Startup Visa Canada Gains Traction: New Immigration Program by End of Year

Startup Visa Canada wants to upgrade the immigration process to make it easier for people who want to create high-tech companies in Canada. The organization wants to reduce the funding needed to enter the country on the condition that they have Canadian investors and can create new jobs within a couple of years.

After a lot of hard work, it looks like this initiative is getting some traction. According to a Globe and Mail article on Friday, Ottawa plans to replace the immigrant entrepreneur program it shelved last year with a new system aimed at identifying and speeding the path for “high value innovators.”

According to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the previous program, in place for a decade, “was administratively very burdensome and underwhelming in terms of the results.” 

When it was suspended last July, it had a backlog of nearly 10,000 applicants. And with an average of about 1,000 to 1,500 approvals a year, it would have taken nearly eight years to clear—even without any new applications.

Kenney says that potential immigrants with experience and the ability to set up a small business would still be encouraged to apply. But the new program will encourage immigrants “who can do much more in terms of adding value to the economy than opening up a convenience store.”

We want the next Bill Gates or the next Steve Jobs. We want those folks with the brilliant ideas that are going to generate sustainable jobs for a long time to come,” Mr. Kenney said. “We want to create a policy which is more likely to attract entrepreneurs in areas like technology, energy and environmental innovations. These areas have a lot more potential than just running a kiosk at the mall.

Kenney hopes to officially announce the new program by the end of the year after consultations with industry groups.