The Skinny on the Startup Visa Canada Pilot Program

“Our new Startup Visa will help make Canada the desination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies” – Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney

On January 24, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced it’s Startup Visa Pilot Program designed to draw innovative immigrant entrepreneurs to our great country. The pilot program will begin accepting applications April 1, 2013 and run for 5 years. To start, the Canadian government has alloted 2750 Visas per year for startup entrepreneurs and their families. If there is demand and early success, the program will become permanent.  

Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the Canadian National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) will help idenitfy and recommend qualified members to the CIC. VCs managing over 40-Million or more in assets will automatically qualify to back foreign entrepreneurs, who meet the criteria. Unlike other entrepreneurial visas in the UK or Australia, Minister Jason Kenney said at the press conference that eligible entrepreneurs under the Startup Visa Class will receive Permanent Residency in Canada upon acceptance. 

To be eligible, immigrant enterpreneurs at a minimum must:
  • Demonstrate Intermediate proficiency in English or French
  • Complete at least one year of post-secondary education
  • Receive a minimum funding commitment of $200,000CDN from a designated Venture Capital organization or $75000 from an approved Angel Investor.

According to the CIC’s website, the complete list of eligility criteria for immigrant entrepreneurs will be published in the Spring of 2013 and qualified investors will be announced soon.

We will post more information on our site as soon as it is published. Until then, stay focused, work hard and continue to build world class companies. 

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