Employer alert: Start-up Visa Program changes aimed at addressing lengthy processing times

2 minute read
09 May 2024


IRCC recently announced changes to its Start-up Visa (SUV) Program, aimed at reducing processing times and application backlog.

As of April 30, 2024, IRCC will limit the number of SUV applications that will be accepted for processing each year to no more than 10 start-ups per designated organization. A "designated organization" is a recommended member of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association or National Angel Capital Organization. A commitment certificate from a designated organization is one of the requirements to be able to use the SUV program.

Priority processing will be given to entrepreneurs whose start-up is supported by Canadian capital or by a business that is a member of Canada's Tech Network.

The SUV program has long been plagued by very lengthy processing times and a lack of transparency.

While this change may start to reduce processing times, limiting new SUV applications reduces PR options for foreign entrepreneurs. Alternate immigration paths and categories will therefore need to be carefully reviewed and assessed. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's Start-up Visa guidelines provide further information on eligibility.

Please contact a member of the Gowling WLG immigration team if you require further information or advice on any immigration or work permit matters.

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