Start-up Visa (SUV) Program
Start-up Visa (SUV) Program is a Canadian federal immigration program administered by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Applicants with a Letter of Support from one of the government designated organizations can submit work permit and permanent residence applications concurrently.
Start-up Visa (SUV) program was implemented as a pilot in April 2013. According to the Evaluation of the Start-Up Visa (SUV) Pilot published by the Research and Evaluation Branch of the Government of Canada on November 10, 2016, 80% applications were approved and 20% were refused. Refusal reasons include applicants’ lack of knowledge of their start-ups. The SUV program became a permanent immigration program in April 2018.
According to the Admissions of Permanent Residents by Immigration Category between January 2015 and December 2020 released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on December 31, 2020, the number of permanent residents admitted to Canada through the SUV program increased from about 60 in 2015 to about 525 in 2019. The number lowered in 2020 due to COVID-19 and application processing backlog.
According to the Supplementary Information for the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on October 30, 2020, Canada targets at admitting 1,000 permanent residents through the SUV program and the Self-employed Persons program per year from 2021 to 2023.
The current processing time for work permit application from inside Canada is about 133 days. That for a work permit application from outside Canada varies among countries and regions, such as 6 weeks in Taiwan, 12 weeks in Hong Kong, and 15 weeks in China.
The current processing time for Permanent Resident (PR) status application through the Start-up Business Class is 12 – 16 months. Please note that existing applications for permanent resident has a processing time of 31 months.