The government of Canada is preparing to offer a special visa for minority entrepreneurs to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to set up shop in Canada.
The Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) says it’s working on a pilot project to see if the visa can help those who can’t find work in Canada and want to establish their businesses in Canada without leaving the country.
The agency says it will take applications from minority entrepreneurs by March 27.
The pilot will give them an opportunity to prove they can set up a small business in Canada in a time when there are still hurdles in the way.
It will be a “minority visa,” which will allow them to work for a maximum of 30 days in Canada, and will be issued by the Citizenship and Citizenship Services (CCS).
Currently, the minority visa program is restricted to those who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents and cannot have business relationships with more than five foreign companies.
CIC says the new pilot will allow more Canadians to start businesses.
The government says the pilot will help minority entrepreneurs who can only afford to travel for work, such as those in small and medium-sized enterprises, and those who want to start a family.
The minority visa will be available for three years, but the agency says the maximum period of stay for the program is 120 days.
The program is available to any entrepreneur, regardless of nationality.
“The new pilot allows businesses that need to establish a small Canadian presence to be more easily accessible to Canadians in Canada,” said spokesperson Andrea Marjan.
“As part of the pilot, the CIC will provide support to small businesses in their transition to the minority category.”
Marjan says the CECS is reviewing its existing policy, which only allows businesses to establish Canadian operations in certain cases, and that it will be updating it to reflect the new changes.
For example, businesses with less than 50 employees will be required to establish operations in Canada for a minimum of 30 months.
The CIC is also working with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to provide advice on the new visa and to provide feedback on the pilot program.
The new pilot, which is set to take place from April to July, will allow minority entrepreneurs from different nationalities to set-up shop in a pilot area, which will include the northern provinces and Ontario.
The country is also preparing to introduce a pilot program that will allow entrepreneurs from outside Canada to set a foothold in the country, such that they can be able to set and maintain operations.