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Feds speed up visa process

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Immigration minister Chris Alexander. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

Immigration minister Chris Alexander. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

The federal government says it’s putting business before bureaucracy and will create a fast-track stream for the new Start-up Visa program.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander made the announcement in Vancouver Wednesday after introducing the first two successful applicants of the program, launched in 2013.

The applicants, two men from Ukraine who started social media tool Zeetl, expanded on their company in Canada after being allowed entry with the startup visa program.

“We never expected this to happen to us, to be honest,” said Oleksandr Zadorozhnyi of Zeetl. “My view is entrepreneurial culture around the world is rising and some countries are adopting to this very fast.”

It’s such entrepreneurs the new stream is meant to attract, Alexander said, adding there are more such tech creators waiting to come to Canada.

“It means we’re going to consider a much larger number of people interested in coming to Canada before we invite those who have jobs offers or who literally have the best qualifications under the points system that we use,” Alexander said. “When we have a complete application from a potential economic immigrant we will process it in six months.”

He compared the wait times to years gone by when it could take years for a person to make it to Canada from the day of their application.

For an application to succeed they must have a Canadian partner.

Alexander said there are already more such entrepreneurs waiting for their applications to be processed.


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