Canada offers ‘Dragons Den’ route to permanent residency


Canada offers ‘Dragons Den’ route to permanent residency

The Canadian government is hoping to entice entrepreneurs with good ideas and the financial clout to make them a reality by offering permanent residency to those that pass a ‘Dragons Den’ style process.

For applicants to be considered for the new start-up Visa they first need to secure a minimum investment of $200,000 or £128,000 from a venture capitalist fund, or $75,000 (£48,000) from a investor group on a list of designated Canadian investors.

The new visa will reward ambition and creativity allowing expats to stay in the country for as long as they like even if their business idea fails. Applicants must be proficient in English or French and must have a year of post secondary education in order to apply for the visa through Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Toronto-based immigration lawyer Mario Bellissimo said the new scheme was “very much like the Dragons’ Den of immigration”. The government was hoping for “the next big thing, like Facebook or Apple” and ideally wanted “young people with fresh ideas”, he said.

Dragons Den is a series of reality television programmes broadcast around the world and sees entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in order to secure financial backing from a panel of venture capitalists.

The new Visa scheme is set to run for a five-year trial period and hopes to see up to 2,750 start-ups being issued per year. Entrepreneurs should submit business plans directly to investors, through the NACO, or via Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

In a separate scheme the Canadian governments biggest permanent residency visa scheme is due to restart accepting applicants from May the 4th after it was frozen last year. The federal skilled worker programme will see applicants under the age of 35 and those with Canadian work experience and strong English and French language skills given priority.

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