Start-up Visa

What is happening with the Start-up Visa and Self-employed Class applications?

The government of Canada aims to welcome up to 1,000 new permanent residents per year under the Federal Business Immigrant Category. This category includes the Start-up Visa Program (SUD) and Self-employed Class (SE2), both having a high demand of applications.

This article will explain why accepting 1,000 new permanent residents in the Federal Business Immigrant Category doesn’t even make considerable progress in working through existing applications. In addition, any new influx of applications would take over 5 years to be processed at the current rate, which poses new challenges itself.

Let’s check the numbers!

Start-up Visa Immigration (SUD)

The Start-up Visa immigration program targets entrepreneurs and innovative business people. The purpose is to encourage these people to immigrate to Canada and create businesses that could succeed locally and globally.

Some of the steps include: have an innovative business idea, pitch the idea to one or more designated organizations, sign the necessary agreements, get a commitment certificate and a letter of support from a designated organization, and initiate the immigration application.

Be aware! This is one of the most challenging and expensive immigration options. According to statistics obtained by Parsai Immigration (under the Access to Information and Privacy Act), there are a total of 428 cases (1,361 Persons) in processing inventory as of May 13, 2021.

Self-employed Class

Self-employed Class (SE2)

This program targets self-employed individuals who want to live in any province or territory of Canada except Quebec. The Federal Government of Canada currently accepts two groups of self-employed applicants: Self-employed persons in cultural activities, and Self-employed persons in athletics.

Basic requirements

In order to succeed under each category, a person needs:

  1. To have (at least) two years of acceptable self-employment or international activity in the qualifying period.
  2. The ability and intent to establish their self-employment business in Canada.
  3. The ability to contribute to the Canadian economy because of their future business activities in the country.
  4. Collecting enough number of points from the selection grid.

First! The qualifying period begins five years prior to submitting the application to the immigration authorities and ends when an officer makes a decision about the case. If the application is submitted far before the application is reviewed, then the experience that was valid when submitted might not be valid when it is reviewed (experience is valid 5 years from review, not submission).

The numbers!

The number of Permanent Residence (complete) applications received under the Self Employed program are 8,872, between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2021. There are also 4,117 open cases/ prospective applications.

Note: The numbers in the article were obtained by Parsai Immigration Services, under the Access to Information and Privacy Act.

This means that there is a total of 12,989 applications. To this number, we must add the Start-up Visa applications that we mentioned at the beginning (428 cases/ 1,361 persons). Even if IRCC refuses half of the applications, the processing time will be FIVE years!

Yes, it would take a minimum of 5 years from today for all the current applications to be accepted. This also means that experience from today wouldn’t be valid at all when the application has the opportunity to be reviewed.

Processing times

Start-up Visa Immigration

31 Months

Start-up Visa Immigration
Self-employed Class

34 Months

Federal Self-employed

According to Canada’s website, those are the processing time for SUV and SE2. However, they do not appear realistic.

IRCC may not have entered hundreds of applications in the system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some applications submitted on or after March 2020 have only received a temporary file number, according to Parsai Immigration Services.

As you already know, the government’s target of welcoming 1,000 new permanent residents through the Federal Business Immigrant Category falls woefully short of the demand already present. If the targets are not adjusted, then Canada will lose out on accepting people whose valuable experience today won’t be eligible 5 years from now.

Read the following article for more information about the Federal Business Immigrant Category:

Note: This article was written by Andrea Neira and Al Parsai.

Let us help!

If you need our help with your Start up Visa or Self-employed Class process, fill out the following form. Of course, you may alternatively book a consultation session or fill out our assessment form.

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This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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Andrea Neira