International Visas to Woo the Indian Entrepreneur

11th Apr 2011
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PMCameron

In a time when visas are getting tougher to obtain, many countries are opening their doors, especially for Indian entrepreneurs. Although a few articles on this subject have made it to various newspapers, entrepreneurs are yet to take ample advantage of these windows of opportunities, to expand their businesses to a global platform. Let’s face it, there are Indians on every continent, yes even Antarctica, who would love nothing more than a new spice shop, Indian movie store, traditional sweet shop, or special Diwali hamper baskets to compliment their NRI life. Countries such as Malaysia, UK, Jordan, Canada and the UAE have woken up and smelled the benefits of having Indian entrepreneurs boost their country’s economy.Unlike the US immigration policy, which is yet to be in favor of international entrepreneurs, British PM David Cameron will reportedly introduce “a new category of visa - Entrepreneur Visa - to encourage foreign nationals from India and elsewhere to catalyze economic recovery in the country”.PM Cameron feels that “not enough was being done to attract the next generation of wealth creators and job makers to Britain”. The nation’s previous Tier One category has been revealed to be a complete failure according to research done by the British Home Office.

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Many professionals from India who immigrated to the UK under the Tier One - ‘highly skilled category’ were found doing unskilled work. To rectify this situation PM Cameron wants “every classroom or laboratory where a bright idea is born, every bedroom where a business case is put together, if you've got an idea, if you want to create jobs, and if you have the ambition to build a world beating company here in the UK". So as the Labor-Liberal Democrat coalition introduces the controversial limit of 24,100 non-EU migrants until a more permanent number by April 2011, Cameron explains “Inter-Company Transfers (ICT) category of visa, which is widely used by Indian companies with office and branches in the UK, will not be affected by the current review of immigration rules”.

Following suit closer to home Malaysia has prepared to be India’s gateway into Southeast Asia. Malaysian Prime Minister NajibTunRazak feels his country is “a strategic commercial destination for Indians wishing to enter the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)”. Both nations, already coexisting through strong formal and personal ties, represent a market of 1.7 billion people with a combined gdp of roughly $3 trillion. PM Razakfurther validated his eagerness for a special entrepreneurial visa on his trip to India early 2010. Najib stated “his government would continue to pursue policies to help entrepreneurs to thrive and focus on initiatives that will clearly communicate to the world that Malaysia is a country on the move”.

As of Dec 1, 2010 the Federal Immigrant Investor program under Canadian Citizenship & Immigration, applications have commenced to qualified investors. Those applying have a heavy toll of $1.6 million as their personal net worth. The Immigrant Investor Program presented by the Canadian government offers many benefits for foreign investors,including a permanent resident status andguaranteed investment repayment.

The news comes at a great time for Indian entrepreneurs looking to expand markets and take their skills and products to other lands.However the expectations being loaded on them seems more in hopes of creating new business and connecting back to the Indian market than seeking out a Mittal or a Bose of Bose speakers fame. Entrepreneurs can expect a warm welcome in these countries but the true test will lie in how their startups perform abroad.

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