2. NEWS
  3. Canada Updates Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Programs to Tackle Immigration Processing Delays


Stay up-to-date on immigration news for the latest developments

Canada Updates Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Programs to Tackle Immigration Processing Delays

In a move aimed at enhancing Canada’s immigration system and addressing processing delays, Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), unveiled significant changes to the country’s federal business programs, including its Start-up Visa (SUV) Program and Self-Employed Persons (SEP) Program. These alterations, set to come into effect on April 30, 2024, are poised to streamline processes and alleviate the mounting application backlog.

Recognizing the pivotal role of immigration in bolstering the nation’s economy and communities, Marc Miller underscored the importance of expediting processing times to foster a more efficient immigration framework. With this objective in mind, several strategic adjustments have been implemented.

Canada Updates Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Programs to Tackle Immigration Processing Delays

Changes to Start-up Visa (SUV) Program

Under the revamped Start-up Visa Program, the government will actively encourage designated venture capital firms, angel investor groups, and business incubators to concentrate on the most promising proposals. This will be achieved through a two-pronged approach: 

  1. Imposing a cap on the number of permanent residence applications processed annually, restricting them to no more than 10 start-ups per designated organization. 
  2. Priority processing will be granted to entrepreneurs whose start-up ventures are backed by Canadian capital or affiliated with a business incubator that is a member of Canada’s Tech Network. This priority extends to both existing applications within the inventory and new submissions moving forward.

Changes to Self-Employed Persons (SEP) Program

In tandem with these adjustments, Minister Miller announced a full pause on application intake for the Self-Employed Persons Program, effective April 30, 2024. 

This initiative aims to redirect focus towards expeditiously processing existing applications housed within the program’s backlog. The Self-Employed Persons Program has experienced prolonged processing times, surpassing the four-year mark due to a surge in applications. During this pause, IRCC will continue to process applications from the existing backlog while exploring avenues for program reform, ensuring its integrity moving forward.

Looking ahead, the government is committed to reducing the application backlog and minimizing wait times by curbing application intake until the culmination of 2026. 

Additionally, planned increases in admissions for the federal business category, as outlined in the 2024–2026 multi-year levels plan, will further bolster these efforts. Through these concerted measures, the IRCC seeks to not only address the immediate challenges posed by processing delays but also to welcome a diverse pool of talented, innovative, and entrepreneurial newcomers essential for propelling Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.

For more details, please visit the official news release on IRCC’s website.

Latest posts