Manitoba Start-Up Visa Program

Manitoba encourages creative and skilled entrepreneurs to start businesses and actively contribute to the province’s economy. To enter Manitoba, however, an applicant must apply for a temporary work permit under the Manitoba Investor Program.

Manitoba Startup Visa Program

Why Invest In Manitoba?

Manitoba has experienced robust economic growth in recent years due to several factors. The province is rich in agricultural land, metals and minerals, and different ancillary industries that depend on these natural resources to thrive on the land. The province has also become one of the most vital research and development hubs in various sectors like agriculture, health, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

Manitoba is one of Canada’s Prairie Provinces, and Hudson Bay offers Atlantic Ocean access to the regions. Due to its central location, Manitoba’s vast network of road and rail routes makes shipping goods from America and across the globe logical.

Competitive Real Estate Development

Manitoba exhibits competitively priced real estate in Canada, especially for industrial spaces well below national prices. The Class A office space rate averages in central Winnipeg are lower than any other major city in Canada. The large-scale consumers of local electric utility, for instance, the whole province, use Manitoba Hydro, which can be obtained at some of the lowest rates in North America. Moreover, the area has quite a moderate cost of living, making some practical fields’ salary rates slightly lower.

Diversified Economy

The province and its people have long understood the importance of diversification, and they have done so extremely well that Manitoba now leads many industries, which may be regarded as a surprising fact for an average Canadian. At the top of this list are innovative manufacturing, the pharmaceutical industry, air space, vehicles and heavy machinery, mining, and creative industries.

Highly Trained Workforce

Manitoba’s advantage is its educated and well-trained workforce. The province has four government universities and three government colleges. In addition, there are various vocational and polytechnical learning centres. Nearly half of the working-class population in the province has finished some level of post-secondary education.

Research and Development (R&D)

R&D is a priority for the province, which has translated to establishing an international reputation in the areas of agriculture and health biotechnology, as well as in other areas of biotechnology such as the pharmaceutical industry, medical and diagnostic devices, industrial research, and others. Research and development in Manitoba are supported by the favourable tax environment, which includes the Manitoba Research and Development Tax Credit, the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program, and many more tools that stimulate R&D activities in Manitoba.

Abundant Natural Resources

The province has fertile agricultural land and abundant metals and minerals. These natural resources fuel various ancillary industries, creating jobs and economic activity.

Strategic Location

Manitoba’s position as one of Canada’s Prairie Provinces and access to Hudson Bay provides a gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. Its extensive road and rail networks make it a logistical hub for domestic and global shipping of goods.

Multiculturalism and Quality of Life

More than 26% of the population was born outside of Canada, and more than 100 languages are spoken throughout the province. Manitobans openly accept and celebrate this facet of their culture, including Folklorama, North America’s largest ethnic festival.

Important Factoids

Here are some important facts about the business sector in Manitoba:

  • Labour Force Participation: 67.1%
  • Median Household Income: $90.9K
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
  • Total Employment: 694.6K
  • Total Establishments: 40,804
  • Top Employment Sectors: Healthcare and Social Assistance, Retail
  • Trade, Educational Services, Manufacturing, and Construction
  • Investment in non-residential building construction increased by 23.8%
Top 5 industries in Manitoba

Investment Opportunities in Manitoba

With its dynamic economy and strategic advantages, Manitoba offers several investment opportunities. Let’s explore some of them:


Manitoba’s northern woods offer great opportunities for regional and industry stakeholders interested in exploring the province’s large northern forest resources’ economic, social, and environmental benefits. With robust markets for forest products (including an emerging bio-economy), an untapped wood supply in the region, a driven and competent workforce, and existing infrastructure, Manitoba’s northern towns and communities are well-positioned for forest sector growth.

Manufacturing and Processing

Manufacturing accounts for over 10% of Manitoba’s economic output and is the most significant contributor to GDP among industries. Manitoba manufacturers employ around 10% of the province’s workforce and transport approximately $17 billion in goods annually, with approximately $9 billion exported to foreign markets.

Mining and Exploration

Mining and petroleum are Manitoba’s second major primary resource sectors. The overall value of mining and petroleum output in 2018 was $2.5 billion (preliminary estimate), with around 5,700 persons directly employed.


Tourism is a major sector in Manitoba. It’s also an expanding industry with substantial potential for development. This expansion will provide multiple economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Healthcare and Biotechnology

The province has a significant healthcare sector and extensive research funding in healthcare and biotechnology. There is ample scope for investment in healthcare facilities, medical products, biotechnology start-ups, pharmaceutical manufacturing, etc.

Manitoba Business Investor Stream (BIS)

A pathway within the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) that aims to attract qualified business investors and entrepreneurs from around the world who intend and can start or purchase businesses in Manitoba. It has following streams:

Manitoba Entrepreneur Pathway (EP)

This pathway is for applicants who wish to open a business in Manitoba.

Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway (FIP)

This is for individuals intending to establish and operate a farm operation in rural Manitoba.

Common Eligibility Criteria – Manitoba Startup Visa Program

The primary goal of the Manitoba Start-Up Visa Program is to provide opportunities to innovative foreign entrepreneurs who will actively contribute to the province’s economy.

  1. Express Entry Not Required: You must not apply through the Express Entry system.
  2. No Job Offer Required: A job offer is not mandatory for this pathway.
  3. Language Proficiency: You must achieve a minimum CLB Level 5 in either English or French.
  4. Education: Possess a post-secondary degree obtained within the last ten years (equivalency assessment required).
  5. Business Experience: Demonstrate at least 6 months of work experience as a business owner or manager.
  6. Investment Support: Show support from a venture capital fund, angel investor, or business incubator.
  7. Voting Rights: Hold at least 10% voting rights attached to all company shares.
  8. Settlement Funds: Prove sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents.

Process To Apply for Manitoba Start-Up Visa

If you are interested in applying for the Manitoba Start-Up Visa, here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Qualify Your Business Idea

  • You must have total clarity about the eligibility requirements for the Manitoba start-up visa program before applying.
  • You need to develop a comprehensive business plan which includes financial terms, job creation, innovative ideas, scalability elements etc.
  • You are required to secure a financial commitment from a designated organization in Manitoba, including venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators.

2. Start Your Application

You submit your application with all documents for the Manitoba start-up visa program to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

3. Receive Approval

If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction from IRCC. This letter allows you to apply for a temporary work permit to begin your business in Manitoba.

4. Temporary Work Permit

While waiting for permanent residence, you may be eligible for a work permit if your business will significantly benefit Manitoba.

5. Apply for Permanent Residence

After establishing and operating your business in Manitoba, you can apply for permanent residence through this program.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Manitoba Startup Visa:

What is a designated organization?

Designated organizations are business incubators, accelerators, and investors in Manitoba that the provincial government has approved to support entrepreneurs through the Start-up Visa Program.

How much settlement funds are required?

You must demonstrate sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents in Manitoba. The required amount depends on the size of the family and other factors.

How long does the application process take?

Once you receive a Letter of Support from a designated organization and submit your application, it will take 6 months and a year.

What is a qualifying business idea?

Your idea is considered a qualifying idea when it has the potential to create jobs, encourage innovation, and contribute to Manitoba’s economy.

For more information on the Manitoba Startup Visa Programs, please contact our immigration experts.

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