August 18th 2021 – Recent data obtained from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through an access to information request for the period 2015-2020 shows that the Start-up Visa program (SUV) has seen impressive growth over the last few years.
The number of SUV applications has steadily grown during this period, climbing from only 160 applications in 2015 to 1,173 applications in 2019, before dipping to 719 in 2020, a decrease likely due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diversified Pool of Applicants
Applicants from 26 different countries have applied for the Start-Up Visa program in 2020, the largest number coming from Iran, Vietnam, India and China.
Favoured designated organization: the business incubators
IRCC data shows that most start-up visa applicants were supported by business incubators. Out of a total of 3,494 applications submitted between 2015 and 2020, 2,764 (or 79.1%) received a letter of support from business incubators.
High Success Rate
The majority of applications for permanent residence processed under the Start-Up Visa program were accepted by IRCC, the overall success rate being 76.3%.
The success rate varied by type of designated organization. The success rate was:
- 78% for applicants supported by business incubators,
- 80% for applicants supported by angel investor networks, and
- 43% for applicants supported by venture capital funds.
Interestingly, 100% of applications coming from Hong Kong were successful in 2019 and 2020.
Work permit: an option to jumpstart the business in Canada
IRCC allows the start-up’s essential members to move to Canada in order to develop the business. The processing can go as quickly as 8 weeks for applicants from Bangladesh and Hong Kong SAR and 14 weeks for applicants from Mainland China. The majority of temporary work permit applications under the Start-Up Visa program were also successful, with an overall success rate of 82% between 2015 and 2020.