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Analysis on Canadian Start-up Visa Policy 2023 by Catherine Dulude, Immigration Attorney

The latest updates on the Start-up Visa (SUV) program, as released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on June 27th:

1. The Canadian government plans to increase the allocation for the Start-up Visa program from 2023 to 2025. 

2. The duration of work permit applications is set to be extended. The previous one-year validity period will be extended to a three-year validity period.

3. Under the new regulations, applications supported by investments from venture capital or angel investor or those backed by Canadian business incubators that are members of the Canada Tech’s Network will be processed more expeditiously.

 
  

Today, we are honored to invite attorney Catherine Dulude, in collaboration with Globevisa, to present a detailed explanation of the current policies enforced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding the SUV program.

 
  
 
 
   

Catherine, an accomplished attorney, possesses extensive expertise in Canadian business immigration, with a remarkable track record spanning over two decades. Since 2006, she has resided in Asia, forging partnerships with distinguished professionals from across the globe. Through her consultancy services, she has catered to a vast clientele, numbering in the thousands, effectively guiding them towards acquiring coveted Canadian permanent residency or citizenship status .Ms. Catherine is a member of numerous professional associations such as the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association (CILA), the Association des avocats immigrés du Québec (AQAADI), the Association des avocats d’outre-mer du Québec (AHQ) and others.

 
  

The Start-up Visa (SUV) program is a pilot business immigration initiative that was launched in March 2013, was officially established as an immigration program in 2018. The program aims to bolster Canada’s reputation as a prominent global innovation country by leveraging immigration to attract exceptionally skilled international talent and entrepreneurs for the establishment of innovative enterprises. Moreover, it aims to cultivate the growth of sustainable and prosperous businesses, thereby not only stimulating Canada’s economic expansion but also generating employment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for local residents.

 
  
 
 
 

(Resource: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2023/06/minister-fraser-launches-canadas-first-ever-tech-talent-strategy-at-collision-2023.html)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

(Resource: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/start-visa/about.html)

 
  

Pursuant to article 98.01 (2), to attract a greater number of foreign applicants who align with the intended purpose of the Start-up Visa (SUV) program in Canada, the government has implemented a comprehensive set of application requirements, as follows:

1. They have obtained a commitment made by one or more entities designated, which refers to the letter of support (LOS).

2. They have submitted the results of a language test that is approved.

3. They have, excluding any investment made by a designated entity into their business, transferable and available funds unencumbered by debts or other obligations to demonstrate their financial capacity.

4. They have started a qualifying business within section 98.06. Compared to other business immigration programs, the SUV (Start-up Visa) program in Canada offers applicants greater flexibility. Applicants are no longer bound by the requirements of the Comprehensive Ranking System and are no longer subject to mandatory geographic constraints, as stated in Article 98.01(1).

 
  

In the requirements for the Canadian Start-up Visa (SUV) program, getting a Letter of Support (LOS) is of paramount importance. As per the rules, the LOS acts as a stamp of approval for the applicant’s business idea, marking its potential for success. The organization that provides this letter is committing to guide the applicant with their professional knowledge, helping them to make their business thrive in Canada. The Canadian government has designated 76 business organizations to issue Letters of Support (LOS) to applicants. This empowers applicants to select relevant commercial institutions based on their specific entrepreneurial category. The following are the three available modes of Letter of Support (LOS) currently offered for selection: 1. Business Incubators 2. Angel Investor Groups 3. Venture Capital Funds.

 
 

Under the rules provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Start-up Visa (SUV) program accepts up to a maximum of five individuals per team.. Each team member is expected to assume responsibilities corresponding to their respective roles within the company, working collectively towards the growth of the enterprise and ensuring the integrity and success of the entrepreneurial project. However, even within such limitations, if an applicant possesses substantial capabilities and resources, applying for the SUV program as an individual can be an exceptionally favorable choice. Given the increasing stringency of immigration requirements by the current Canadian immigration system, the Start-up Visa (SUV) program serves as a rare and valuable opportunity for expedited access to permanent residency. In contrast to other immigration pathways that involve multiple stages, the SUV program offers applicants a more direct and efficient route to obtaining Canadian permanent residency. Canada’s social welfare system is widely recognized as one of the world’s most outstanding. Consequently, successful applicants who immigrate through the SUV program can enjoy the benefits of this system. They are granted nearly identical rights and privileges as Canadian citizens, including free education, comprehensive healthcare, social security, and other public services. These rights and benefits provide applicants and their families with security and assurance, establishing a solid foundation for their lives in Canada.

 
  

Catherine said that the policy for SUVs has not changed from before and it is not clear when the government will enforce the policy. According to Catherine’s analysis, the latest policy is favorable news for the Canadian government, as it better attracts hightech talents and contributes to building Canada as a technological powerhouse. Globevisa predicts that the SUV program will receive increased attention from the government in the future, with the potential for shorter approval periods. However, we also anticipate that the government will raise the standards for SUV applications to select the best applicants. Therefore, it is advised that individuals intending to immigrate through the SUV program closely monitor the government’s latest developments and make informed decisions at the appropriate time.

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