Canada announced today the implementation of the Start-Up Visa program in which foreign entrepreneurs can apply to starting April 1st. Announced by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, the Canada Start-Up Visa program recruits foreign entrepreneurs whom are “start-up innovators” to make Canada as the start-up destination of choice.
"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."
Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) are helping to identify and designate venture capital funds and angel investor groups to participate in the program.
"The CVCA and our individual members look forward to the launch of the Start-Up Visa Program," said Peter van der Velden, President of the CVCA. "Our participating funds welcome the opportunity to take part in this first-of-its-kind program, which has the potential to help them attract best-in-class entrepreneurial talent to their Canadian-based investee companies."
To apply for permanent resident status in Canada, foreign entrepreneurs will first have to secure significant investment commitments from a Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund. To qualify for the program, applicants will need to demonstrate language proficiency skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing and will have to have completed at least one year of post-secondary education.
"With our new start-up visa, we are opening the door to new and exciting opportunities for Canada's economy to grow and prosper," added Minister Kenney. "This is part of our government's transformational changes to Canada's immigration system that will make it fast, flexible, and focused on Canada's economic needs."
The Start-Up Visa program is a pilot program that will run for five years.