The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals immigrant entrepreneurs became new permanent residents of Canada through the Start-Up Visa in lower numbers in September than the previous month but its popularity is still way up over last year.
In September, Canada welcomed 145 new permanent residents through the SUV, a drop of 17.1 per cent over the 175 in August.
That drop, though, comes on the heels of a record-high month as SUV immigration soared by 30 per cent in August from 135 new permanent residents through the program in July, an increase of 29.6 per cent.
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, 2025 and 2026 this number will increase dramatically to 3,500, 5,000, 6,000 and 6,000 respectively.
The uptick in monthly immigration through the SUV during the eighth month of the year was even more remarkable because it followed a spike in monthly SUV immigration in July. After welcoming 65 new permanent residents under the entrepreneurship program in June, Canada saw a boom in SUV immigration of 107.7 per cent in July.
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By the end of September, Canada had welcomed 770 new permanent residents through the SUV this year, putting the country on track – if the current levels of SUV immigration continue through to the end of the year – for up to 1,027 new permanent residents to settle in Canada under the SUV by the end of the year.
That level of SUV immigration would be 78.6 per cent higher than the 575 new permanent residents who immigrated to Canada under that program last year.
In the first nine months of the SUV this year, the program has welcomed 310 more new permanent residents, or 67.4 per cent more, than it did during the comparable period last year.
The most popular destinations for immigrant entrepreneurs arriving under the SUV so far this year have been Ontario and British Columbia.
Ontario had received 495 new permanent residents through the program at the end of the first nine months of this year and British Columbia had welcomed 210 through that immigration program during the same period.
Alberta had added 20 new permanent residents through the program by the end of September, showing no change from the previous month, and Manitoba had welcomed 65 immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV in the first nine months this year.
Ontario Saw The Most SUV Entrepreneurs Arrive, Nova Scotia The Least
The only other province to see the arrival of immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV this year has been Nova Scotia which had by the end of September welcomed 10, unchanged from the previous month.
None of the other provinces or territories added any new permanent residents through the SUV in the first nine months of this year.
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.