Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains announced that highly-skilled entrepreneurs can now benefit from the Start-up Visa Program.

The Start-up Visa Program, a pathway to permanent residence for cutting-edge entrepreneurs launching a start-up company in Canada, will become a regular feature of Canada’s immigration landscape in 2018.

“Every company launched in Canada with the help of the Start-up Visa Program has the potential to be a big win for Canadians by providing middle-class jobs and strengthening our economy. Our Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan has identified the nurturing of entrepreneurship and the growth of start-ups as vitally important to Canada’s present and future economy. Making the Start-up Visa Program permanent supports that agenda.”

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

As part of the five-year pilot, launched in 2013, innovative entrepreneurs can apply to become permanent residents after a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group has made a significant financial commitment in their business idea, or after a business incubator has accepted them into their program.

“As Canada’s most diverse riding and Canada’s Hi-tech capital, Markham-Thornhill understands the value of innovation and entrepreneurism. By making the Start-up Visa Program permanent, our government is making good on its commitment to strengthen the Canadian middle class and the economy. This program will continue to allow us to attract worldwide talent, right here in Markham-Thornhill.

Mary Ng, Member of Parliament, Markham-Thornhill

With a focus on innovation and entrepreneurism, the Start-up Visa Program will attract cutting edge entrepreneurs and business leaders from around the world. In cities like Markham, with a thriving hi-tech sector, entrepreneurs and innovators will be able to start new businesses and create good, well-paying middle class jobs right here in Canada.

A recent evaluation of the Start-up Visa Program found that it is delivering on its goals; immigrant entrepreneurs are actively developing innovative companies in Canada that are beginning to show positive results for Canada’s economy and creating middle-class jobs across a range of industries.

“The federal government’s decision to make the Start-up Visa permanent is a game changer. Markham, as part of York Region, is one of the most diverse and innovative communities in Canada and we are excited to see the benefit that grows the critical talent pipeline for tech entrepreneurs and global high tech multinationals regionally and across Canada.”

Jeremy Laurin, President and CEO, VentureLAB

Making the program permanent supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, which seeks to attract investment and support the growth of a diverse range of companies, creating well-paying jobs for Canadians.

In the months ahead, IRCC will work to finalize regulations for the permanent program in order to have a seamless transition when the pilot expires on March 31, 2018.

ventureLAB is where talented entrepreneurs bring their innovations to market and is a partner in StartUp HERE Toronto.