
    • Once you land in Calgary, gain access to the in-person support you’ll need to take your businesses to the next level:

Program Cost:

  • Cost
    • $5,000 CAD fee upon acceptance into Platform Calgary’s Global Startup Visa program
    • $13,000 CAD fee prior to the issuing of the Letter of Support/Recommendation Letter
    • $12,000 CAD fee upon landing in Calgary, split over 12 months
  • Total Cost = $30,000 CAD. (Note the total cost is per team and not per team member)


Watch The Information Session

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Platform Calgary’s Global Startup Visa program is for entrepreneurs from around the world who are looking to bring their innovative tech or tech-enabled businesses to Canada.

Why Platform?

Strong Networks

Our association with trusted immigration and business professionals demonstrates our commitment to supporting your venture and strengthens your application's legitimacy. Our Partners and Pillar Team, including KPMG Law– are well-known, influential companies.

Founder Focused

When you succeed, we succeed. We give entrepreneurs the tools they need to move, scale, and thrive in Calgary, and internationally.

Soft Landing

Once you arrive in Calgary, we support you with access to the Platform Innovation Centre community, personalized accelerator programs, credits for outside workshops, and other startup development incentives.

The Startups

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the process?

This three-phase program begins with an application process where you'll assess eligibility and complete an application form. If you meet the program's requirements, you'll progress to interviews with Startup Advisors, ultimately leading to acceptance into the program. 

Once enrolled, you'll follow a structured timeline, including business plan reviews, legal consultations, and preparation for your move to Calgary. 

After landing in Calgary, we offer one year of in-person support, coaching, and networking opportunities to ensure a successful integration into Canada's tech ecosystem.

If we choose to support the business, we will issue a Letter of Support and Commitment Certificate for those going through SUV and a Recommendation Letter for those going through FGES.

Will Platform take equity in my business?

Platform Calgary is a non-profit organization and will not take any equity.

Do I have to stay in either SUV or FGES streams?

When applying to our program, applicants must select to be in either SUV or FGES streams, but they are able to switch throughout the program if they decide the other is a better fit.

Does participating in the Global Startup Visa Program mean I am automatically enrolled in SUV or FGES?

No, this is a business scaling program – we help you strengthen your business plan and our Letter of Support/Recommendation Letter is a requirement when you apply to the government, and adds legitimacy to your individual SUV/FGES application.

How long will it take to process my application?

The review process can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks based on time of submission.

What happens if my application gets rejected?

If we do not accept your application, we will contact you.

Are any of my payments refundable?

We want each participant to take the program seriously, so payments will not be refunded. The only way participants will not move forward in the program is if they are not completing what is required of them.

  1. Payments made for the Global Startup Visa program are strictly non-refundable. The progression of a company from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is subject to the final decision of the Platform, and the advancement to Phase 3 is determined solely by the government. Please note that we do not have any control over the government’s decision.
  2. Participants will face removal from the program if Platform Calgary determines that they have made insufficient progress with their applied learning and fail to meet applied learning goals without showing evidence of recovery. In such cases, Platform Calgary reserves the right to review the participant’s continued participation in the program and if participation is terminated, payments will not be refunded.
Do you take companies in the ideation stage?

No, we only accept companies that have an MVP.

Who is eligible for this program?

In addition to the Government of Alberta and Canada’s requirements for each program (see here for SUV and for FGES), Platform Calgary has the following requirements to ensure that the companies joining the program are a good fit.

  • The founding team who will be relocating to Canada must meet all Canadian Immigration Eligibility criteria
  • Have a tech-based or tech-enabled company and a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Have existing market validation (validated business model)
  • A plan to ideally relocate to Calgary and surrounding areas
  • Preparing to scale and generate exponential growth in operations
  • A plan to ideally have essential operations in Calgary and surrounding areas
  • Needs to grow their team by accessing Canadian talent
  • At least one full-time founder who can be dedicated to the program
  • Applicant is willing to keep an open line of communication between their company, Platform Calgary, and their immigration lawyer
  • Each participant is responsible for determining if they are eligible for either of these immigration streams:
What does it mean to be a designated organization?

Platform Calgary is recognized by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada as a designated programming organization to connect your business with appropriate networks, provide business counseling, and officially endorse your business during the immigration process.

How much does the program cost?

The cost of the Global Startup Visa Program is per business. However, some additional fees outside of the program fee (immigration fees, etc.) may vary based on the business.

  • CAD $5,000 + GST fee upon acceptance into Platform Calgary’s International program
  • CAD $13,000 + GST fee prior to the issuing of the Letter of Support/Recommendation Letter
  • CAD $12,000 + GST fee upon landing in Calgary, split over 12 months

Total Cost = CAD $30,000 + GST. (Note the total cost is per team and not per team member)

Get top-tier results without the top-tier price. Our program sees higher than average success rates than similar programs while being priced competitively.

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The Global Startup Visa Program runs three times per year. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis – if you miss a deadline, your application will automatically be submitted for the next cohort. Please note, incomplete applications will be automatically rejected.

2024 dates:


"Platform Calgary is dedicated to nurturing and supporting tech companies. With global operations for 9 years, we moved our HQ to Calgary in 2022 and have been based at the Platform Innovation Centre since. From meeting prospective clients, to finding tech talent - it’s all possible under one roof here."

Tanuja Khanolkar, Co-Founder and COO, EMeRG Medtech

"The connections I made during the program, both with mentors and fellow participants, have proven to be invaluable. The networking events and workshops organized by Platform regularly not only expanded my professional network but also opened doors to potential investors"

Prabh Paul, Founder, Tracecost

"My experience with Platform Calgary's Startup Visa Program has been transformative for my business. From the moment I joined the program, I felt supported and empowered to take my business to the next level. The program offers not just resources but also a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who are striving for excellence."

Farzan Havaee, CEO, Rambody

Apply Now

Platform Calgary’s Global Startup Visa program is for entrepreneurs from around the world who are looking to bring their innovative tech or tech-enabled businesses to Canada.

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