Canada’s ambitious Immigration Levels Plan targets 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023. Recent IRCC data reveals immigrants’ amount is rapidly increasing. Overall immigration is surging, with 220,810 newcomers landing in the first 5 months of 2023. The Canada Start-Up Visa (SUV) program represents 114% growth month-over-month. In May 2023, Canada welcomed 75 new permanent residents through the SUV program, surpassing 35 in April.
In the first 5 months of 2023, SUV brought 250 newcomers, up 4.2% over the same period last year. At this rate, SUV could see 600 new permanent residents by the end of this year, exceeding last year’s 575 cases. Since the speech from the former immigration minister Sean Fraser announced earlier, the SUV program target is to increase to 3,500 PR approval quotas in 2023. Given accelerating uptake, we can expect the monthly number of SUV permanent residents to continue rising through the rest of 2023 and into 2024.
Applications supported by venture capital, angel investor groups, and business incubators with committed capital will be prioritized, as well as those backed by business incubators that are members of Canada’s Tech Network.
The IRCC is going to be looking at, whether applicants have been nominated by a designated incubator that’s being part of this new program. They’ll also be going to put a limit on the number of new candidates that certain designated entities can put forward so IRCC can reduce the pressure on the system and have more reliable timelines going forward.
The data also shows that British Columbia and Ontario remain the hot spots, receiving 105 and 110 newcomers through SUV so far this year. Alberta, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia are also seeing some uptake.
Why British Columbia or Ontario is Popular with startups?
- Established start-up ecosystems – Vancouver and Toronto have vibrant start-up communities with incubators, accelerators, mentors, funding opportunities, and a critical mass of talent. This provides an attractive environment for new immigrant-led ventures.
- Access to capital – British Columbia and Ontario have the most active venture capital markets in Canada. This makes it easier for immigrant founders to access investment and funding to launch and scale companies. Proximity to investors is key.
- Talent pools – As major tech hubs, British Columbia and Ontario have excellent access to skilled workers that startup founders need to build their teams. Abundant talent in areas like engineering and design is a valuable resource.
- Major cities – Vancouver and Toronto are global cities with immigration infrastructure, diversity, and connectivity. Immigrant entrepreneurs are drawn to the cosmopolitan lifestyle, culture, and amenities.
- Government support – Provincial nominee programs in BC and Ontario actively promote and facilitate immigrant entrepreneurship and start-up growth, including incentives and faster visa processing.
- Universities – With top schools like UBC, the University of Toronto, and Waterloo, immigrant graduates have opportunities to further develop business ideas and connect with mentors.
As the IRCC ramps up immigration to thrive in its economy, the Canada Start-Up Visa is proving an increasingly popular pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs. Expect the visa’s momentum to continue driving growth in Canada’s start-up ecosystem. So, it’s predictable that there’re more new permanent residents who will be Canadian newcomers in these future months.