How Canada plans to woo entrepreneurs

Canada is making an overt pitch to attract entrepreneurs slighted by the U.S. immigration system.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

In a bid to attract more innovative entrepreneurs from around the world, Canada announced the launch of its Start-Up Visa program.

The program provides immediate permanent Canadian residency to entrepreneurs who want to move their startup business to Canada (many similar programs don't offer immediate residency). To be accepted into the program an applicant must secure investments of $200,000 from a designated venture capital fund or $75,000 from a designated angel investor.

For Canada, it's an overt attempt to woo entrepreneurs who can't gain permanent residency in the United States. As Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

When Canada announced its plans in January, I noted the inability of the U.S. government to create a similar program, despite numerous attempts. “We’re very conscious of the presence of thousands of brilliant young IT specialists and entrepreneurs in the States who are on temporary visas, running out of runway,” Canada’s immigration head, Jason Kenney, told me on March 28. “Many of them have developed business concepts but can’t get permanent residency in the U.S.”

Meanwhile, in the United States, the immigration debate continues and the current system, in which employers race to secure visas for foreign workers through the H-1B visa program, lives on. Last year, all the visas were snatched up in 10 weeks. The U.S. does have a similar program to the one launched today by Canada but it requires a minimum $500,000 investment and only grants two years of residency, as Quartz points out. But surely Canada won't mind if it all stays this way.

Update: A previous version of this post incorrectly said the program offers "permanent citizenship." It offers permanent resident status.

Canada's New Startup Visa Woos 'Brilliant Young People' [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Photo: Flickr/mtsvancouver

Related on SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards