> Mr. Kenney said the government is partnering with Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), which will identify members of their associations eligible to participate in the program.
So VC/angels get to decide who is eligible for the visa.
That's a somewhat distinct problem, which is that the experts in a particular industry unsurprisingly come from the dominant players in that industry. It creates some bias, but as a practical matter you have to assume people can act in good faith in different roles.
What I'm talking about is a different problem: delegating governmental authority directly to private companies in ways that directly benefit only specific interests. E.g. a number of states are delegating eminent domain authority to oil and gas companies. There is much more potential for abuse in such scenarios. Government officials have a duty to the public interest, and by and large they take that duty seriously. Private companies have a duty only to share holders and owners, and by and large they take that duty seriously too.
Open it to everybody. If you're willing to come to this frigid place and work your ass off cleaning toilets, so be it.
Immigration tends to select for those with pluck and determination, and we all benefit.
I ask because I'd like to better understand your argument.
AFAIK neither of the associations above answer to the government. They are being given tremendous power without proportional accountability.
- Canadian Person A starts an "investment fund".
- Foreigner Person B "invests" $250k in to the fund.
- Investment fund invests $200k in Person B's new company to be founded in Canada.... Ta-da! You just acquired Canadian Permanent Residence!
- Person A takes a $50k consultancy fee.
edit: the focus is not on the amount, it can be whatever amount the government sees fit (e.g. $800k as mentioned below). I just don't see any problem that the wealthy ones can buy a residence / "retirement plan" / whatever you name it.
The Start-Up Visa program does not require any investment from foreign entrepreneurs. It simply requires that the start-up itself have a funding commitment from a designated angel investor network or acceptance to a designated incubator network.
Part of what makes the program so historic is that it offers permanent resident status (the Green Card) right from the start. This is not affected whether the business fails or succeeds. This program actually recognizes the risk that entrepreneurs take.
You can learn more here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/...
Not to mention $250K is not a substantial amount of capital to bring into an economy. Canada has an investment-track immigration program, the sticker price is well north of $250K at this point and come with requirements for employing Canadians (citizens or PRs) as well as minimum funding and duration.
When applying for Canadian PR you have to satisfy the government that you won't place "excessive demand" on existing health/social services within Canada.
The figure is currently set at $30,705.00CAD over 5 years ($6,141.00CAD x 5). eg, if you have an autistic child and they require a teachers aide that costs more than $6.1k/year you won't be eligible for PR.
-low corporate tax rate of 15.5%
-over the past 10-15 years, individual tax rates have steadily fallen. Roughly speaking, if you're making less than $150k, very comparable to the U.S. but there's tons of factors (including province, how you pay out - dividends vs salary, etc...)
-onetime capital gains exemption of $750k for selling your Canadian private business. Add your wife as shareholder and you're looking at $1.5m tax free.
-availability of tax credits to help fund innovative startups (it needs to be novel, non-obvious, and involve technical uncertainty at the outset - so a typical website stopped qualifying years ago - but perhaps underlying aspects might partially qualify)
-future stability. Whether U.S., China, Europe, (or other?) prospers in the future - they will likely be needing resources - which will likely exist in Canada, thereby ensuring a base of prosperity and tax revenue to fund infrastructure for many years.
Disclosure: I'm a Canadian in the US. Got married here (my wife's from Asia) - now I can't move back to Canada until I figure out my wife's residency. From what I've read, this takes 12 months+. Makes life very hard to plan.
Some context: the Canadian govt recently started a crackdown on fraud-marriages. Unfortunately, it seems the CIC takes the view that you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
They will almost never act quicker than 6 months from the point of filling as they've found that, surprise surprise, most shame marriages have a hard time living together for 6 months or more:)
I don't know of a good way to do this, but I fear for the worst. What if they find my genuine marriage a fraud? What do I do then? I have already waited enough.
Also - why the requirement on VC funds anyway? Shouldn't we be supporting bootstrapped entrepreneurs as well?
And a bit more info:
I know when the new minister got in (last year?) they said big changes were coming, but as yet we have not seen much.
I just became a permanent resident, though my brother didn't qualify and was forced to leave... he'd love to come back if he can find a way.
Most of the changes have been to the refugee program and on 'cracking down' on immigration fraud. (For example last year I think they did a big sweep of fraudulent immigration lawyers)They are also changing the status of which countries get to qualify for refugee status and who gets fast tracked in the immigration system.
For some more detail/analysis read: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/has-jason-kenney-b...
I hope you find a way to get your brother back.
It looks like the Skilled class still requires a letter of arranged employment
It's crazy, because my brother easily meets the 67 points required, but without arranged employment he can't even apply. (I was the same, and ended up being sponsored by the province of Yukon through my employer.. which took over year)
EDIT: The whole thing is so confusing.
Says you must have a letter of arranged employment before you can even apply... then a bit further down it says that's one of the 6 selection factors and you can get up to 15 points for it.
I just filled out the online self-assessment as my brother and got 68 points without arranged employment. Can he apply or not?
EDIT2: Just spoke to CIC - it doesn't matter if you get 150 points, if you are not in the PhD stream, or the arranged employment stream, you can not apply. Fullstop.
(Ignore the 'British' in the URL - it's a really good site for anyone thinking about emigration.)
I hope in time and with success the visa can be expanded to include the present reality in Canada that 98% of startups in Canada are self-funded and don't get or use VC input:
For the majority of the startup environment in Canada, this doesn't benefit them right away.
Also interesting -- Small businesses are 98% of businesses in Canada: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/smallbusiness/story/2011/10/...
This one is for the VC...
That program simply facilitated new Canadians to make smaller convenience stores or low-risk ventures at best (smaller, safer enterprises, etc). It's criteria was largely just net worth and business experience. The only path to Canadian permanent residence was the creation of one new job every three or four years.
As you'd guess, it didn't exactly inspire risk takers.
Canada is a great country, lots of really nice people and amazing scenery. Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal (order of personal preference for running a business) all have sizeable tech scenes and all have a reasonably good access to the US market.
If you're Canadian you can very easily leverage your position into one that translates into most of the pros and very few of the cons of living on the North American continent.
If you're an outsider planning to move in things are substantially different. The first thing that you'll notice is that there is a sizeable industry that exists just to make money off new arrivals (aka immigration lawyers and associated services). There are a lot of gotchas that nobody informs you about (such as, for Ontario, applying for OHIP coverage immediately upon arrival, wait one day too long and you're in deep trouble), there a lot of silly rules and regulations that won't make sense to you if you're not from a country that qualifies as a 'nanny state' and there is a lot to be learned about banking and your 'credit score' if you are not Canadian and you do not have any history. Banks are really hard to get any reasonable performance out of, there are too few of them and their offerings are too uniform.
The Canadian government is saying 'A' but will actually do 'B', and it will do this at length. In my case, with a guaranteed landed immigrant status in the year 2002 it took until 2007 for me to finally give up on the whole process and move back to Europe.
By then I'd had enough of the Canadian authorities and the fact that there are only two seasons, winter and construction. If the government had kept their promises of speedy processing for me and my dependants I'd be singing 'Oh Canada' right now and I would have taken the snow into the bargain. As it was, losing half a year per year to the elements (the first two years were spent in Toronto, the last 3 on an island near Sault ste. Marie), having to deal with uncertainty from the governments side, a dog-eat-dog attitude when it comes to making money with people (which turns into making money off each other if you're not very careful), a school that was outwardly secular but internally dominated by religion and many more issues I'm reasonably happy to be back in Europe.
There is lots of stuff wrong here but at least my status here is not questioned with every move I make.
Fun fact: two weeks after shutting down the Canadian company, firing everybody and moving back they came through with the paperwork and asked if we would please come back...
Take home lesson: Beware of promises by the Canadian government, especially when it comes to giving landed immigrant status to foreigners (forget about citizenship, that's a different kettle of fish), even ones that bring tons of business with them. The best I ever got out of them was a work permit for me, but not for my spouse. Be prepared to be kept waiting (quite possibly for a great many years), and be prepared to file ever more paperwork at great expense and expect the game to change while you're playing it. Great Eh? ;)
And note that I've been wanting to start my own business all this time, but I can't. In fact, it would be tremendously difficult for me to switch jobs. Which makes me an indentured servant of this company until I get my green card and therefore my freedom to set my own course.
I was in exactly the same situation (Canadian on H1B) but am lucky enough to be married to an Aussie, so two years ago we moved Down Under where I had permanent residency from day one and complete freedom to work for any company, or start up my own.
Last year I got SlickDNS, a managed DNS hosting service, up and running (https://www.slickdns.com/) and I have other ideas that I'm working on.
It's tremendously liberating after the straightjacket of the H1B.
That exactly sums it up. Fortunately we had options, for many people in the same process that is not the case.
It really does seem like immigration police's work is to make sure as few people as possible immigrate.
Some require a residency follow-up, because there are people who cheat the residency requirement, forging paperwork to pretend to have lived in Canada, etc. This is only a minority of cases. There's an average of 172,000 new citizens to Canada each year, which is huge.
canada is lovely, but the beauracracy is out of control
Man, I feel cold just thinking about it! (Here's the current forecast: http://ca.weather.yahoo.com/canada/ontario/sault-ste.-marie-...)
As a Canadian transplant to Melbourne I laugh when the Aussies complain how cold it is here in winter.
Also the dash would simply refuse to work on account of the liquid crystals no longer being all that liquid.
> there are only two seasons, winter and construction
Come to Vancouver instead - here it's summer and rain, where summer is July through September.
(not the best picture, taken on a road trip around the rocky mountains in winter, yes, I'm crazy).
This new program, for one, includes permanent residency and is the first such program in the developed world to do so for entrepreneurs. It puts an end to what many countries (and indeed Canada until now) had, which was to offer the uncertainty of bureaucracy where one's long-term residency was concerned. Not exactly inviting, hey?
What I thought neat during the announcement yesterday was that they recognize that some startup business float while others sink, but your permanent residence status doesn't get taken away if your business sinks.
On that note, it is worth pointing out that Canada is making major headway in what they call a "faster and more flexible" immigration system. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/...
I imagine the Canadian VC programs this affects will be similar; interestingly, the Canadian maximum-tourist-visit period is six months, so it gives you a bit longer to work things out.
Don't even get me started on the double taxation you face if your business is successful as a foreign national.
What we really, really need though is a US startup visa (or even better) a point-based immigration system.
Here's an article about this published today:
"The basic requirements will be intermediate proficiency in English or French and at least one year of post-secondary education. Beyond that, he said, it will depend on which organization is recommending the applicant.
They could be accepted into a designated incubator program, receive a funding commitment of at least $75,000 from a designated angel network, or a funding commitment of at least $200,000 from a designated venture capital fund.
Venture capital funds will automatically qualify to back startup visa entrepreneurs if they’re managing $40-million or more in assets. Those managing less than that would be subject to a peer review process “to ensure they’re credible,” Mr. Kenney said.
For angel networks, a peer review panel of NACO members will review the applicants, he said."
BTW thanks for the info Sam.
I guess a "startup visa" under the narrow definition is an improvement, but it isn't really what countries should be doing.
Frankly, there's nothing any country has that is going to be lost by letting immigrants in. Every country benefits from immigrants.
But if you're going to encourage entrepreneur immigrants, you should be open to anyone with a business plan, and enough experience and minimal personal assets necessary to make the business a success.
Since this is difficult to determine, don't try to determine it. Let people just apply and take them.
If, a year later, they've gotten in trouble with the law then send them packing... but otherwise, that's what a real "startup visa" would look like, in my opinion.
Fortunately there are countries who take this kind of approach.
Chile wants you to be able to support yourself and have a clean record with the local police.
Panama wants you to form a corporation and put $5,000 in the bank.
For americans, the Netherlands wants you to form a corporation and put $11,000-$15,000 into the bank. (via the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty)
I'm sure other countries have similar programs. For instance, Equador is reasonably open to americans who want to live there.
I don't see Chile, Panama or the Netherlands being overrun with problematic immigrants.