Start-Up Visa Program To Issue First Visas
The Canadian immigration Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world and aims to bring the brightest entrepreneurs to Canada. The Start-Up Visa Program was initiated in April of 2013, but has yet to issue any visas, largely due to the substantial number of applications the government has received. Once an application has been submitted, a Canadian immigration officer will begin the process of assessing that candidate against other applicants. This model gives Canada immigration complete control with respect to selecting which talent and ideas will benefit the country most.
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism had the following to say with regards to issuing the first visas: “We always wish these things moved at the speed of business, which isn’t always the speed of policy-making and government, but to be fair, this is one of the fastest implementation cycles for new immigration programs in Canadian history.”
As part of the Start-Up Visa Program, applicants must secure a financial commitment from a venture capital group, angel investors or a business incubator organization, all of which must have been approved by the Canadian government for this Canadian immigration program. Financial investments differ depending on which designated group is involved. Applicants must secure a minimum investment of $200,000 from a venture-capital fund, or $75,000 from one of the angel-investor groups, with no investment required for those in the business incubator stream. Although these investors play a big role in the application process, final decisions to issue visas rests with Canadian immigration authorities at the federal level.
Successful applicants under the Start-Up Visa will be granted Canadian Permanent Residency, allowing them to immigrate to Canada and establish their proposed business. Once they meet the residency obligations as a Canadian Permanent Resident, they may apply for Canadian Citizenship, if they so choose.
Canadian immigration has set an annual cap of 2,750, for Start-Up Visas. This number may increase in subsequent years depending on the functionality and success of the program.
The new Start-Up Visa Program is also viewed by many as a replacement to the Federal Entrepreneur program that was suspended by the government in 2011, due to its ineffectiveness.
For a free consultation with a Canadian immigration lawyer, contact First Immigration Law Firm toll-free in North America @ 1 (855) 360-4333 or 1 (514) 360-4333 internationally.