In an effort to create new jobs and spur economic growth, Ottawa has announced a new visa program designed to entice immigrant entrepreneurs to Canada.
Launching April 1, the Start-Up Visa Program will link immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations that have expertise in working with start-up companies, the aim being to create jobs in Canada and eventually compete globally.
The program offers applicants permanent residency and access to a wide range of business partners, as well as assistance in navigating the Canadian business environment.
“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in a press release.
“Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.”
Before they can apply, entrepreneurs must have the support of an angel investor group or venture capital fund in Canada. To that end, CIC is collaborating with two umbrella groups to identify organizations eligible to participate in the program.
The five-year pilot program is part of several changes that aim to make Canada’s immigration system more efficient and more geared toward the country’s economic needs.
The narrow focus of the program means the number of applications will be limited initially, the release said. However, if it proves successful, it may be added as a new economic class in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Kenney said the program underscores the government’s commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian labour market.
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