IMMIGRATION: Start-up visa could be economic booster for Canada!

Published: January 28, 2013

NICK NOORANI
VANCOUVER DESI

The old entrepreneur visa program had no economic benefit to Canada. Essentially to qualify one needed previous experience in self-employment/entrepreneurship and the applicant had to commit to hiring one full time Canadian. Very loosely managed, one heard stories of people starting a business for a few years and closing it down, employing a distant cousin (who was ‘Canadian’ of course!) etc. Most businesses were corner store or restaurants that did no substantial difference to the Canadian economy.

Not surprisingly, in his detailed scrutiny of all the immigration programs, the Federal Minister quickly saw this as yet another program with potential misuse and no benefit and shut it down.

Yet, one only had to look across the border to see how immigrant entrepreneurs have fared. In a round table conference with the Minister in 2011, I presented the following facts.

In the US, while lawful immigrants comprise about 8 percent of the population, immigrants start 16 percent of top-performing, high-technology companies, hold the position of CEO or lead engineer in 25 percent of high-tech firms, and produce over 25 percent of all patent applications filed from the United States.

60% of patents in Silicon Valley comes from immigrants

1/3 of tech startups in Michigan are immigrants

Notable immigrant startups in the US– Intel, Google, Sun and ebay.

Here are some Canadian immigrant entrepreneur success stories from the 2011 issue of Canadian Business Magazine:

Frank Stronach – Magna  Austria born. Personal worth $2.7 Billion and listed at number 19.
Lalji family from Uganda. Worth $2.05 Billion  and listed at number 26.
Marcel Adams from Romania. Worth $1.85 Billion and listed at number 29.
Michael Lee Chin from Jamaica. Worth $1.73 billion and listed at number 33.
Richard Li born Hong Kong. Worth $1.45 Billion and listed at number 44.
Mike Lazaridis born Turkey. Worth $1.3 Billion and listed at number 51.
Caleb & Tom Chan  born Hong Kong. Worth $982 Million and listed at number 63.
Hassan Khosrowshahi born Iran. Worth $943 Million and listed at number 68.
Leslie Dan born Hungary. Worth $923 Million and  listed at number 71.
David Kotchitzky and Family. From Poland.  Worth $883 Million and listed at number 76.
Victor Li. Born Hong Kong. Worth $853 Million and listed at number 78.
Andreas Apostolopousos born Greece. Worth $805 Million and listed at number 79.
K. Rai Sahi born India. Worth $670 Million and listed at number 90.
13 of Canada’s wealthiest born outside Canada! Total worth $17.139.

Obviously there is an opportunity to tap these brilliant minds.

Post 911, even the most brilliant technocrats in the US were unable to get visas and that is Canada’s opportunity! The Minister clearly wants the next Sun Microsystems or Apple to be created right here in Canada!

On 24th January the Minister announced a first of its kind start up visa.

“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said Minister Kenney. “Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.”

The Start-Up Visa Program will link immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada that have experience working with start-ups and who can provide essential resources. The Program is part of a series of transformational changes to Canada’s immigration system that will make it faster, more flexible and focused on Canada’s economic needs.

According to a news item, the Minister expects the application process to take less than six months and has set aside 2,750 visas a year for the next five years for the program, but expects interest will be slow to start and wouldn’t be surprised if just a few hundred apply in the program’s early years.

The report goes on to say “Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Thursday he will head down to America’s technology heartland once the program is in place to begin recruiting the “thousands of super bright young foreign nationals,” often from Asia, who are working at technology start-ups on temporary visas and may have to go home before they’ve been able to obtain their coveted U.S. Green Card.

“We see the bright, young, international tech developers in the U.S. who are stuck on temporary visas as an immediate market, if you will, for this program,” he said.”

This program makes so much sense! Good for Canada and good for immigrant entrepreneurs!

Nick Noorani is an immigration expert, social entrepreneur and Managing Partner of Prepare for Canada, an online magazine for immigrants pre-arrival and post. He can be reached at nick@nicknoorani.com

 


Tags: , , ,





Featured

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

Police are investigated a suspected murder in Surrey, B.C.

Police investigating suspected homicide in Surrey

SURREY NOW Police say an autopsy will be required to determine how Surrey’s 14th homicide of 2014 died. The body of the victim, a man…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

B.C.’s LNG emissions’ law greenest, cleanest in the world: environment minister

By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA – New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied-natural-gas plants to meet emission standards or face penalties and…
Continue Reading »

N.B.’s new premier to oilpatch: support for Energy East has not wavered

By Lauren Krugel THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY – New Brunswick’s new premier said Monday he’s looking to assure Alberta’s oilpatch that even though the government…
Continue Reading »

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC-surrey

Most South Asians and Chinese in B.C. have faced discrimination based on ethnicity

A quarter reported experiencing moderate or significant amounts of discrimination DOUGLAS TODD VANCOUVER DESI  Stereotyping. Verbal harassment. Poor customer service. Workplace unfairness. Exclusion from dating….
Continue Reading »

MINOR ATACKED

False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-VANCOUVER-MUMBAI

Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »

Rekha

Rekha’s TV presence has left tremendous impact: Indra Kumar

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai  – Veteran actress Rekha, who has kept her distance from the small screen, has duly followed the current tradition of…
Continue Reading »