IRCC Implements Changes to Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Persons Programs for Faster Processing

#startup #business

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in Canada is now undergoing substantial modifications aimed at streamlining its federal commercial immigration initiatives. With effect from April 30, 2024, these modifications are meant to shorten application processing periods and deal with the backlog of applications, which has worried a lot of applicants.

Enhancing the Start-up Visa Program

One of the main adjustments is to improve the Start-up Visa Program, which makes it easier for creative business owners to immigrate to Canada.

A limited number of applications from start-ups connected to a maximum of ten companies will be processed annually by Canada under the new criteria. With this modification, the application process will be streamlined and the most promising projects will be given priority.

Applications from entrepreneurs will be processed more quickly if their start-ups are funded by Canadian investors or by certain business incubators. This covers both new and current applications, giving entrepreneurs a reason to look for assistance from Canadian sources.

Full Pause on Self-Employed Persons Program

Along with the Start-up Visa Program modifications, the IRCC has declared that, as of April 30, 2024, the Self-Employed Persons Program will no longer accept applications. The purpose of this halt is to enable IRCC to concentrate on handling applications from the current inventory.

The Self-Employed Persons Program provides a route to permanent residency for people who have made significant contributions to Canada's cultural vibrancy in the fields of sports, art, and recreation.

The Self-Employed Persons Program is pausing new applications in response to the large volume of applications received, resulting in processing delays over four years.

The IRCC will continue to review current applications and look into ways to make the program more equitable and efficient even though it will not be accepting new ones after the end of 2026.

Requirements for Start-up Visa Program

Entrepreneurs wishing to apply for Canada's Start-up Visa Program need the backing of particular organizations:

  • A venture capital fund that has invested $200,000 in it.
  • A group of angel investors investing $75,000.
  • Admittance to a program for business incubators.

These standards guarantee that candidates are part of viable projects and have significant support, which is in line with Canada's objective of drawing creative and successful entrepreneurs to boost the nation's economy and development.


Since the program's launch, how many business owners have come to Canada using the Start-up Visa Program?

Through the Start-up Visa Program, more than 900 business owners have moved to Canada since 2013, creating more than 300 companies.

Will the pause impact candidates who have already submitted applications for the Self-Employed Persons Program?

During the halt, applications from current applicants will still be processed, with IRCC giving priority to applications from the current inventory.

What kind of assistance is offered to business owners who want to apply for the Start-up Visa Program?

To get financial support and guidance for their start-ups, entrepreneurs can approach approved organizations like business incubators, angel investor groups, and venture capital firms.


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