Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today that it will launch a new program, starting April 1, 2013. The new Start-Up visa, aimed at bringing the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to Canada. According to CIC, the program will be the first of its kind in any country. Its unique partnership model is intended to “position [Canada] as a destination of choice for start-ups”.
The Start-Up Visa Program will connect immigrant entrepreneurs to Canadian private sector organizations with start-up expertise. These organizations will provide essential resources for the new arrivals. These partnerships help immigrant entrepreneurs to maximize their business potential, as well as their impact on Canada’s labour market.
“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said Minister Kenney. “Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.”
Applicants to the Start-Up visa program will have to first secure the support of a designated Canadian investor group or venture capital fund before they can apply to the Start-Up Visa Program. CIC has already targeted two groups for this role: Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association ( CVCA), and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). Each of the designated organization are responsible to determine which of their members may participate in the Start-Up Visa Program. In addition, CIC has begun working with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation to find businesses incubators that will be added to their list of designated organizations.