The upcoming Start-Up Visa Program for Entrepreneurs

The upcoming Start-Up Visa Program for Entrepreneurs

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has just outlined the main features of the new program for foreign entrepreneurs willing to become permanent residents by starting a business in Canada.

The Start-Up Visa Program will link immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations that have expertise in working with start-ups.  The pilot will run for up to five years. CIC expects that due to the narrow focus of the Program, initially, the number of applications will be limited. However, the focus of the Start-Up Visa will be on the quality of the applicants and on establishing a track record of success, so that the Program can be expanded quickly to fill what we hope will be a growing demand. If the Program proves successful during the five-year trial period, CIC may formally introduce it as a new economic class in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

The initial partners envisioned by CIC are: , Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association and the National Angel Capital Organization.  CIC also continues to work with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation to include the organization in the Program as soon as feasible.

These umbrella organizations—through agreements with CIC—will recommend which of their members should be designated as eligible to participate in the Start-Up Visa Program, establish expert peer review panels to assist CIC officers in case determinations and provide assurance that industry standards of due diligence were followed.

The process of designating which Canadian angel investor groups and venture capital funds will be eligible to participate in the Start-Up Visa will begin early this year.  The process of designating which Canadian business incubators will be eligible to participate in the Start-Up Visa will begin at a later date.

Foreign entrepreneurs will require the support of a Canadian angel investor group, venture capital fund or a business incubator before they can apply to the Start-Up Visa Program.   They will also have to meet certain criteria regarding language proficiency and educational qualifications. The full set of criteria will be published in the spring of 2013.

The Program will open for applications on April 1, 2013.  We trust this is not a “poisson d’avril”…

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Breaking News: LIST OF OCCUPATIONS FOR CANDIDATES APPLYING UNDER THE NEW FEDERAL SKILLED TRADES CLASS

Breaking News: LIST OF OCCUPATIONS FOR CANDIDATES APPLYING UNDER THE NEW FEDERAL SKILLED TRADES CLASS

The Federal Skilled Trades Class has come into force on January 2, 2013.  The program criteria are built around four requirements that ensure applicants will have the right skills and experience needed to succeed here in Canada. In order to qualify, applicants will need to:

  1. have an offer of employment in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory to ensure that applicants are “job ready” upon arrival;
  2. meet a basic language requirement;
  3. have a minimum of two years of work experience as a skilled tradesperson, to ensure that the applicant has recent and relevant practice as a qualified journeyman; and
  4. have the skills and experience that match those set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC B) system, showing that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.

Very important: there is neither age limit, nor educational requirement attached as a condition to qualify under the new program, but a maximum of 3 000 new applications submitted for the Federal Skilled Trades Class will be considered for processing each year. It is therefore essential for any diligent candidate to retain the services of an authorized representative located in Canada, who, inter alia, can handle in a timely manner the trade certification and job offering procedures.

Within the 3 000 cap, a maximum of 100 new applications submitted for each of the skilled trade occupations set out in Group A below will be considered for processing each year. No such sub-cap will apply to applications submitted for skilled trade occupations in Group B. For further clarity, the total of all applications considered for processing shall not exceed 3 000. As well, caps apply irrespective of whether an application is made with a qualifying offer of employment or a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority.

Complete applications from skilled tradespersons received by the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on or after January 2, 2013, whose applicants meet the language threshold for the Federal Skilled Trades Class in each of the four language abilities (speaking, reading, writing and oral comprehension), and that do not exceed the identified caps, shall be placed into processing if they,

(1) as per the 2011 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC), show evidence of at least two years (24 months) of full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience, acquired in the last five years, in one of the eligible skilled trade occupations in either Group A or B, set out below:

Group A — Occupations sub-capped at 100 applications per occupation

  • 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
  • 7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
  • 7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
  • 7271 Carpenters
  • 7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
  • 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
  • 8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry
  • 8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
  • 8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services
  • 8241 Logging machinery operators
  • 8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
  • 9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
  • 9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
  • 9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
  • 9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
  • 9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators

Group B — Occupations for which there are no sub-caps

  • 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
  • 7233 Sheet metal workers
  • 7235 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
  • 7236 Ironworkers
  • 7237 Welders and related machine operators
  • 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
  • 7242 Industrial electricians
  • 7243 Power system electricians
  • 7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
  • 7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
  • 7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
  • 7251 Plumbers
  • 7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
  • 7253 Gas fitters
  • 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
  • 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
  • 7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
  • 7314 Railway carmen/women
  • 7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
  • 7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
  • 7371 Crane operators
  • 7372 Drillers and blasters — surface, mining, quarrying and construction
  • 7373 Water well drillers
  • 8231 Underground production and development miners
  • 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
  • 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
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