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Climbing Higher: Canada's StartUp Visa Program Attracts More Entrepreneurs in 2023

Canada's StartUp Visa Program Attracts More Immigrant Entrepreneurs in 2023 Canada's Start-Up Visa (SUV) program has seen a more than 6 percent increase in the number of new permanent residents arriving in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

While June experienced a slight decline, with 65 newcomers arriving compared to 75 in May, the overall trend under the entrepreneur immigration program remains positive. In the first six months of 2023, the SUV welcomed 335 new permanent residents, an increase of 20 compared to the previous year.

The program, designed to attract high-caliber entrepreneurs with the skills for business success, is set to grow significantly in the coming years. The government's Immigration Levels Plan for 2023 to 2025 aims to welcome 3,500 newcomers in the federal business category in 2023, increasing to 6,000 by 2025, with the majority expected through the Start-Up Visa Program.

British Columbia and Ontario have been the most popular destinations for immigrant entrepreneurs arriving under the SUV in 2023. British Columbia welcomed 125 new permanent residents, while Ontario received 155. Alberta added 20 newcomers, Manitoba welcomed 35, and Nova Scotia added 10.

Manitoba experienced the highest growth rate among provinces, with a 40 percent increase in newcomers in the first half of the year compared to 2022. In contrast, British Columbia's SUV performance declined by up to 7 percent during the same period.

It's worth noting that the SUV program generates fewer permanent residents compared to other federal worker programs and provincial nominee programs. Applicants under the SUV can initially come to Canada on a work permit supported by their designated Canadian investor, with the entire permanent residence application process estimated to take 37 months.

The SUV program considers three types of private-sector investors: angel investors, venture capital funds, and business incubators. Each entity has specific investment requirements.

Immigrant entrepreneurs often seek assistance from business consultants and immigration lawyers to navigate Canada's start-up ecosystem, ensuring their business concept meets industry-required terms and conditions.

The basic eligibility requirements for SUV candidates include a qualifying business, a commitment certificate and letter of support from a designated entity, sufficient settlement funds, and proficiency in English or French at the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level 5, though higher levels may be required by designated entities for due diligence.

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