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Most Recent Updates on the Canadian Start-Up Visa (SUV) and How It Impacts the Immigration Business Plan

– Business Immigration | Start-Up Visa (SUV) | Industry Insights

The Start-Up Visa (SUV) program offered by Canada has become a beacon of opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs aiming to establish innovative ventures in a supportive and dynamic business landscape. In response to the program’s growing popularity, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently introduced a series of significant updates on the program and the application process.

At Joorney, we recognize the importance of these updates and their profound impact on SUV applicants’ prospects. As a leading provider of tailored business plans and pitch decks for immigration purposes, our expert team is fully committed to staying at the forefront of these changes. We are dedicated to offering our esteemed clients the highest level of guidance and support on the business plan side of things. In this article, we will explore the recent updates introduced by IRCC and shed light on how Joorney is uniquely positioned to assist immigration lawyers and consultants specializing in business immigration in effectively navigating through these changes.

Innovation First

The IRCC has introduced the SUV program to attract innovative entrepreneurs who are keen on actively managing their businesses in Canada. The primary objective of the SUV program is to stimulate innovation rather than focusing solely on immigration. To ensure that new applications align with the IRCC’s vision of innovation and to address the unprecedented volume of applications and lengthy processing times, the IRCC has announced significant changes to both the SUV program and the application process. The IRCC will now play a more active role in reviewing the genuine intent of applicants to launch their start-ups in Canada, as well as assessing the viability of their proposed business ventures.

First, let’s delve into the announced changes to the program itself, then explore the application process’s changes.

Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy

During the Collision Conference in Toronto in June, the Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, made an exciting announcement: the launch of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy. This new strategy highlights Canada’s emerging role as a global leader in tech talent recruitment and attraction. By embracing this role, the Government of Canada aims to not only fill in-demand jobs today but also attract the skills and business talent needed to create the jobs of tomorrow. The Tech Talent Strategy showcases Canada’s commitment to fostering innovation and attracting top talent worldwide. Notably, this strategy includes significant updates to the SUV program and immigration business plans.

Increasing Number of Start-Up Visas & Faster Processing

The Canadian government has made an exciting announcement, revealing its intention to prioritize and expand the availability of start-up visas. In response to the increasing demand and to provide better opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs, the government has planned a significant increase in the number of SUV spaces available annually. For the year 2023, the targeted increase is from 1,000 to 3,500. Looking ahead to 2024 and 2025, the government aims to reach targets of 5,000 and 6,000, respectively. This expansion will undoubtedly open doors for more aspiring entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of starting a business in Canada and contribute to the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem of the nation. Additionally, the new application process will be expedited, with applications now being processed in as little as 12 months, as opposed to the previous wait time of up to a couple of years.

Open Work Permit (WP)

Another way the IRCC has addressed the issue of long wait times is by transitioning from closed WPs to open WPs for applicants. Previously, applicants were only allowed to work for their own start-ups. However, applicants can now take on additional employment alongside their start-up business with the new strategy. This adjustment has been strongly advocated by stakeholders who recognize that start-up entrepreneurs may not be able to draw a full salary in the early stages of their ventures. By granting them the opportunity to earn supplementary income, financial burdens on founders and their families can be alleviated by granting them the opportunity to earn additional income.

Extended Work Permit

WPs issued under the SUV program will now be extended from one year to three years, reducing the frequency of permit renewal. Consequently, this decreases paperwork, government fees, and overall stress. Additionally, the extended permit duration enhances job prospects, as employers are more inclined to hire individuals with a three-year WP rather than a one-year WP when seeking a job outside of the start-up.

Work Permit for All Members

The last revision to the WP addresses the eligibility criteria for obtaining a WP. Previously, only essential members were considered eligible. However, recognizing the collaborative nature of start-ups and the invaluable contributions of every team member, the Canadian government has expanded the eligibility to include all members.

Prioritizing for Processing Based on Capital

To streamline the processing of SUV applications, the government will prioritize those backed by committed capital or endorsed by a business incubator that is also a member of Canada’s Tech Network (CTN). You can find a comprehensive list of CTN members here. Additionally, applications with “committed capital” support from venture capitalists and angel investors will receive prioritization as well. This approach guarantees expedited processing for high-potential start-ups, allowing them to swiftly integrate into the Canadian market and catalyze innovation and economic growth.

Canada's Tech Talent Strategy Pillars

The Effect of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy on Immigration Business Plans

At Joorney, we’re thrilled to see the increased spaces available for SUVs and the more opportunities for entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada. Introducing a three-year open WP for all start-up members will also alleviate some financial challenges founders face. However, it appears applicants must still demonstrate genuine dedication to their start-ups and financial stability without seeking outside employment.

The prioritization of applications supported by a member of the CTN is a crucial aspect that requires close monitoring. The Canadian government has yet to explain why CTN members are given priority. While there is already a list of SUV Designated Organizations, the prioritization of venture capitalists, angel investors, and incubators on the CTN suggests that the immigration system may favour specific sectors, particularly tech start-ups. The role of non-CTN designated organizations remains to be seen, and we eagerly anticipate receiving an update from the IRCC soon on this topic.

The timeline for implementing these changes remains uncertain, but the Canadian government has committed to providing further details later this year. We anticipate an announcement around October or November.

SUV Program Application Changes

Prior to the announcement of the launch of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy, the IRCC has also announced new instructions for the SUV application process. These instructions are in effect as of immediately. The changes are welcomed as they provide clarity for applications but also change the application process and, therefore, in some instances, the business plan. Below you’ll find the most significant changes in the application process.

Before the launch of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy, the IRCC has also unveiled new instructions for the SUV application process. The changes have been received positively due to their increased clarity for applications. However, these changes also result in a more challenging application process. These instructions are now in effect, and we will discuss the most significant changes to the application process below.

Permanent Residency (PR) Application Precedence

In order to streamline the immigration process, it is now necessary for the PR application to be submitted before the WP application. Moreover, all co-founders listed on the commitment certificate must also have submitted their PR applications. This requirement ensures that the applicants align with the more stringent PR criteria. Doing so guarantees that the entire team is fully dedicated to establishing a thriving start-up in Canada, fostering cohesiveness and commitment.

Creating Significant Benefit

Previously, it was accepted that an entrepreneur coming to launch an innovative business would inherently bring significant benefits to Canada. However, this perception is now subject to change due to a new requirement. All applications are now required to clearly outline how the new venture will generate substantial economic, social, and cultural benefits for Canada. It’s important to note that the Canadian government does not provide a predefined set of benefits for each start-up; these benefits can vary and may include job creation, product innovation, market expansion, and contributions in the cultural or artistic realms. With this new requirement, having a compelling business plan is now more crucial than ever. By effectively highlighting the importance of the business concept within the business plan, applicants can successfully convey their vision and value proposition, thereby increasing their chances of success.

Proof of Investment

Until now, there was no requirement for a minimum investment or net worth to apply for an SUV. However, recent changes now mandate applicants to provide proof of sufficient funds to establish and sustain their business activities in Canada. Applicants must showcase evidence of adequate funds to initiate the proposed activities in addition to the settlement funds. It is also crucial to demonstrate the availability and transferability of these funds. The specific amount of investment required varies from one business to another. By ensuring the availability of adequate funds, IRCC aims to support the viability and long-term success of SUV start-ups. This recent change will undoubtedly pose limitations on numerous applications. Additionally, the minimum net worth requirement remains to be determined, and we anticipate the IRCC to provide clarification soon.

Proof of Work Experience and Education

The updated policy now focuses on applicants with a background in the field of the start-up. This means that showing the background of the applicant in the business plan is even more important. This underscores the importance of showcasing the applicant’s background and providing educational and professional experience in the business plan. Additionally, language exam results are now mandatory.

New SUV Program Requirements

The Effect of The Application Changes on Immigration Business Plans

Historically, the initial SUV approval rate has been remarkably high. However, with the recent policy change and the implementation of new assessment criteria, we anticipate a rise in SUV application refusals. The inclusion of additional requirements, such as providing proof of significant benefit to Canada, proof of investment or net worth, evidence of capability to fulfill duties and responsibilities in the start-up and completion of a language exam, will undoubtedly make it more challenging to assemble a compelling case. Consequently, meticulous preparation of a robust Start-Up application and a well-crafted business plan have become increasingly vital.

Partnering with Joorney: Experts in SUV Applications

Navigating the intricacies of the SUV program and effectively adapting to the recent changes requires the expertise and guidance of professionals who specialize in business immigration. At Joorney, we have a deep understanding of the SUV program’s requirements and the necessary strategies for success on the business plan level. Our experienced team of business plan writers consistently stays up to date with evolving immigration policies, ensuring that our partners and clients receive the highest level of support and assistance, always working alongside immigration professionals that take care of the application itself.

Joorney offers comprehensive services in preparing compelling and tailored business plans and pitch decks designed specifically for SUV applications. We understand the unique needs of immigration lawyers and consultants focused on business immigration and are well-equipped to assist you in effectively guiding your clients through the application process. Our in-depth understanding of the program, combined with our commitment to excellence, empowers you to confidently guide your clients through the application process, maximizing their chances of success.

Contact Joorney today and discover how our team of experts can help shape the future of your clients’ start-up dreams in Canada. Together, we can navigate the evolving landscape of the SUV program and facilitate the realization of entrepreneurial ambitions in the thriving Canadian market.

When the IRCC releases additional information on the recent changes, we will host a webinar with an expert in the field of SUV applications. Stay tuned to our website for updates and instructions on how to register.

Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans is not a law firm nor an immigration consulting firm, and all information provided in this document should not be considered as legal advice or any advice or recommendation on any immigration application program. All information provided in this document should be verified by a licensed or certified immigration professional before the reader can act on this information. As such, it is understood that Joorney Business Plans Inc. shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other), whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this document, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this document.

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