IMMIGRATION: Pilot program for newcomers launching companies in Canada to be made permanent

Ahmed Hussen

THE Start-up Visa Program, a pathway to permanent residence for cutting-edge entrepreneurs launching a start-up company in Canada, will become a regular feature of Canada’s immigration landscape in 2018, the federal government announced on Friday. 

As part of the five-year pilot, launched in 2013, innovative entrepreneurs can apply to become permanent residents after a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group has made a significant financial commitment in their business idea, or after a business incubator has accepted them into their program.

A recent evaluation of the Start-up Visa Program found that it is delivering on its goals; immigrant entrepreneurs are actively developing innovative companies in Canada that are beginning to show positive results for Canada’s economy and creating middle-class jobs across a range of industries.

Making the program permanent supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, which seeks to attract investment and support the growth of a diverse range of companies, creating well-paying jobs for Canadians.

In the months ahead, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will work to finalize regulations for the permanent program in order to have a seamless transition when the pilot expires on March 31, 2018.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said: “Every company launched in Canada with the help of the Start-up Visa Program has the potential to be a big win for Canadians by providing middle-class jobs and strengthening our economy. Our Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan has identified the nurturing of entrepreneurship and the growth of start-ups as vitally important to Canada’s present and future economy. Making the Start-up Visa Program permanent supports that agenda.”

Navdeep Bains

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, said: “Canadians benefit through the jobs that are created when entrepreneurs come from all corners of the globe to start businesses in this country. By making the Start-up Visa Program permanent, Canada will attract more innovative entrepreneurs who generate new business opportunities, create jobs and equip Canadians with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”

 

Quick facts

 

  • As of July 15, 2017, 117 principal applicants have been approved for permanent residence. These entrepreneurs represent 68 start-ups launched in Canada with the help of the Start-up Visa Program.
  • More than 50 Canadian venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators are now designated to participate in the program.
  • During the first three years of the pilot program, Start-up Visa Program entrepreneurs received over $3.7 million in investment capital from designated entities to get their companies established and making contributions to the growth and innovation of the Canadian economy.