Canadian startups, you’re welcome to Europe!

Canadian startups, you’re welcome to Europe!

The answer to my business visa application to Canada: refused. The consulate’s explanation: You want to emigrate. Not welcome here.
Obviously, it is not enough to have already bought a return flight ticket. Or to have already paid the ticket for the 3-days conference you want to visit. Or to have paid the visa fee of $100 CAD. Or to have a job, a startup, a life somewhere else.

Representing the Berlin-based startup PaperHive at the SSP Annual Meeting, a large publishing and scholarly communication event, in June seems to be impossible. My sin: being Bulgarian and needing a visa.

Reflections of Canada by Dennis Jarvis licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
Reflections of Canada by Dennis Jarvis licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0

Comparing Prime Minister’s Trudeau welcoming nature and PR performances with the reality of Canadian visa application bureaucracy makes you wonder how long a top-down process of value-transformation takes.

“Canada wants entrepreneurs!”: a program welcoming startups to the country. Well, I guess this does not apply to startups from Berlin who have co-founders from Eastern Europe.

I’m looking forward to the answer to my second application. No matter what the consulate in Vienna decides, I’m looking forward to meeting Canadian entrepreneurs at any place in Europe.

Canadian startups, you’re welcome to Europe!