Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, has announced several improvements to the Start-up Visa (SUV) Program as part of the country’s first-ever Tech Talent Strategy at Collision 2023.
The speech of Sean Fraser provided more details about the changes to the SUV Program. These updates aim to streamline the immigration process for tech entrepreneurs and ensure that high-growth industries have access to top talent. Meanwhile, the new updates are not only beneficial to tech entrepreneurs but also to all other entrepreneurs with creative business ideas in Canada.
Key enhancements to the Start-up Visa Program have been mentioned including:
Increased annual spots:
Considering IRCC has received more applications than they have spaces available. The number of spaces available under the program has been increased from 1,000 to 3,500 for 2023, this surge in numbers effectively triples the anticipated permanent residents in the Federal Business category for 2023 compared to 2022.
With plans for further increases in 2024 and 2025, the IRCC is going to prioritize applications within that system by focusing on features like whether a company’s got capital committed or whether it’s received an endorsement for a trusted partner who is backing your application. This means the existing and new PR applicants who are supported by angel investor groups or venture capital funds can get quicker processing time.
Open work permits:
Applicants can now apply for work permits with a duration of up to three years, an increase from the previous one-year limit.
At the same time, Start-up Visa Program participants can now apply for open work permits, allowing them to work for any employer, rather than being limited to their own start-ups. This three-year open work permit is available to each member of the entrepreneurial team, including their family members, instead of only those who are essential and urgently needed in Canada.
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.
These improvements to the Start-up Visa Program are expected to fuel innovation and drive emerging technologies forward while providing a competitive edge to Canadian businesses in the global market. Additionally, the remarkable changes to the SUV are fair to people who made an application previously that are currently in the pool.