Canada More Than Doubles Start-Up Visa Immigration

Canada More Than Doubles Start-Up Visa Immigration
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The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals Start-Up Visa (SUV) entrepreneur immigration fell by 32.5 per cent in November in the wake of a rebound in the program in October.

In October, Canada had welcomed 200 new permanent residents to Canada through the SUV, up 37.9 per cent over the 145 new permanent residents in September.

But the number of entrepreneurs becoming new permanent residents to Canada softened in November with only 135 arriving under the SUV that month.

IRCC has allocated substantial planned admissions for permanent residence to Start-Up Visa applicants.  In 2024, 2025 and 2026, it plans to welcome 5,000, 6,000 and 6,000 newcomers respectively.

The program is still on track to welcome record numbers of new permanent residents by the end of 2023 based on the trend set in the first 11 months of the year.

By the end of November, the SUV had welcomed 1,145 new permanent residents, up 104.5 per cent from the 560 that arrived through the immigrant entrepreneurship program in the comparable period last year.

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Ontario and British Columbia remained the destinations of choice for SUV immigrants in November.

Ontario had received 725 new permanent residents through the program at the end of the first 11 months of 2023 and British Columbia had welcomed 265 through that immigration program during the same period.

Alberta had added 20 new permanent residents through the program by the end of November, showing no change from the previous month, and Manitoba had by then welcomed 120 immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV.

The only other province to see the arrival of immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV in 2023 was Nova Scotia which had by the end of November welcomed 15.

None of the other provinces or territories added any new permanent residents through the SUV in the first 11 months of 2023.

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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.

Under the SUV, three types of private-sector investors are considered: angel investorsventure capital funds, and business incubators.

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.

Three Types Of Private-Sector Investors Are Considered Under The SUV

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.

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:

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.