The federal government’s launched two years ago to lure immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada, is finally picking up steam.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada said Friday that 16 applicants have been approved for permanent residency. They’re behind a total of eight companies, two of which have already been snapped up by larger technology companies.
The government says there are 60 applications currently being processed for permanent residency. These are for entrepreneurs behind 34 projects. An additional 25 projects have secured financial support from dedicated investment groups under the program. The next step is for the entrepreneurs behind those projects to apply for permanent residency. While that’s still a very small number compared to the 2,750 visas set aside each year for start-up entrepreneurs and their families, it wasn’t until last summer that the first applicant was approved.
The process is taking longer than some expected, in part because of the high volume of applicants that potential investors must wade through, as well as the due diligence required, which is even more time consuming when dealing with international companies.
“It’s happening, it’s just happening slowly because there are some challenges,” says Yuri Navarro, executive director of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO.)