Canadian minister of immigration launches new startup visa programm


The Canadian Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander has launched a new startup visa program. The new visa will allow foreign entrepreneurs who want to form their start-up companies in Canada to receive a visa for the country provided that they are able to find funding from Canadian venture capitalists. The new ‘Business Incubator Stream’ will open on Monday 26th October 2013.

According to the Canadian Immigration department, its aim will be to attract people who will be able to contribute to the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship of Canada. The Business Incubator Stream will allow international entrepreneurs to apply to one of five ‘business incubator and accelerator programs’ (BIAPs). These will be chosen from existing business incubators in Canada. Applicants for a visa under the BIAP scheme will first submit their applications to one of the Business Incubators for endorsement.

After the BIAP evaluates his/her business plan it will make a recommendation to Citizenship and Immigration Canada as to whether the person’s application should be accepted or rejected. The final decision will be taken by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In case the application is successful, BIAP will provide mentoring and assistance to the visa holder. The General Start-up visa program was introduced by the former Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney with the aim of attracting international entrepreneurs who want to settle their business in Canada.

The applicant must pitch his or her business proposal to an eligible company. If he or she can attract sufficient investment from an eligible firm then, providing they meet the other selection criteria, they will be awarded a Start-Up visa. Start-up visa holder is given residence status in Canada, which will not be taken away even if the business fails. It is currently being run as a pilot which will run for five years. Each year, 2,750 Start-Up visas will be available.

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