Reforms Needed to Canada's Business Immigration System

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In order to help Canada's high-growth firms scale, changes to immigration policy are necessary to enable the effective attraction of top management talent.

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Reforms Needed to Canada's Business Immigration System

  1. 1. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Potential Reforms to Canada’s Business Immigration System Dan Herman, PhD Executive Director & Co-Founder July 2016
  2. 2. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Federal Immigration Policy Reform in Support of Scaling Up Context: • Recent research highlights primacy of senior talent gap as primary barrier to scaling amongst technology and manufacturing firms (Source: Lazaridis Institute; DEEP Centre); • Engagement with industry stakeholders indicates significant challenges wrt visa processing of incoming foreign staff; • Inability to engage and land foreign staff and impediment to domestic job growth; • Aggressive/streamlined process necessary given competitive dynamic facing Canadian tech firms.
  3. 3. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Federal Immigration Policy Reform in Support of Scaling Up Context (cont’d): • Areas of need are not solely technical nor is the need defined by want of entrepreneurs and/or investors (Startup Visa) • Major gaps reported by high-growth firms in executive and management level sales and marketing, organizational design, IPO related activity, and internationalization. • Addressing this talent gap requires both endogenous (domestic) talent pipeline and development of more effective pathway for international talent to relocate.
  4. 4. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance International Models United Kingdom • Fast-track visa application and processing; exempt from labour market test for qualified firms/applicants; • Focus on enabling scaleups; regional development; attracting exceptional talent; • Administered through third-party industry associations (e.g. TechCityUK).
  5. 5. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Capturing Exceptional / Executive Talent UK Model (Tech Nation Visa Scheme) • Open to both expert technical and validated executive / management talent • Significant focus on “scaling” related management/executive talent • Technical focus on emerging fields (big data, AI, cybersecurity)
  6. 6. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Tech Nation Visa Scheme Process
  7. 7. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Other Examples New Zealand Global Impact Visa (April 2016) • Developed to facilitate the attraction, selection and integration of a targeted group of global entrepreneurs; • Premised on belief that existing policy (investor and entrepreneur) ineffective at attracting the “more innovative (experienced) , global entrepreneurs needed to support the growth of the New Zealand innovation system”; • Four year pilot project with maximum 400 visas allocated; • Attraction and selection of migrants administered by third party selected through open procurement process; • Desired outcome to match domestic firm needs with international applicant pool as well as to develop more flexible intake of international entrepreneurs.
  8. 8. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Focus on entrepreneurs/startups (akin to Canadian StartUp Visa): • France: French Tech Ticket • Chile: Startup Chile • Australia: Entrepreneurs Visa • Ireland: Trusted Partner Initiative • Singapore: EntrePass • Italy: StartUp Visa • Netherlands: StartupVisa Related Examples Do we have a startup problem or a scaleup problem?
  9. 9. The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance Dan Herman Executive Director dherman@deepcentre.com

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