top of page

Important updates to Canadian Start-Up Visa & Self-Employed Programs

Important updates to Canadian Start-Up Visa & Self-Employed Programs
Important updates to Canadian Start-Up Visa & Self-Employed Programs

📢 Immportant announcements from Immigration Minister Marc Miller: Major updates are coming to Canada's Start-Up Visa and Self-Employed Persons programs, effective April 30th, 2024!


🔍 Let's dive into the details:

Start-Up Visa Changes:

The Start-Up Visa program has been a very popular pathway for foreign entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in Canada's vibrant business landscape due to its lower language and financial eligibility requirements compared to the other business immigration programs.

However, the current processing time for the program has also increased to more than 3 years, which is no longer sustainable or effective for an innovative business idea to remain viable.

To ensure the program's sustainability and effectiveness, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced significant changes.

Under the new policies, IRCC aims to maintain a balance between welcoming innovative talent and managing immigration intake. By capping the number of permanent residents accepted and prioritizing those with strong Canadian backing, the program seeks to attract high-potential ventures while streamlining processing.


  • IRCC will now cap the number of permanent residents accepted under the Start-up Visa program.

  • IRCC will accept for processing each year to those associated with no more than 10 start-ups per designated organization

  • Priority processing will be given to entrepreneurs whose start-up is supported by Canadian capital or by a business incubator that is a member of Canada’s Tech Network, including applications in the inventory and new applications as they are submitted

Self-Employed Persons Program Changes

While the Self-Employed Persons program has provided a pathway for individuals with expertise in arts, culture, recreation, or sports to contribute to Canada's cultural fabric, the influx of applications has led to extended processing times.

In response, IRCC has implemented a temporary pause on application intake, allowing time for the department to address the backlog and explore opportunities for program enhancements.

Despite the pause, ongoing applications will continue to be processed, ensuring fairness for all candidates.

  • A full pause on application intake for the Self-Employed Persons program is in effect until the end of 2026.

  • Due to a high number of applications, processing times have exceeded four years.



About the Programs:

🚀 Start-Up Visa

A pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to immigrate and settle in Canada by owning or part-owning a start-up. Applicants must receive support from designated organizations and meet specified criteria.


🎨 Self-Employed Persons

Designed for self-employed individuals contributing to Canada's cultural vitality, including artists, athletes, and performers. Eligible candidates must demonstrate relevant experience and meet program requirements.


📈 Both programs fall under the "Federal Business" category, reflecting Canada's commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.


🗣️ Minister Miller emphasized the importance of faster processing times for entrepreneurs, stating, "Fast processing is critical to the success of entrepreneurs who come to Canada through our federal business programs."

Follow our blog by signing up as a site member or follow us on our social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, X or Pinterest) to get the latest Canadian education and immigration related news.


Your Canadian dream is within reach, and we're here to guide you every step of the way. Stay engaged, stay informed, and together, we'll make your Canadian dream come true!

Please contact us if you are keen to work with us to fulfill your Canadian dream. 🍁



bottom of page