TORONTO: Canada is introducing a brand-new immigration programme from April 1 to attract entrepreneurs from around the world by offering them permanent residency.
The new Start-Up Visa programme unveiled on Thursday by Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney is aimed at innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth.
“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” the Canadian immigration minister said.
“Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy,’’ the minister added.
With this programme, Canada has gone one up on the US, the UK and Australia which offer only temporary residency to foreign entrepreneurs and their chances of getting permanent residency in these countries depend on the success of their enterprise. But Canada will straightway grant permanent residency once the applicants qualify. Applications can be sent after April 1.
The Start-Up Visa Programme will link immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada that have experience working with start-ups and who can provide essential resources.
The programme is part of a series of transformational changes to Canada’s immigration system that will make it faster, more flexible and focused on Canada’s economic needs.
As a way to help these in-demand entrepreneurs fulfil their potential and maximize their impact on the Canadian labour market, they will require the support of a Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund before they can apply to the Start-Up Visa Programme.
Initially, Canada’ ministry of Citizenship and Immigration will collaborate with two umbrella groups: Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). These groups will identify which members of their associations will be eligible to participate in the Programme.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is also working with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation to include business incubators in the list of eligible organizations as soon as feasible.
“CVCA is honoured to partner with the Government of Canada in the launch of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Peter van der Velden, President of the CVCA and Managing General Partner of Lumira Capital.
“Through this Programme, we want to attract high-quality entrepreneurs from around the globe and help build best-in-class companies in Canada.”
The Start-Up Visa is the first of its kind and will be a powerful incentive to attract individuals with great potential who will have a real impact on the Canadian economy.
By providing sought-after immigrant entrepreneurs with permanent residency and immediate access to a wide range of business partners, Canada will position itself as a destination of choice for start-ups, the immigration minister said.
“Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity remain priorities for the Government of Canada, and this new Start-Up Visa Programme underscores our commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian labour market,” Kenney added.
Canada gets about 250,000 new immigrants each year. Among them are about 30,000 Indians who make Canada their home each year.
After China, India is the second biggest source of immigration for Canada. In fact, the number of Indian students coming to Canada has jumped from about 4,000 just two years ago to now over 22,000.
The top three countries from where most immigrants come to Canada are China, India and the Philippines.
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