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Analysis of the Admissions of PR to Canada from Vietnam 2015-2023

Updated: Feb 28


This report utilizes data directly obtained from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It aims to analyze recent changes and provide insights into the evolving dynamics of Canada's Startup Visa program. Our detailed analysis seeks to explain the fluctuations in acceptance rates and their implications for entrepreneurs and the Canadian startup ecosystem. For a full exploration of our findings and to engage with the complete dataset, you are invited to download the report available at the conclusion of this article.

I. An Overview of Global Start-up Business

💡 The data for 2023 is only for the first third of the year, and these figures could change as more data is collected.

1. Received (PR Applications) organized by Top 10 Countries 2017 - 2022


  • The data suggests that global events and shifts in immigration policy have a significant impact on the number of start-up business applications. For instance, Iran's peak could reflect a temporary window of opportunity that many sought to capitalize on.

  • Consistent Application Numbers from Canada: Domestic applications within Canada have maintained a relatively constant presence throughout the years, indicating a steady interest in entrepreneurship immigration pathways among those already residing there.

  • For Vietnam, the consistent increase until 2021 may indicate a robust support system for entrepreneurs looking abroad, which may continue to see success if the trend of supportive policies and international collaboration continues.

  • The slight decrease in applications from Vietnam and other countries in 2022 could result from the global economic slowdown or tightening of immigration criteria, which may require applicants to adapt their strategies moving forward.

Highlighting Important Trends

  • Iran's application peak is a significant outlier that merits further investigation into the causative factors, which could provide valuable insights for policy-makers and immigration consultants.

  • Vietnam's sustained application growth highlights the importance of fostering international partnerships and supportive ecosystems for global entrepreneurs.

2. Total Processed of Applications Top 10 by Country 2017 - 2023


  • General Trend: Despite yearly changes, there seems to be an overall upward trend in the number of processed applications from 2017 to 2020, with a general decline in 2021, which could be attributed to the impact of COVID-19 on immigration processes globally.

  • Iran's Processing Surge: Iran exhibited a sharp increase in processed applications in 2020, which might be driven by socio-political factors prompting more individuals to seek residency in Canada.

  • Comparative Analysis: When comparing Vietnam to other countries, such as the People's Republic of China, we observe that while Vietnam experienced a decrease after 2020, China's numbers dropped to zero in 2023 (the data collected from the first quarter), which is quite notable. This could indicate a policy shift, a significant change in the relationship between China and Canada, or changing immigration protocols.

  • Vietnam's Future Applications: Based on the recovery in 2022, Vietnam's application processing numbers might continue to increase if the factors that caused the 2021 decline have been addressed.

  • Strategic Application Timing: Applicants from countries experiencing high variability might benefit from submitting their applications during a declining trend, potentially leading to faster processing due to lower volumes.

  • Policy Adjustments: Countries with drastic changes in processed applications should stay informed about any immigration policy changes that might affect future application success.

3. The Approval Rate % of Total Processed Top 10 by Country from 2017 to 2023


The bar graph showcasing the average approval rate from 2017 to 2023 indicates Canada consistently leads with the highest average approval rate among the top 10 countries, reflecting its stable and welcoming immigration policies. Following Canada, Hong Kong SAR and India also exhibit strong average approval rates, suggesting a robust alignment with Canadian immigration criteria or a highly effective application process within these communities.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Turkey, and the United States also show commendable average approval rates, indicating a generally successful immigration trajectory for applicants from these countries. However, Iran and the People's Republic of China have lower average approval rates, which could indicate more complex socio-political dynamics or varied challenges in meeting the Canadian immigration eligibility requirements.

Change in Approval Rate from 2017 to 2023

When looking at the change in approval rates from 2017 to 2023, we observe that Iran has experienced the most significant decline. This notable decrease may indicate increased scrutiny or evolving immigration policies affecting Iranian applicants. The People's Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates also show a reduction in approval rates, though less pronounced than Iran's. At the same time, Russia, the United States, Turkey, and Vietnam have seen smaller declines.

On the other hand, Canada shows a slight increase in approval rates, reinforcing its status as an accessible destination for immigrants. This positive trend could be due to continuous improvements in Canada's immigration processing or a stable socio-political environment conducive to higher approval rates.

The changes in approval rates for these top 10 countries paint a complex picture influenced by various factors, including policy changes, global events, and shifts in international relations. For potential immigrants, especially from countries with declining approval rates, it's crucial to stay informed about Canada's evolving immigration landscape and to ensure that applications are meticulously prepared to meet the latest standards.


  • Vietnam's Potential: Despite a slight decline in approval rates over the observed period, Vietnam's consistent presence suggests that Vietnamese applicants remain competitive in the Canadian immigration system. With the correct strategies, approval rates can be maintained or improved.

  • Strategic Business Immigration: The stability in the approval rates for countries like Turkey and the slight uptick for Canada may signal specific strategies or programs that effectively support business and skilled immigration.


For countries experiencing decreased approval rates, it's advisable to closely monitor immigration policy updates and seek guidance to navigate the increasingly complex application process. For entrepreneurs and skilled workers, mainly from Vietnam, focusing on quality applications that highlight aligning their skills or business plans with Canadian economic needs could be a key strategy.

4. Refused Top 10 by Country 2017 - 2023


  • Overall Increase in Refusals: There seems to be a general increase for all countries combined over the years. This could suggest more stringent immigration policies or increased applications received, leading to a higher absolute number of refusals.

  • 2023 Surge: A significant rise in refusals is noticeable in early 2023. While this may appear alarming, it's important to note that these numbers represent only the first part of the year and may not indicate a year-long trend.

  • Comparative Volumes: The chart shows that some countries have a consistently higher number of refusals than others, which may point to differences in the volume of applications, the complexity of cases, or the evaluation criteria applied to different countries.

  • Country-Specific Trends: While the chart lacks clarity on individual country trends due to data stacking, any observable patterns would indicate changes in migration trends, policy impacts, or administrative efficiencies within the immigration system.

  • Data Incompleteness for 2023: Given that the data for 2023 is only up to the first third of the year, the observed surge in refusals might level out as more applications are processed throughout the remainder of the year.

  • Potential for Reversal: Past trends in the data suggest that high spikes in refusals can be followed by declines as immigration systems adapt and applicants refine their approaches based on feedback and changing criteria.

These insights should be interpreted with the understanding that the data is incomplete for the current year. Thus, conclusions drawn may be subject to significant adjustments as more data becomes available. It's also crucial for potential applicants to consider this volatility in refusal rates and to stay informed about ongoing changes in immigration policies that could affect their applications.


II. Analysis of Vietnam


This dataset unfolds the narrative of Vietnamese immigrants' journey to permanent residency in Canada, traversing through a tapestry of immigration programs from 2015 to 2023. Each column unfurls the story year by year. At the same time, the rows anchor the tale to diverse pathways—ranging from the cultivation of the Agri-Food Pilot to the experienced voyageurs of the Canadian Experience and the nurturing arms of Caregivers, among a host of other gateways to a new home.

Key observations

  • The plot shows that Vietnamese applicants actively engage with a diverse range of immigration programs, with a particular emphasis on economic and family reunification streams.

  • The increasing numbers in business and entrepreneurship-related programs may reflect Vietnam's developing economic landscape and the rising entrepreneurial spirit among its citizens.

  • The prominence of family sponsorship programs highlights the importance of family in Vietnamese society and the desire for family cohesion in the immigration process.

  • The substantial growth in the PNP indicates that Vietnamese immigrants may be finding success in settling in various provinces across Canada, possibly due to targeted provincial initiatives or the availability of specific job markets.

1. Top 10 programs


Dominant Programs:

  • The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Sponsorship of Spouses or Partners program stand out as the most utilized pathways for Vietnamese immigrants to Canada, with consistently high numbers across the years.

  • A significant increase in the PNP is noted, peaking in 2023, suggesting a growing preference or success rate through this pathway.

Rising Trends: There is an observable rise in numbers for the Canadian Experience class starting from 2016, reaching its peak in 2021. This could indicate that Vietnamese immigrants increasingly leverage their Canadian work or study experience to gain permanent residency.

Start-up Business Interest: The Start-up Business program has gradually increased from 2015, with numbers rising notably from 2019 onwards. This trend aligns with the introduction of the Start-up Visa Program, hinting at a growing entrepreneurial interest among Vietnamese applicants.

Family Reunification Efforts: The Sponsored Parent or Grandparent program numbers show significant participation, suggesting a cultural emphasis on family reunification.

Fluctuations and Policy Impacts: Some programs display fluctuations that may correlate with changes in Canadian immigration policies or global events affecting migration trends

2. The trends in admissions of permanent residents from Vietnam to Canada by different immigration programs from 2015 to 2023


  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Surge: The PNP sees the most dramatic rise in admissions, with a sharp increase to 2435 in 2023. This surge underscores the program's success in attracting Vietnamese candidates, possibly due to its tailored approach to matching immigrants' skills with provincial economic needs.

  • Family Reunification Trends: The Sponsored Parent or Grandparent program exhibits a consistent upward trajectory, peaking in 2021. This trend highlights the cultural importance of family unity to Vietnamese immigrants and Canada's commitment to supporting family reunification.

  • Skilled Worker Preference: There is a noticeable uptick in admissions under the Skilled Worker category from 2021 onwards. This reflects Canada's focus on skilled immigration to support its economic growth, resonating with Vietnamese professionals' desire for better career prospects.

  • Diverse Program Engagement: The graph illustrates a broad engagement across various immigration programs by Vietnamese applicants. This diversity indicates a comprehensive awareness and utilization of the Canadian immigration system's different streams.

  • Adaptation to New Programs: The gradual increase in admissions through new initiatives like the Agri-Food Pilot and the Atlantic Immigration Programs points to the adaptability of Vietnamese immigrants in meeting Canada's evolving labour market demands.

3. Highlights specific programs of interest: Start-up Business, Entrepreneur, Self-Employed, and Investor, with Start-up Business emphasized


  • Start-up Business Ascendancy: The Start-up Business program has experienced a remarkable ascent, with admissions escalating consistently from 2015 and hitting the highest point in 2023. This upward trajectory underscores Canada's growing reputation as a nurturing environment for innovative Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

  • Investor Interest: While not as pronounced as the Start-up Business trend, the Investor category shows a notable increase over the years, peaking in 2023. This suggests Vietnamese investors increasingly consider Canada a stable and promising investment location.

  • Comparatively Steady Paths: The Self-Employed and Entrepreneur categories have a steadier, more modest growth than the Start-up Business and Investor lines. Although these programs show growth, the relative scale is significantly smaller, suggesting they are less popular or less accessible to Vietnamese applicants.

  • Diagnostic Implications: The data could imply a thriving entrepreneurial culture among Vietnamese immigrants, with many seeking new business opportunities within Canada's supportive ecosystem. The uptick in admissions may also signal a successful alignment of Canada's immigration incentives with the ambitions of Vietnamese business talent.

  • Predictive Insights: Assuming no significant policy changes, we can anticipate continued interest in the Start-up Business program, given its upward trend. However, external factors such as global economic shifts, policy reforms, or changes in Canada's start-up landscape could influence future admissions.

  • Highlighting Significance: The sustained growth in the Start-up Business program, especially, should be highlighted as a critical area of interest for policymakers and economic strategists, as it reflects an active channel of talent and innovation flowing into Canada.

  • Strategic Considerations: For prospective applicants, these trends suggest that aligning one's business vision with Canada's strategic sectors could increase the likelihood of successful immigration. Aspiring entrepreneurs should note the increasing competition and prepare for rigorous application processes.

4. Received PR Applications from Vietnam

Impact of SUV Program and Application Processing Time

Given the SUV Program's initiation in 2015 and the application process potentially spanning two years, early applicants (particularly from Vietnam) likely benefited from lesser competition and evolving scrutiny standards. This could explain the initial high approval rates for Vietnam. As awareness of the program grew and application numbers increased, the approval rates adjusted to reflect more stringent evaluations. For future applicants, understanding these trends is crucial. It's advisable to submit thoroughly prepared applications early in the year to avoid the scrutinizing peaks that potentially follow high application volumes.

Future Predictions

For countries like Vietnam and Iran, which have shown significant fluctuations in approval rates, prospective applicants may benefit from tailored strategies that consider both the historical approval rates and the global political climate. Maintaining the quality and authenticity of applications will be crucial for Vietnam, especially as the program matures and scrutiny intensifies.

5. Approval Rates Analysis (Start-up program) - Vietnam

Learning from Canada's Consistency

Canada's consistently high approval rates suggest a model of application preparation worth emulating. Applicants from other countries might benefit from studying the types of documentation and application narratives successful Canadian applicants use, adapting these strategies to their context where possible.

Iran's Application Surge and Subsequent Approval Rate Drop

The surge in applications from Iran in 2020, possibly driven by socio-political factors or a perceived window of opportunity, was met with a significant drop in approval rates. This pattern may indicate a bottleneck effect where a sudden application increase leads to stricter scrutiny or longer processing times. Future applicants might consider this when planning their applications, perhaps aiming for periods of historically lower application volumes.

Approval Rate of Vietnam

Strategic Insights for Vietnam:

  • Initial Success: The 100% approval rate in 2017 for Vietnam underlines a golden start, possibly due to the early stages of the SUV Program, where the novelty and lower awareness among applicants might have led to less competition and a less stringent review process. Early applicants likely benefited from a "first-mover advantage," securing approvals before the program's criteria were fully tightened.

  • Adjusting to Changes: The drop to 68% in 2018 suggests a pivotal moment—either due to a surge in applications as the program gained popularity or a recalibration of the approval criteria by Canadian immigration authorities. This period could have served as a wake-up call for both applicants and consultants to refine their strategies, emphasizing the quality of applications over quantity.

  • Recovery and Peak Performance: The gradual improvement of a 95% approval rate in 2021 could indicate that Vietnamese applicants and their advisers adapted effectively to the evolving landscape. This might involve better-prepared applications, more transparent business plans, or applicants with more vital profiles that align with Canada's immigration objectives.

  • Recent Challenges: The subsequent decline, especially the drop to 65% in 2023, might reflect external pressures such as global economic uncertainties, tighter immigration policies, or a saturation point where the quality of applications varied more significantly. This downturn suggests a need for Vietnamese applicants to innovate and adapt again to maintain their competitiveness.

  • Dynamic Policy Landscape: The fluctuating approval rates underscore the importance of staying agile and informed about Canadian immigration policies and global trends that might influence these policies. Applicants should consider these factors in their long-term planning, mainly if they aim to apply through programs known for their changing criteria.

6. Vietnam Refusal (Start-up program)


  • Fluctuations in Refusal Rates: Vietnam has shown a particular trend in the refusal rates of Permanent Residency (PR) applications under the Startup Visa (SUV) Program. A significant peak in refusals was observed in 2019, which may correspond with a surge in applications as the program's recognition increased. Another peak in 2023 could suggest either a renewed interest in the program or the culmination of the processing of applications submitted around 2021. These peaks and troughs reflect the ongoing appeal of the SUV Program to Vietnamese applicants and point to the evolving criteria and quality of applications over time.

  • Surge in Refusals Indicating Growing Interest: The increase in refusals in 2019 suggests a rise in Vietnamese applicants to Canada's SUV Program. This could be due to increased awareness and the perceived benefits of the program amidst Vietnam's changing economic landscape, leading to a higher volume of applications and, consequently, a rise in refusals due to more stringent assessments.

  • Delays in Application Processing Influencing Refusals: The application process for the SUV Program can extend beyond two years. Therefore, the high refusal rates observed in years like 2023 could be attributed to processing a large volume of applications received during peak application periods. Intensified scrutiny due to the high volume could lead to increased refusal rates.

  • Transition from Leniency to Rigor: In its nascent stages, the SUV Program may have exhibited leniency, possibly resulting in higher approval rates. Over time, as the program has become more established and applications have increased, a shift towards more rigorous evaluation criteria is evident, particularly affecting countries like Vietnam, which experienced significant increases in application numbers.

  • Direct Relationship Between Application Volume and Refusals: The trend of rising applications followed by increased refusals in subsequent years indicates a direct correlation. This relationship emphasizes the impact of both the number of applications received and the stringent adherence to the evolving standards of the SUV Program on the likelihood of application success.


III. Forward-Looking Strategies for Vietnamese Applicants

SUV & Business

  1. Continuous Learning: Stay updated on Canada's immigration policy changes, especially those affecting the SUV Program and other pathways popular among Vietnamese applicants. Engage with immigration consultants with a proven track record of adapting to policy shifts.

  2. Quality over Quantity: Emphasize the thoroughness and quality of your application, ensuring that every component, from the business plan to personal statements, is meticulously prepared and tailored to meet Canada's immigration criteria.

  3. Leverage Community Insights: Tap into the experiences of past applicants, especially those who successfully navigated the application process during both high and low approval periods. Community forums and networks can offer invaluable advice and strategies.

  4. Prepare for Scrutiny: Given the potential for more rigorous checks, applicants should prepare for deeper scrutiny of their applications. This could involve ensuring transparency in business plans and readiness to provide additional documentation or clarifications as requested by immigration authorities.

  5. Anticipate Delays: With the application process potentially extending up to two years, applicants need to plan for longer timelines, considering both personal circumstances and potential shifts in policy during this period.

General program

  • Strategic Migration Decisions: The data suggests Vietnamese immigrants are making strategic decisions that align with Canada's economic sectors with a high worker demand. This is evident in the increasing numbers in the Agri-Food Pilot and Skilled Worker categories.

  • Regional Attraction: The fluctuations in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs might indicate the cyclical nature of regional demand or changes in program requirements that affect applicants' decisions or eligibility year over year.

  • Impact of Global Events: The fluctuations in numbers, such as the spikes in the Canadian Experience and the Provincial Nominee Program, could also be influenced by global events like the pandemic, which may have caused delays in processing or increased the attractiveness of specific programs due to changes in the job market.


As our journey through the intricate world of immigration data comes to a close, we're left with a canvas painted with the diverse experiences of Vietnamese individuals who've embarked on the path to Canadian permanent residency. Our analysis has taken us through the highs and lows of application trends, approval rates, and the poignant stories of dreams realized and deferred.

In the realm of startups and business programs, the Startup Visa (SUV) Program stands out as a beacon for Vietnamese entrepreneurs, signalling Canada's role as a fertile ground for innovation and economic growth. The ebb and flow of application numbers, the adaptation to stringent criteria, and the resilience of applicants against shifting policies have all played a part in this ongoing narrative.

The takeaway is clear for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners: Canada's doors are open, but the path is paved with due diligence, thorough preparation, and an unwavering commitment to quality. In the world of startups, where agility is critical, these insights serve as a compass to navigate the complex waters of immigration policy.

As Ontario Startup Studio, we're here to observe, support and guide. We believe in the power of shared knowledge and community and are committed to participating in your entrepreneurial journey. We hope this report serves as a stepping stone for your ventures and a conversation starter that leads to new horizons.

So, whether you're drafting your next business plan or gearing up for the application process, remember, we're in this together. And when you're ready to take the next step, we'll be here, eager to explore future documents, stories, and successes.

Until then, let's keep the dialogue flowing and the ideas soaring. See you again in future documents from OSS!

You can download the full report by clicking here.

Ontario Startup Studio (, located in Mississauga, Ontario, is a leading tech consultancy and support hub for startups aiming to build and develop their businesses. Specializing in guiding startups from concept to market, the studio offers a wide range of services, including strategic advice, product development support, and access to essential tools and resources. With a strong emphasis on innovation and practical solutions, Ontario Startup Studio prides itself on its ability to help entrepreneurs overcome challenges, launch innovative products, and achieve sustainable growth. By providing more than 1,200 hours of expert mentorship and fostering a high startup survival rate, Ontario Startup Studio is a pivotal partner for startups seeking to impact their industries significantly.

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