Attracting the world’s best and brightest to Canada

Minister Alexander Expands Start-up Visa Program to Include Business Incubators

Toronto, October 21, 2013 — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announces a new visa stream to attract foreign entrepreneurs to Canada.
“As part of our government’s focus on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, it is critical for Canada to attract the best entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world,” said Alexander. “This new stream will partner Canada’s world class business incubators with immigrant entrepreneurs, driving economic growth and placing Canada ahead of its competitors in the global economy of the 21st century.”
The launch of a new Business Incubator stream under the Start-up visa (SUV) Program to recruit dynamic foreign entrepreneurs will complement existing venture capital and angel investor streams. It will attract early-stage and high growth businesses, and entrepreneurs who can contribute to a culture of innovation and commercialization in Canada.
Business incubators provide promising entrepreneurs with valuable mentorship, and help them to attract investors and grow their start-ups into sustainable businesses that can create jobs in Canada.
“We are honoured to partner with Citizenship and Immigration Canada on this exciting new initiative,” said CABI President David McNamara. “Our mission is to help small businesses grow and succeed. Connecting immigrant entrepreneurs with Canada’s accredited business incubators will broaden our respective networks and bring us all to the next level. The possibilities are endless!”
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will designate eligible business incubator programs in consultation with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI). The new stream will begin accepting applications on October 26, 2013.
Alexander also announced today that five additional Canadian venture capital funds will soon be designated as SUV partners.
“We are excited about the expansion of the Start-up visa and look forward to welcoming innovators through this program in the near future,” said Alexander.
The SUV is a five-year pilot program and is limited to no more than 2,750 applications per year. It is designed to attract high quality and select entrepreneurs who can advance the Government of Canada’s innovation agenda. In addition to standard admissibility requirements, SUV applicants must meet certain program eligibility criteria.

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