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Changes to Start-up Visa Program 2024

Canada, known for its welcoming attitude towards immigrants and entrepreneurs, continues to refine its immigration policies to ensure smoother processes and better outcomes for newcomers.

Fast processing is critical to the success of entrepreneurs who come to Canada through our federal business programs. These necessary changes will set the Start-Up Visa Program and Self-Employed Persons Program on the path to faster processing times while we look ahead to further reforms to make these programs more sustainable and effective over the long term. Mike Miller, Director of Immigration Policy

Recently, significant changes have been introduced to two key programs: the Start-Up Visa (SUV) and the Self-Employed Persons (SEP) Program. These updates aim to alleviate backlogs and enhance processing times, ultimately making it easier for talented individuals to contribute to Canada's vibrant economy. Let's delve into the details:

Modern digital conference with international participants, symbolizing collaboration in Canada's Self-Employed Persons Program.


The Start-Up Visa Program offers a pathway for innovative entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in Canada with the support of designated organizations. Meanwhile, the Self-Employed Persons Program caters to individuals with relevant experience in cultural activities, athletics, or farm management, allowing them to immigrate to Canada on a self-employed basis.

Changes to the Start-Up Visa Program:

1. Increased Flexibility: The program now allows applicants to submit additional supporting documents after their initial application. This flexibility ensures that entrepreneurs have ample opportunity to provide comprehensive evidence of their business plans and financial backing.

2. Streamlined Application Process: The introduction of a new online platform simplifies the application process, making it more efficient for both applicants and immigration officials. This streamlining is expected to reduce processing times significantly.

3. Expanded Designated Organizations: To provide entrepreneurs with more options and opportunities, additional organizations have been designated to support applicants under the Start-Up Visa Program. This expansion increases accessibility and fosters a more diverse pool of candidates.

Close-up view of a Canadian visa application form with a pen and a small Canadian flag, depicting the application process.

Enhancements to the Self-Employed Persons Program:

1. Updated Selection Criteria: The eligibility criteria for the SEP Program have been refined to better reflect the skills and experiences required for success in self-employment in Canada. These adjustments aim to attract individuals who can make meaningful contributions to the cultural, athletic, or agricultural sectors.

2. Improved Processing Efficiencies: Similar to the Start-Up Visa Program, the Self-Employed Persons Program will benefit from streamlined processing procedures and enhanced digital tools. These improvements are anticipated to reduce wait times and provide a smoother experience for applicants.

Effects on Prospective Applicants:

For individuals interested in the Start-Up Visa Program, these changes bring about several notable effects:

  • Increased Opportunity: The expanded pool of designated organizations provides entrepreneurs with a broader range of options for securing support. This increased accessibility enhances the program's appeal and opens doors for more prospective applicants.

  • Enhanced Flexibility: The ability to submit additional supporting documents post-application gives applicants more flexibility in presenting their business plans and financial backing. This flexibility allows entrepreneurs to address any gaps or concerns raised during the initial review process, improving their chances of success.

  • Quicker Processing Times: With the implementation of streamlined processing procedures and the introduction of digital tools, applicants can expect faster processing times. This expedited process enables entrepreneurs to embark on their business ventures in Canada sooner, maximizing their potential for success.

Diverse group of entrepreneurs brainstorming in a modern office, representing the global appeal of the Canadian Start-up Visa.

Impact on Letter of Support Prices:

With the limitation on designated organizations providing Letters of Support for Start-Up Visa applicants, there may be an increase in the prices charged by these organizations. The heightened demand for such support, coupled with a potentially limited number of designated organizations, could lead to higher costs for applicants seeking this crucial endorsement. It is essential for prospective applicants to factor in these potential expenses when planning their immigration journey to Canada.

How Ansari Immigration Can Help:

At Ansari Immigration, we understand the challenges and complexities of the immigration process. With our expertise and extensive network, we can assist clients in navigating the Start-Up Visa and Self-Employed Persons Programs seamlessly. Our firm is in connection with many designated organizations, allowing us to facilitate the acquisition of Letter of Support with affordable prices. From initial consultation to application submission, we provide personalized support every step of the way, ensuring a smooth and successful immigration journey for our clients.


Canada's commitment to attracting and retaining talented individuals remains unwavering, as evidenced by the recent updates to the Start-Up Visa and Self-Employed Persons Programs. These changes not only address existing challenges but also pave the way for a more efficient and inclusive immigration system. By streamlining processes and enhancing opportunities, Canada reaffirms its position as a top destination for entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals seeking to build successful careers and contribute to the nation's prosperity.

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