IRCC's Latest Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Persons Program Changes

03 May, 2024

IRCC's Latest Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Persons Program Changes

Immigration Minister Marc Miller has unveiled significant updates to both the Start-Up Visa and Self-Employed Persons programs.
Effective April 30th, 2024, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will roll out fresh guidelines for handling Start-Up Visa applications. Simultaneously, the department will enact a complete halt on accepting applications for the Self-Employed Persons program.


Start-up Visa changes


Beginning April 30th, IRCC will adjust the processing of applications for the Start-up Visa program by:
Implementing a cap on the number of permanent residents admitted through the program, limiting applicants affiliated with no more than 10 start-ups per designated organization.
Prioritizing the processing of applications from entrepreneurs whose start-up is backed by a Canadian capital or business incubator affiliated with Canada’s Tech Network, including those already in the application pipeline.
*Designated organizations refer to Canadian business entities such as venture capital funds, angel investor groups, or business incubators approved to invest in start-up ventures under the program. Applicants seeking the Start-up Visa must have the endorsement of a designated organization to qualify.


Self-Employed Persons program changes


IRCC has instituted a complete halt on accepting applications for the Self-Employed Persons program, slated to remain in effect until the conclusion of 2026. This action comes in response to a substantial backlog of applications, leading to processing times exceeding four years.
During this temporary suspension, IRCC will persist in concluding pending applications while actively seeking avenues to enhance the program's efficiency without compromising its integrity.


About the programs


Start-up Visa
The Start-Up visa program in Canada enables foreign individuals who own or co-own a start-up business to immigrate and establish permanent residency in Canada, on the condition that they:
  • Possess a qualifying business;
  • Secure a letter of support from a designated organization;
  • Fulfill language proficiency requirements; and
  • Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to settle in Canada.
The Self-Employed Persons program
The Self-Employed Persons program offers a route to permanent residency (PR) for self-employed foreign individuals with significant expertise in arts, culture, recreation, or sports, who can enhance Canada’s cultural landscape.
To qualify, candidates must:
  • Possess relevant experience;
  • Demonstrate readiness and capability for self-employment in Canada;
  • Meet program-specific selection criteria; and
  • Fulfill medical, security, and other prerequisites.
Both programs are classified under the "Federal Business" category of the immigration levels plan, which is slated to elevate from a 5,000-newcomer allocation to a 6,000-newcomer allotment commencing in 2025.
If you have further questions, please contact our team and schedule a consultation with our specialists! e-Visa Immigration is ready to assist you at any stage of your process.
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