The Start-up Visa Program attracts more innovative entrepreneurs from around the globe
The number of immigrant entrepreneurs coming to Canada through the Start-up Visa Program is increasing. As of May 2 of this year, 51 entrepreneurs have been granted permanent resident status and about 50 more eligible candidates’ applications are in process.
The Start-up Visa Program is a unique five-year pilot project aimed to attract immigrant entrepreneurs from all over of the world to build their innovative businesses in Canada. To become eligible for the Program, entrepreneurs must first obtain the support for their business ideas of a designated Canadian entity – a venture capital fund, an angel investor group or a business incubator – and secure a minimum investment by this entity: $75,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group or $200,000 if it comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund. Applicants should also meet business ownership requirements, have sufficient settlements funds, and present a proof of knowledge of either English or French. It might take time for entrepreneurs to meet all requirements before applying for the Program.
“The Start-up Visa started slowly but has steadily picked up steam,” said Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Every start-up that is established here has the potential to provide jobs and economic opportunity for Canadians, contributing to our country’s growth and diversity.”
The first successful applicants come from Australia, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Iran, South Africa and Uruguay. Their start-ups are launched or will be launched in Vancouver, Victoria, Sydney, Whistler, Calgary, Toronto, Mississauga, Waterloo, Thunder Bay, Halifax, Fredericton and other communities across Canada. The new businesses will be developed in different industries, including food product manufacturing, technology, education, medical research, banking and advertising.