visa Archives - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

HomeTagvisa Archives - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

When Canada’s Start Up Visa (SUV) was first introduced in 2013, the uptake from applicants was very slow with few applications in the first several years. Things started picking up by 2018 and 2019 with the program building up momentum, largely due to immigration lawyers and consultants becoming more familiar with the program and recommending it to aspiring business immigrants. One of the most attractive features of the program was that SUV applicants would be given permanent residence (PR) on a proposed innovative business concept and that applications would be approved quickly - within 12 months or less. Then the global pandemic hit and immigration processing ground to a halt. Yet the momentum of ongoing SUV applicants continued unabated. By October 2021, “LexBase” editor Richard Kurland reported a backlog of approximately 6700 applicants and opined that the processing of applications would take several years. His prediction has come true! The combination of an increased number of applications and lengthier processing times of several years, has changed the way that SUV applications are assessed by visa officers and current and prospective applicants should be aware that the SUV playing field has changed!

The introduction of the “Tech Talent Strategy” by Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) last month brought lots of good news for Start Up Visa (SUV) applicants including extending the work permit validity period from one year to three years, allowing for open work permits for individuals to work in Canada other than in their own businesses and also extending these perks to all the members of the SUV team rather than only for essential members. IRCC Minister Sean Fraser’s announcement is meant to alleviate situations of hardship for SUV applicants facing long processing times for their permanent residence applications and also enables Canadian employers to benefit from the skills of applicants already in Canada.

As a global community, the last 2 years have been marked by uncertainty, delays, and restrictions due to the pandemic. What many of us took for granted in the past - such as visiting family or seeing friends at school - suddenly became out of reach as a result of the travel restrictions, lockdowns, and government mandates that arose worldwide.

One of the challenges that prospective immigrants to Canada face is to secure employment in Canada prior to applying for permanent residence. In the Express Entry (EE) program’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scoring criteria, after education and language proficiency, the factor that garners the most point is Canadian work experience. How does one qualify for a job in Canada from abroad? It is indeed challenging for prospective workers abroad to obtain a work permit in Canada without first being offered a position by a Canadian employer.

As immigration lawyers, we are frequently approached by both aspiring business immigrants as well as Canadian business owners who are keen to sign a deal and transfer ownership of a business with a view to the prospective business immigrant securing their family’s status in Canada and the Canadian business owner securing their family’s retirement. A mutually beneficial arrangement! Sadly, Canada’s federal business immigration programs don’t contemplate such an arrangement as a means of obtaining Canadian permanent residence, thwarting the dreams of both prospective business immigrants and Canadian business owners not to mention the loss of investment in the Canadian economy.

Last week was full of announcements on the Immigration front for the Liberal government. On Monday, October 31, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Minister John McCallum, tabled his annual report to Parliament setting immigration levels for the year ahead. The next day, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau introduced his Global Skills Strategy to make it easier and faster for companies to bring foreign workers to Canada. Let's see what the future holds!

Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre LLP

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