Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today that the Start-Up Visa, which will grant permanent residence to entrepreneurs who receive funding from Canadian venture capital firms, will launch on April 1st.
“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies. Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in promoting the new program.
The launch of the Start-Up Visa is part of a re-structuring of Canadian immigration rules to make them more flexible and focused on Canada’s economic needs.
Under the federal government’s new immigration framework, CIC can create immigration programs that are tailored to meet a particular economic need, and admit a limited number of permanent residents through them per year.
The Start-Up Visa, along with the Federal Skilled Trades Program which launched on January 4th, are the first of this new breed of the limited quota, tailor-made programs, and are designed to meet specific shortages in high-growth sectors in Canada’s economy.
In order to qualify for a Start-Up Visa, an entrepreneur must receive funding from an angel investor group or venture capital fund.
CIC will delegate Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) the authority to designate members of their associations to be eligible to participate in the program.
The Immigration Department is also working with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation in order to include business incubators in the list of eligible funding organizations.