Consultations for Specialized Visa Program to Attract Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Canada’s immigration system is seeking to transform itself into a fast and flexible one, focusing mainly on creating jobs resulting in economic growth and prosperity. The country’s policy makers have begun to realize and understand the importance of entrepreneurship to spur up the economic growth.

On April 18, 2012 Jason Kenney, the country’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism department launched the plan to indulge in consultations with industry associations in Canada. This is the part of the latest series of measures, to decide on whether to create a specialized ‘start-up’ visa program to bring in more immigrant entrepreneurs.

To quote the Minister in this context: “Our Government’s top priority remains jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Canada cannot afford to lose out in the competition for foreign entrepreneurs among immigrant-receiving countries,” and “We need to proactively target a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadians.”

Economic Action Plan 2012

This plan is an indication that Canada is gearing itself up to compete in the race with other countries. It highlights the nation’s commitment and support towards innovators, entrepreneurs and research. Its primary focus is to build an immigration system that would welcome more innovative entrepreneurs to invest in Canadian companies.

Start-up Visa Program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is planning to start consultations with its industry associations so as to develop a specialized kind of ‘Start-up’ Visa program. This is to link immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations so that they can navigate their way through the Canadian business environment with ease.

This initiative reflects the mindset of the country’s immigration system to try out innovative approaches to immigration. Under the proposed plan:

  • The Government will be able to formulate new, short-term programs under the Economic Immigration Class.
  • Only 2,750 applications will be issued per year
  • Duration of the program is only five years.

In case, a program turns out to be successful during the 5 year trial period, the CIC will then have to formally launch it in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. This is possible only if the Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism department wishes to keep the program running.