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Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy

  • The Start-up Visa (SUV) Program provides a path to permanent residence for foreign entrepreneurs who gain the support of a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor organization or business incubator for their start-up.
  • As a first step to address the lengthy wait times for applicants, more spots were allocated to this program under the 2023–2025 multi-year levels plan.
  • This means that targets have tripled the number of permanent residents expected in the Federal Business category for 2023 compared to 2022. Further increases are planned in 2024 and 2025. Processing and accepting more applications will help reduce the application inventory.
  • Recognizing the long wait times for applicants due to high interest in the SUV program, IRCC will change the temporary work permit option for SUV applicants and will allow them to apply for an open work permit of up to three years, rather than a one-year work permit that limits them to work solely for their own start-up.
  • This will make it easier and more appealing for founders to come to Canada and develop their business while they wait for their permanent residence application to be processed.
  • Making the SUV-linked work permit an open work permit reflects feedback from stakeholders, whose insights we are grateful for. Stakeholders have made it clear that in their earliest stages, start-up entrepreneurs might not be able to take a full salary and having the ability to earn additional income can ease financial stress on founders and their families.
  • The work permit will be available to each member of the entrepreneurial team. Currently, only members of the entrepreneurial team who are identified as essential and urgently needed in Canada by the designated organization supporting the start-up can apply.
  • We will prioritize applications to ensure those supported by committed capital or endorsed by a business incubator that is also a member of Canada’s Tech Network will move to the front of the line for processing.
  • Venture capital funds and angel investor groups commit significant funds to a start-up when they believe in an idea and expect it to be successful. Some applications supported by business incubators also have capital committed to them. Applications with that type of backing need to be prioritized to enable founders to make their start-up a success and provide a return on those investments.
  • The prioritization plan will be applied to both permanent residence applications currently in the backlog and to newly submitted applications.
  • We expect to be able to announce additional strategies for addressing processing times and improving program effectiveness later this year.

Link:, dated June 27, 2023 4:42 pm

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