Since July 2011, there have been not been many opportunities for entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada under the Federal immigration class. In May of 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced a new Start-Up Visa class to attract entrepreneurs to Canada more actively. In particular, applicants can apply for Start-Up Visas by being accepted into one of the designated Canadian Business Incubator programs – there are five programs in Canada.
The Region of Waterloo is fortunate to have one of those designated Canadian Business Incubator programs – the Communitech Hyperdrive Program, specifically focused on the information technology industry, including any green energy and health technology. It provides for two rounds of selections per year – usually in March and September. The current round closed on January 7th, 2014 after receiving over 200 applications. They are working through the March 2014 to select 6 – 7 successful candidates. The next round of applications will likely open late summer of 2014 and will be announced on their website.
The total length of the program is 6 months from the date of selection, with two stages: (1) intense training stage for 3 months and (2) growth and sales for the remaining 3 months.
Among many criteria for a successful application, the applicant must have a beta-staged product to be tested in the applicable market, along with a strong leader with a team, including a tech co-founder and a minimum team of two members, before being considered seriously. Selected applicants are given seed funding of $40,000.00. At the end of the first stage, subject to all other documentation to be completed by the applicant, the Communitech Hyperdrive can issue a letter of support to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The applicant needs to submit a Start-Up Visa application to become a permanent resident, along with their eligible dependent family members.
If you are a strong entrepreneur, with (1) at least one year of post-secondary education with a good standing, (2) a strong language proficiency and (3) sufficient settlement funds, this is a great opportunity to start your information technology business in the Region of Waterloo.
You get expert business support and funding by the Communitech Hyperdrive AND a chance to obtain your permanent resident status at the same time. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Communitech Hyperdrive or Jennifer Roggemann Law Office for further information.
If you have any individual questions or concerns, please contact our office for more customized consultation for your unique situation. Please note that this posting is for general information only and is not to be considered binding or official legal counsel since situations will vary and can be complicated. The content in this post is current as of the day of entry. Due to the changing nature of Immigration law, the information in this entry may or may not still be applicable.