Wed | Nov 25, 2015

New start-up visa programme coming

Published:Tuesday | March 5, 2013 | 3:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I am a successful businessman in Jamaica and I met a Canadian businessman who was on vacation here in Jamaica. He talked about the possibility of assisting my family and I to move to Canada and establish our business there under the 'entrepreneurial programme'. We have the resources to be able to set up a business based on what my new friend says. Can you advise us of our options? My wife and I are prepared to invest in Canada, as we see this as a way to provide our sons with better educational opportunities and a new lifestyle for us as a family. Thank you for your response and keep up the good work.

- RD

Dear RD,

The Canadian government has been revamping its immigration system to ensure that Canada is able to attract the best minds and investors. This means that they are looking for investors who can launch new and innovative companies to boost the economy and provide job opportunities for persons already residing in Canada. The government is working on establishing programmes that are geared towards linking investors with innovative companies to promote growth and development.

New Opportunities

This innovative focus has opened up new opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs, tradesmen and other qualified professionals to qualify to immigrate to Canada.

Traditionally, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons who were able to meet the minimum net-worth, experience, and who have legally acquired funds to invest in Canada, could apply under the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP). However the IIP and the Federal Entrepreneurial Programme has been put on pause until further notice. You should note however, that the Quebec Investor Programme is still open. So, if you have working knowledge of French, then you may explore this programme as a possible route.

In January, Canada's minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Jason Kenny, announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be accepting applications under the 'Start-up Visa Programme' on April 1, 2013. You may qualify under this new programme if you can satisfy that you meet the minimum requirements. Successful applicants will be linked with Canadian mentors to ensure the growth, success and viability of the new company in Canada.

It is expected that organisations such as the Canada Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and the National Angel Capital Organisation will play an active role in this programme.

Strong Financial Resources

If you can prove that you have strong financial resources, the required educational background, experience, training and connection with a designated organisation before you submit your application, then you should be able to qualify. Once your application has been approved, you and your family should be able to qualify for Canadian permanent residency. You should bear in mind that you will need to also pass the medical, security and criminal checks before final approval.

In anticipation of acceptance of applications in April, I would suggest that you contact an immigration lawyer who can guide you with the application process and documents you will need to ensure that your application is submitted in a timely manner. Having the support of a Canadian entrepreneur is also very valuable, so strengthen that connection.

Best of luck to you and your family.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are Immigration, Real Estate, Commercial, Personal Injury, Family and Administration of Estates. Subject line: Immigration or F. 613.695.8778.