12 September 2012

New entrepreneur Canada visa announced

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Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced plans for a new Canada visa program designed to attract entrepreneurs to the country.

Canada visa

Canada hopes the new visa program will attract some of the world's best and brightest to the country.

Mr Kenney has placed a moratorium on all applications for the current Canada visa intended for entrepreneurs, which only requires a holder to employ one person for one year, and instead announced the new category of visa.

While further details of the new program are yet to be announced, a spokesperson for Mr Kenney said the new program would allow venture investment funds to select entrepreneurs for the scheme and Canadian immigration officials would then clear them for entry.

"Canada seeks young, ambitious, innovative immigrants who will contribute to Canada's job growth and further drive our economy," said Alexis Pavlich, Mr Kenney's press secretary.

The announcement comes in the wake of several changes to Canada's immigration system which aims to make the system more responsive and beneficial to the country's changing labour needs.

"The start-up is an initiative that the government of Canada is exploring to assist in transforming our immigration system into a fast, fair and flexible system that will meet the needs of our economy and help grow our country," said Ms Pavlich.

"This program will link brilliant, job creating, immigrant entrepreneurs with Canadian investors. We want the world's best and brightest to come to Canada - to start businesses and to create jobs in Canada."

The current entrepreneur visa issued just 700 visas last year but the Canadian government is hoping the new system, which is expected to be further detailed later this year, will have a much higher participation rate with 2,750 visas to be set aside for the program.

Nigel Smith, casework manager at the Canadian Visa Bureau, says the new program should offer even more opportunity for aspiring young entrepreneurs to move to Canada.

"Immigrating to a new country is obviously a great chance for change and many people look to their new homes as an opportunity to create something from scratch," said Mr Smith.

"The new entrepreneur visa program should allow for even more people to achieve that dream in Canada."

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.

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