Could USA immigration reform spark Canada’s own Silicon Valley

Published:  25 Apr at 6 PM
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As the battle to reform the broken US immigration system drags on, other Western countries are introducing ultra-fast skilled worker visa programmes in the hope of grabbing top-tier innovators.

Canada’s recently-announced Start-Up Visa Programme is one such, and the most comprehensive yet, aimed solely at entrepreneurs looking to start up innovative businesses. Paul Northcott, Citizen and Immigration Canada’s spokesman, describes the programme as targeting a new type of immigrant with the ability to start companies which will grow to compete on an international scale.

Canada has a number of competitors in the wings, all hoping to take advantage of the USA’s lengthy legal process before the new immigration law can be passed. The UK is hoping to attract entrepreneurship to its shores, even although its shambolic Border Agency has just been dismantled and reassembled and its backlogs are estimated to take 20 years to clear.

Australia’s offering seems comprehensive, but is expensive and bureaucratically heavy, with Chile and Singapore also queuing to sign up the new generation’s answer to the late, great Steve Jobs. The Canadian programme has several unusual advantages, with the most useful being that it covers the applicants entire investment as long as funding is via venture capital funds or angels associated with the programme.

Another major advantage of its rivals is Canada’s offer of upfront permanent residency, a strong incentive for would-be migrants. A thriving economy, universal heath care, an already multicultural society and the ease of doing business in the country give the Canadian programme a head start over the rest.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Andrea MacLean wrote 11 years ago:

Ugh. I'm so over the stupid UCSIS! The broken, not to mention cruel and unfeeling, system is why my hubbie and I are expats in Mallorca, Spain now!

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