The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows the popularity of Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) immigration program soared in July as the number of monthly arrivals under it more than doubled compared to the previous month.
In June, 65 new permanent residents had immigrated under the entrepreneurship program. In July, that spiked upwards 107.7 per cent to hit 135 new permanent residents for the month.
With those latest arrivals, Canada had welcomed 480 new permanent residents through the SUV by the end of the first seven months of this year, up 33.3 per cent from the 360 during the comparable period last year.
That puts the country on track to welcome 823 immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV this year, an increase of 43.1 per cent compared to the 575 newcomers who arrived under the program last year, provided the trend set in the first seven months of this year continues through to the end of the year.
IRCC has allocated substantial planned admissions for permanent residence to Start-Up Visa applicants. Whereas this number has only been 1,000 per year during the past few years, in 2023, 2024 and 2025, this number will increase dramatically to 3,500, 5,000 and 6,000 respectively.
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The most popular destinations for immigrant entrepreneurs arriving under the SUV so far this year have been Ontario and British Columbia.
Ontario had received 240 new permanent residents through the program at the end of the first seven months of this year, an increase of 45.5 per cent in the province’s performance under the SUV for the comparable period last year.
The West Coast province of British Columbia had welcomed 165 new permanent residents through the SUV by the end of July, roughly on par with the 160 the province welcomed for the comparable period last year.
Alberta had added 20 new permanent residents through the program by the end of July.
In the Prairies, Manitoba welcomed 45 immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV in the first seven months this year, up 80 per cent from the 25 during the comparable period last year.
The only other province to see the arrival of immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV this year has been Nova Scotia which welcomed 10 by the end of July.
None of the other provinces or territories added any new permanent residents through the SUV in the first seven months of this year.
Immigrant Entrepreneurs Can Come To Canada Under A Work Permit With The SUV
The SUV program generates much lower overall numbers of new permanent residents than federal worker programs, such as the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Federal Skilled Trade (FST), the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) or the regional economic development programs including the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) or Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP).
Due to these smaller numbers, the monthly fluctuations in the number of new permanent residents under the SUV can sometimes seem exaggerated when examined in percentage terms.
Candidates applying under the SUV program can initially come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canadian investor before their application for permanent residence is finalized.
The entire process of applying for permanent residence to Canada through the SUV is currently estimated by the IRCC to take 37 months.
A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000.
A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more investments from angel investor groups totalling $75,000.
A designated business incubator must accept the applicant into its business incubator program. It is up to the immigrant investor to develop a viable business plan that will meet the due diligence requirements of these government-approved designated entities.
Immigration Lawyers Can Help Immigrant Entrepreneurs Navigate Canada’s Start-Up Eco-System
That investing and the development of the business is usually done with the help of business consultants in Canada’s start-up ecosystem with oversight from experienced corporate business immigration lawyers who can ensure a start-up’s business concept meets all industry-required terms and conditions.
The basic government-imposed candidate eligibility requirements for the SUV are:
- a qualifying business;
- a commitment certificate and letter of support from a designated entity;
- sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds to meet settlement funding, and;
- proficiency in English or French at the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level 5. However, it frequently occurs that higher levels of English are needed to meet due diligence requirements imposed by designated entities.