Canadian Citizen and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says that the Canadian government will introduce its new immigrant entrepreneur program soon, which will target “high value innovators” and not be saddled with the problems of the previous entrepreneur program.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Mr. Kenney said that the previous program, that was suspended in July of last year, was overly burdensome and ineffective.
The Globe and Mail article notes that the previous program had a backlog of 10,000 applications, with a processing rate of only 1,000-1,500 per year, meaning a best-case clearing time of eight years.
The Immigration Minister said that what will be done with the backlog has not been determined. One option the Canadian government is considering is allowing provinces to cherry pick applicants from the backlog that they believe are the most promising, so that applicant processing time is determined more by the needs of provinces for applicants’ skills and experience, rather than the criteria used in the old program of time spent in the queue.
Mr. Kenney said that New Zealand has used a similar process since 2003, when it faced a large backlog like the one Canada currently faces. A pilot program allowing provinces to mine the backlog has already started, he said.