The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recognized the slow processing times for various immigration programs and is implementing measures to speed up not only the Start-up Visa Program but also other immigration and travel-related processes. These significant changes come as good news for immigrants and travelers alike.
In recent news, passport delivery has returned to pre-pandemic processing times, with no backlogs and Service Canada exceeding its delivery standard for most applications. A total of seven new 10-day passport service sites have been established across Canada, making it easier for Canadians to obtain their passports. Furthermore, the online Passport Application Status Checker has been introduced, allowing Canadians to access real-time updates on their application status, leading to shorter wait times when contacting the Passport Call Centre.
The IRCC has also expanded visa-free travel for 13 countries, allowing qualifying passport holders to travel to Canada by air without requiring a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV). This change is expected to divert thousands of applications from Canada’s visa caseload, enabling the IRCC to process visa applications more efficiently.
The most thrilling news, the IRCC is working to shorten processing times across various immigration programs, including the Start-up Visa Program, which has seen a significant increase in applications. The number of spaces available under the program has been increased from 1,000 to 3,500 for 2023. Plans are in place for further increases in 2024 and 2025.
The IRCC will prioritize applications within the Start-up Visa Program based on factors such as committed capital or endorsement from a trusted partner. 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.
All the action of the IRCC lately shows their ambition of making the department more effective and giving a better visit or immigration experience to travelers and newcomers all around the world. These improvements to the processing times and expansion of available spaces in various immigration programs signal a positive change for immigrants and travelers looking to make Canada their new home or destination for work and leisure.