It is no secret that countries with a high level of
entrepreneurial activity tend to be better off economically.
Industry Canada recognizes that fact and even underlines, in a
research called The State of Entrepreneurship in Canada,
that ''entrepreneurial activity (...) is not just good for
entrepreneurs themselves. It benefits all Canadians.
Entrepreneurship is a powerful force driving innovation,
productivity, job creation and economic growth.''
Then a question comes to mind: if Canada considers
entrepreneurship as a key component for all the above mentioned
aspects, why not opening its horizons and seeking abroad for
entrepreneurs with innovative and promising ideas, interested in
living in Canada and contributing to its improvement? It seems like
a win-win situation, isn't it?
That is at least what believed Citizenship and Immigration
Canada Department when announcing on January 24th, 2013, the
creation of a new Start-Up Visa (SUV) program.
This new 5-year pilot visa program has been launched on April 1st,
2013, and it aims to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who
will create jobs and spur economic growth in Canada. Around up to
2,750 visas are planned to be granted every year.
The Canadian SUV program is the first one in the world to
provide immediate, unconditional, permanent residency to immigrant
entrepreneurs once they are selected by one of the designated
private sector organizations, which are obviously amazing and
competitive advantages from both the immigration and the
entrepreneurial perspectives. Indeed, the SUV program will link
immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations that have
experience working with starts-ups. These designated organizations
are Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association
(CVCA) and National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). Each of
these two organizations has of course its own criteria to determine
whether or not it should/can invest in an applying
entrepreneur's business project. Their preferred investment
profiles include, but are not limited to:
Biotechnology and pharmacology;
Commerce and consumer products;
Communication and media;
Medical / health;
The requirements are simple and they transfer a part of the
burden of the applicants' selection to the private sector. The
entrepreneur applicants only need to meet a few requirements in
order to be eligible. With some extra requirements met, applicants
might even be subject to a fast track processing. Here are the main
Commitment from a designated entity
The applicant must provide a Letter of Support confirming
a designated venture capital fund commits to invest CAD 200,000
in the applicant's business project;
a designated angel investor group commits to invest CAD 75,000
in the applicant's business project.
The applicant must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 in English
or in French in all four areas: speaking, reading, listening, and
writing. The applicant must also be a post-secondary student (at
least one year accomplished) and have sufficient settlement
In the end, what is important to remember is that Canada now
acts as a pioneer, from an inland and an overseas point of view,
with the launch of the new SUV program. Indeed, finding a way to
encourage entrepreneurs and innovators from all around the world
combined to building a flexible and efficient economic immigration
program to help improving Canada's economy maybe once seemed
like a bold endeavor, but, now that the SUV program is officially
operational, no one would refute its value.
This new SUV program reflects Citizenship and Immigration
Canada's will and visions; it embraces the policy's
evolution of recent immigration programs that focus on a fast, safe
and more interactive immigrants' selection. As mentioned
earlier, this program will most definitely enhance the integration
of newcomers while stimulating economic growth and generating job
opportunities for all Canadians.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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