The Canadian government is considering starting a new program to allow immigration of foreign entrepreneurs with great business ideas but not enough money.
The new ‘start up visa’ program will allow entrepreneurs who have great ideas in IT and other sectors to be matched with Canadian investors. If everything goes well, the entrepreneur will be given a visa to move to Canada to establish the company. They will also be given mentorship in starting companies in Canada.
The proposal foresees up to 2,750 startup visas being issued every year during the first five years. If the program turns out to be as successful as the CIC wishes, then it will formally introduce a new immigration stream to cover it.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the federal department in charge of immigration issues, will be meeting stakeholders including industry leaders in the coming weeks to figure out the nitty-gritty of the program.
There are reports the CIC would like to start the program by the end of this year.
While not much is known about the makeup of the program, some say it might resemble the startup visa bill proposed in the USA.
The bill foresees granting of a two year startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs who manage to raise at least US $ 250,000 — $ 100,000 of which from a U.S. investor – to start a company. If after the two years, the company manages to create at least five full time jobs or raise another million dollars in extra funding or earned at least one million dollars in revenue, the owner will be granted a permanent residency.
But there is strong opposition to this bill in the USA.
In Canada, there had been lobbying to create a similar system. A group of investors and industry experts have gathered under the title Startup Visa Canada (SVC) to lobby for such a system in the country.
See SmartCanadian article on Call for Immigration Program Targetting Entrepreneurs.