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May 3, 2024

Canada Implements Cap on Start-Up Visa Applications: Here’s What You Need to Know

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Programme (SUV) has undergone a significant change, implementing a cap on the annual processing of permanent residence (PR) applications. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the recent developments and what they mean for aspiring entrepreneurs.

1. Capped PR Applications:
The SUV programme now limits PR applications to a maximum of 10 startups per designated organization, resulting in approximately 820 applications annually across 82 entities, including venture capital funds, angel investors, and incubators.

2. Priority Processing:
Revised regulations prioritize startups backed by Canadian capital or affiliated with Canada’s Tech Network, aiming to foster local entrepreneurship and innovation.

3. Investor Support:
While the programme offers a direct route to permanent residence without personal investment or net worth requirements, applicants must demonstrate financial stability upon arrival. Support from designated partners, such as venture capital funds or business incubators, remains essential.

Why the Cap?
The move aims to address the growing backlog and improve processing times for applications, ensuring faster processing for entrepreneurs. Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, emphasized the importance of these changes for the success of federal business programs.

Impact on Aspiring Entrepreneurs:
The cap affects aspiring business founders in countries like India, who have seen Canada’s Start-up Visa programme as a promising avenue for immigrant entrepreneurs seeking permanent residence.

Full Pause on Self-Employed Persons Programme:
In addition to changes in the SUV program, the IRCC announced a full pause on new applications for the Self-Employed Persons Programme, starting April 30, 2024. This programme targets individuals with notable experience in art, culture, recreation, or sports, contributing to Canada’s cultural vitality.

Understanding the Start-Up Visa Programme (SUV):
The SUV Programme is designed to attract innovative entrepreneurs to establish businesses that strengthen Canada’s economy. Foreign entrepreneurs must secure support from designated venture capital funds, angel investor groups, or business incubators in Canada to qualify.

  • Venture Capital Fund: Entrepreneurs require a minimum investment of $200,000 (approx Rs 1.7 crore) from a designated venture capital fund.
  • Angel Investor Group: A minimum investment of $75,000 (approx Rs 62 lakh) from a designated angel investor group is necessary.
  • Business Incubator: Acceptance into an incubation program operated by a designated business incubator is required.

Priority processing is given to applications in the venture capital and angel investor streams, as well as business incubator-supported applications reporting investments of at least $75,000 (approx Rs 62 lakh). These measures aim to encourage serious entrepreneurs backed by Canadian investors, thereby supporting the Canadian economy.

With these changes, Canada aims to maintain a balance between attracting foreign talent and managing the processing of visa applications effectively. Aspiring entrepreneurs should stay informed about the evolving regulations to navigate the immigration process successfully.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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