Our neighbors in the Great White North are hoping to attract the attention of entrepreneurs and start-ups with a brand new type of visa. Launched today, the Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world and aims to provide entrepreneurs with permanent residency and access to Canadian investors and business partners.
"Canada is open for business to the world's start-up entrepreneurs," said Minister Kenney. "Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of the Canadian economy. That is why we are actively recruiting foreign entrepreneurs - those who can build companies here in Canada that will create new jobs, spur economic growth and compete on a global scale - with our new start-up visa."
Citizenship and Immigration Canada collaborated with Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) to build a list of venture capital funds and angel investor groups interested in participating in the new program. Immigrant entrepreneurs hoping to obtain entry to Canada under this new type of visa will first have to gain the support of participating investors (a full list can be found here).
The Start-Up Visa Program kicks off today as a pilot that will last for five years. CIC said that it expects the number of applications to be limited due to the narrow focus of the program, but that the program will focus on the quality of applicants and establishing a successful track record.