The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows the Start-Up Visa (SUV) immigration program helped more foreign nationals become permanent residents of Canada in the first four months of this year than during the comparable period last year.
In the first third of this year, the SUV welcomed 195 new permanent residents, or 8.3 per cent more than the 180 during the first four months of 2022.
At the current rate of new arrivals through the SUV, the program could welcome 585 new permanent residents by the end of this year if the current levels continue throughout 2023.
That level would be roughly comparable to the 575 new permanent residents who made Canada their home with the aid of the SUV last year.
But, as overall immigration to Canada dipped by 34.6 per cent in April compared to the previous month, so too did the number of new permanent residents arriving through the SUV also fall that month.
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In April, the SUV welcomed 30 per cent fewer new permanent residents to Canada, only 35, compared to the 50 in March.
The most popular destinations for immigrant entrepreneurs arriving under the SUV so far this year have been British Columbia and Ontario.
The West Coast province of British Columbia welcomed 85 new permanent residents through the SUV in the first four months of this year, up 6.3 per cent from the 80 for the comparable period in 2022.
Ontario, Canada’s biggest province, welcomed 70 new permanent residents through that immigration program in the first four months of this year, down 17.6 per cent from the 85 for the same period last year.
Alberta, which did not receive any immigrants through the SUV in the first four months of last year, added 15 of these entrepreneurs through the program during the comparable period this year.
And Manitoba, which welcomed 25 immigrant entrepreneurs through the SUV in the first four months of last year, repeated its performance through the SUV this year.
None of the other provinces or territories added any new permanent residents through the SUV in the first four 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.
Work Permits Allow SUV Candidates To Come To Canada While Application Being Processed
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 33 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.
Immigrant Entrepreneurs Often Use Services Of Business Immigration Lawyers To Set Up Companies
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.