Canada is looking at opening a special immigration stream for entrepreneurs with good startup ideas, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said today.
Kenney has launched consultations with industry associations about the possible program and ways to link immigrant entrepreneurs with private-sector groups.
If it goes ahead, the program would run for five years and be limited to 2,750 applications a year. If that tryout is successful, Citizenship and Immigration Canada could introduce it formally through regulatory changes.
"We need to proactively target a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadians," Kenney said in a news release.
The government is looking at a number of small, short-term programs to attract entrepreneurs.
Last week, Kenney announced consultations on changing the immigrant investor program, which requires a five-year investment of $800,000.
This week, he said the government is cutting in half — from 24 to 12 months — the required Canadian work experience needed for foreign workers to apply for citizenship.
Canada's 10 Fastest Growing Cities
Percentages show population growth from 2006 census to 2011 census. Source: Canada 2011 Census
10: Lloydminster, SK - 14%
A view of the Husky Energy upgrader facility inLloydminster, Saskatchewan where bitumen and heavy oil are converted to synthetic oil. (The Canadian Press Images/Bayne Stanley)
9: Squamish, BC - 14.6%
Photo: YouTube screencap
8: Cold Lake, AB - 15.4%
Photo: City of Cold Lake
7: Grande Prairie, AB - 16.8%
Photo: Kathy Dempsey/Flickr
6: Sylvan Lake, AB - 19.2%
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
5: Strathmore, AB - 19.7%
Photo: City of Strathmore
4: High River, AB - 20.6%
Photo: City of High River Prairie grain elevator and grain storage bins near High River, Alberta with the Rocky Mountains visible in the distance. THE CANADIAN PRESS
3: Steinbach, MB - 22.2%
Photo: City of Steinbach
2: Fort McMurray (Wood Buffalo), AB - 27.1%
This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows a tar sands mine facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada. (The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
1: Okotoks, AB - 42.9%
Photo: Xz1303, Wikimedia Commons