The Start-Up Visa Program for Canada entrepreneur immigration will be given permanent status in 2018, after a five-year pilot was deemed a success.
The pilot was launched in 2013 as a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for entrepreneurs looking to start a company in Canada. Now, after 68 new companies were launched and $3.7 million invested, the pilot will make a seamless transition to permanent on March 31, 2018.
Critics would point out this represents limited success when compared to Quebec, which accepts 1,900 immigrant investors annually. This generates nearly $275 million ($146,000 per investor) which is given to qualified Quebec companies.
The program offers permanent residence status to an entrepreneur provided a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group has made a significant investment in their business. The pilot also allows a business incubator to accept the candidate into their program.
In Brief: Start-Up Visa Program
- Commitment certificate or letter of support from a designated entity
- Sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds
- At least one year of post-secondary education
- Mandatory language testing.
The Start-Up Visa Program grants permanent residence and work permits to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs. The program aims to recruit entrepreneurs and link them with private sector businesses in Canada. The goal is to help establish businesses that have the potential to scale internationally.
Now, four years after it was established by the previous Conservative government, the program is boosting the Canadian economy and creating middle class jobs, a recent evaluation concluded.
The current federal government is bringing the program under its Innovation and Skills Plan, aimed at diversifying the Canadian economy and creating jobs for Canadians.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said: “Every company launched in Canada with the help of the Start-up Visa Program has the potential to be a big win for Canadians by providing middle-class jobs and strengthening our economy.
“Our government’s Innovation and Skills Plan has identified the nurturing of entrepreneurship and the growth of start-ups as vitally important to Canada’s present and future economy. Making the Start-up Visa Program permanent supports that agenda.”
Start Up Visa Program In Numbers
117 principal applicants have been approved for permanent residence, representing 68 start-ups launched in Canada.
More than 50 Canadian venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators are now designated to participate in the program.
During the first three years of the pilot program, Start-up Visa Program entrepreneurs received over $3.7 million in investment capital from designated entities.
The federal government is positioning itself firmly behind the technology industry with its immigration policies.
The flagship new program under the Liberal government is the Global Talent Stream, which offers two-week Canada visa processing for high skilled foreign talent. GTS falls under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Key Elements: Global Talent Stream
- Two-week standard for processing Canada work permit applications (and Canada visa applications when applicable) for highly skilled talent.
- Dedicated service for companies looking to make significant job-creating investments in Canada.
- Dropping of the work permit requirement for short-term highly skilled work (30 days or less in a 12-month period), and brief academic stays.
- Companies applying for workers through the Global Talent Stream will have access to the new streamlined application process that will provide:
- Client-focused service to help guide eligible employers through the application process and the development of the Labour Market Benefits Plan, with a service standard of 10 business days.
- Eligibility for workers to have their work permit applications processed in 10 business days.
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