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Canadian Start-Up Visa: Innovation at the core of an application

The start-up visa program has the ambition to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world if they wish to develop new innovative ideas in Canada. To facilitate their establishment in Canada, the Canadian government issues permanent residency visas to qualified entrepreneurs.

Innovative Business Idea: while the regulation respecting the start-up visa program does not explicitly defining the concept of “innovation”, the Canadian government (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) stated that innovation is "the use of new ideas, products or methods where they have not been used before, and can be defined as a new or significantly improved product (good or service) introduced to the market, or the introduction within an enterprise of a new or significantly improved process". In its program evaluation report of November 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada indicates that “innovation” means the creation of a “new or significantly improved products or process and doing business differently”.

During the first three years of the pilot program, 74% of the cases were related to software development, while 24% were related to production / manufacturing. Innovation was found in numerous industries: technology, education, consumer goods, finance, green energy, real estate, tourism, public health, social media and the arts.