Supercharging Canada Start-up Visa Program: IRCC New Enhanced Rules

The Canadian government is raising the bar in its quest to attract international tech enthusiasts, with a vision to establish Canada as a powerhouse in the global tech arena. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has unveiled a multi-faceted strategy to revamp and magnify their current initiatives. The freshly updated Start-up Visa (SUV) Program in Canada rolls out a suite of changes and advantages compared to its previous iteration:

Supercharging Canada Start-up Visa Program: IRCC New Enhanced Rules


  1. Increased Quotas

The SUV program now features a more generous allocation of spots per the 2023-2025 multi-year levels plan. This surge in numbers effectively triples the anticipated permanent residents in the Federal Business category for 2023 compared to 2022, with an upward trajectory for 2024 and 2025. This augmentation promises to alleviate the protracted waiting periods for applicants, thus shrinking the application inventory.

  1. Extended Work Permit Period

The updated program has changed Start-up Visa applicants’ temporary work permit rules. Previously, they could only work for their start-ups for one year. Now, they can apply for a work permit that lasts up to three years. This change allows founders to move to Canada and develop their start-ups while waiting for their permanent residency applications to be approved.

  1. Open Work Permit Access for Main Applicant

The updated open work permits offer more flexibility for start-up founders. Understanding that founders might not earn a full salary in the early stages of their start-ups, these permits allow them to earn extra income. This helps reduce financial stress for both the founders and their families.

  1. Work Permit Accessibility for All Team Members

Every SUV team member can access the work permit in the new program. This is a change from the previous rule where only those identified as essential and urgently needed by the start-up’s supporting organization could apply.

  1. Expedited Application Processing

Applications with capital commitment from a  venture capital fund or supported by a business incubator part of Canada’s Tech Network will be processed faster. This quicker processing time applies to existing and new permanent residence applications, helping ensure that start-ups with strong support can succeed and provide returns for venture capital and angel investors.

The Canadian government’s innovative revamp of the Start-up Visa Program underscores its commitment to nurturing a vibrant tech ecosystem. By broadening quotas, extending work permit durations, providing open work permit access for main applicants, ensuring permit accessibility for all team members, and accelerating application processing, Canada is creating a conducive environment for international tech entrepreneurs to thrive. The Eterna Start-up Program is custom-designed to empower innovative entrepreneurs to leverage these new changes to their fullest potential.

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