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IRCC announces major changes to Start-up Visa and Self-Employed programs

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On April 29, IRCC announced major changes to the Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Persons programs as a means to reduce backlogs and reduce processing times.

Effective April 30, the following changes take effect:

  • IRCC is capping the number of permanent residence applications each Start-up Visa (SUV) Program that a designated organization can submit to no more than 10 applications per year.
  • IRCC will prioritize applications supported by Canadian capital or by a business incubator that is a member of Canada’s Tech Network. This includes existing as well as new applications.
  • A full pause on the Self-Employed Persons Program so that IRCC can finalize applications from the backlog and assess reforms to the program while ensuring its integrity. IRCC notes processing times for the programs now exceeds four years.

The stated objective of these reforms is to reduce the backlog and bring down wait times to make Canada more globally competitive in attracting entrepreneurs.

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