May 2023 - NEW Instructions for Start-up Visa Work Permits

Over the past few months, IRCC has updated instructions for a series of LMIA exempted work permit (WP) categories, including introducing a series of new exemption codes in December 2023.


We now have new instructions for start-up visa work permit (WP) applicants, effective for all applications being submitted from 18 May 2023 onwards.


These detailed instructions from IRCC are welcomed as they provide clarity to applicants for a program that has exploded in popularity in the past 3 years. The recent Federal Court decisions have highlighted the need for greater clarity from IRCC. 


So, if you are submitting a new SUV WP application, here are some of the key changes:

  • Must demonstrate the urgent reasons for applying for your WP
  • Can only submit your WP application AFTER you have submitted your PR application (and if there are other essential team members, they must also have submitted their PR applications)
  • Provide a copy of your language exam
  • Commitment Certificate must be valid at the time of submitting your WP application
  • Proof of sufficient funds to commence the business activities for your start-up in Canada
  • Proof of education and work experience to demonstrate you can carry out the intended work in Canada

While we have been including these documents in our SUV WP applications, these are now official requirements that must be included in the application. 


It is interesting to note that the SUV PR program does not have a minimum net worth, education or work experience requirements, but the last two items are asking for evidence of these factors.


There is also ongoing reference in the updated instructions that SUV WP applicants must demonstrate the significant benefit that their employment (and their start-up) will create in Canada.


For those who have submitted applications prior to 18 May 2023, the instructions provide some interesting information on the way your applications will be reviewed. This might be a good time for you to provide updated information or documents before your application is finalized to ensure that you have the best chance of success.