Canada's Self-employed Persons Program

Immigrate to Canada as a self-employed individual through Canada’s Self-employed Persons Program.  Check your eligibility today.

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Canada offers a unique immigration program known as the Self-Employed Persons Program Canada for self-employed individuals in specific fields. It caters to individuals with experience in athletics and cultural activities who can contribute to these fields in Canada.

People who qualify under this program can apply for permanent resident status if they meet the minimum eligibility requirements. The Self-Employed Canada PR route may be preferable for individuals who may not qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

This guide will examine the eligibility criteria and application process for the Canada Self-Employed Immigration program.

Eligibility Requirements

Self-employed candidates who wish to apply for a Canada Self-Employed Visa must meet eligibility requirements in the following areas:

  • Occupation Type
  • Work Experience
  • Self Employment
  • Selection Criteria
  • Security clearance, medical exam, and other criteria

Occupation Type

Applicants must work in one of the occupations listed below to apply for the Self-Employed Visa Canada. You can learn more about each occupation’s definition and duties by looking up the National Occupation Code (NOC) corresponding to the position on the Government of Canada website.

OccupationsNOC Code
Librarians5111
Conservators and Curators5112
Archivists5113
Authors and Writers5121
Editors5122
Journalists5123
Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications5124
Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters5125
Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations5131
Conductors, Composers, and Arrangers5132
Musicians and Singers5133
Dancers5134
Actors and Comedians5135
Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists5136
Library and Public Archive Technicians5211
Technical Occupations Related to Art Galleries and Museums5212
Photographers5221
Film and Video Camera Operators5222
Graphic Arts Technicians5223
Broadcast Technicians5224
Audio and Video Recording Technicians5225
Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in the Performing Arts, Motion Pictures, and Broadcasting5225
Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts5227
Announcers and Other Broadcasters5231
Other Performers5232
Graphic Designers and Illustrators5241
Interior Designers and Interior Decorators5242
Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers5243
Artisans and Crafts Persons5244
Patternmakers – Textile, Leather, and Fur Products5245
Athletes5251
Coaches5252
Sports Officials and Referees5253
Program Leaders and Instructors in Sport and Fitness, and Recreation5254

Work Experience

Prospective Self-Employed Canada program applicants are required to possess the relevant experience to qualify for this program. The program defines “relevant experience” as the experience gained while the candidate was working in the athletics or cultural activities fields at a world-class level. Applicants should also note that they must have gained experience in the last five years.

Applicants with cultural activities experience must meet the requirements listed below:

  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they were self-employed in cultural activities.
  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they participated in cultural activities at a world-class level.
  • They possess a combination of the two instances mentioned above, with a minimum of one year of experience in each.
  • Applicants with athletics experience must meet the requirements listed below:
  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they were self-employed in athletics.
  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they participated in athletics at a world-class level.
  • They possess a combination of the two instances mentioned above, with a minimum of one year of experience in each.

Self-Employment

Applicants are also required to possess relevant experience as qualified self-employed persons. They must also intend to work as self-employed professionals in the arts or athletics fields after arriving in Canada.

Security, Medical, and Other Criteria

  • Prospective applicants must undergo special medical exams and security clearance when applying for the Self-Employed Person’s program. These ensure the candidate is eligible for entry into Canada.
  • Applicants must also demonstrate they possess the funds required to settle in Canada with their families.

Business Plan

Candidates must demonstrate their willingness to become self-employed professionals after becoming Canadian permanent residents. They can show this willingness by creating and submitting a proper business plan with their application.

The business plan must mention:

  • The applicant’s previous work experience.
  • Information on the applicant’s intended residence in Canada.
  • A description of how the applicant plans to start working in a self-employed capacity in their field.

Selection Criteria

Applicants for the Self-Employed PR Canada program must check their scores under the selection criteria listed below. They must get a minimum score of 35 points to qualify under the program. The selection criteria are broken down into five key areas. These are:

Education

Self-employed applicants can receive a maximum of 25 points for their education. The points given for each education level are shown below:

Completed EducationPoints Awarded
Master’s degree, or a Ph.D. plus 17 years or more full-time study25
Two or more bachelor level university degrees plus 15 years or more of full-time study22
Three-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 15 years or more of full-time study22
University bachelor’s degree for a program lasting two years or more plus 14 years or more of full-time study20
Two-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 14 years or more of full-time study20
University bachelor’s degree for a program lasting one year plus 13 years or more of full-time study15
One-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 13 years or more of full-time study15
One-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 13 years or more of full-time study12
High school5

Experience

Candidates that have attained qualifying work experience in the five years preceding their application can score up to 35 points depending on their experience amount. The points given for various experience levels are shown below:

Years of Relevant ExperiencePoints Awarded
Two years20
Three25
Four30
Five35

Age

The Self-Employed Person Canada program also awards up to 10 points based on the applicant’s age. The number of points awarded for different ages is as follows:

AgePoints Awarded
16 or younger0
172
184
196
208
21 to 4910
508
516
524
532
54 or above0

Language Ability

Candidates may be eligible to receive up to 24 points for their proficiency in the English or French languages. These points are awarded based on the applicant’s performance in recognized language exams. Each language exam assesses applicants in the following areas:

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
Language ProficiencySpeakingListeningReadingWriting
High4444
Moderate2222
Basic1111
No proficiency0000

Adaptability

Candidates can receive up to 6 points in the adaptability criteria if they fit into the various categories below:

Adaptability CategoryPoints Awarded
Common-law partner or spouse with a post-secondary education:

  • One-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 12 years or more of full-time study: 3 points

  • Two-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 14 years or more of full-time study: 4 points

  • Master’s degree or Ph.D. plus 17 years or more of full-time study: 5 points

3 to 5
Applicant or applicant’s partner has one year or more of full-time Canadian work experience while on a work permit.5
Applicant or applicant’s partner has finished studying at a full-time program lasting two years or more at a Canadian post-secondary institution. This must be completed above the age of 17 and with a valid study permit. A degree or diploma is not completely necessary to earn these points.5
Applicant or applicant’s partner has relatives residing in Canada. This includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews.5

Business Plan

Applicants must possess a 51% or greater ownership share in the business.

Step-by-Step Process

Self-employed candidates can apply for the Self-Employed Person Canada program by following the steps outlined below:

Stage 1

  • Obtain the Application Package
  • Gather Your Documents
  • Pay the Application Fees
  • Submit Your Application

Stage 2

  • Submit Your Biometrics and Photos
  • Receiving a Confirmation of Permanent Residence

Stage One

1. Obtain the Application Package

Applicants can start by obtaining the relevant application package. They must then fill out the form and select the “validate” button after completion.

2. Gather Your Documents

Candidates must then gather each document listed in the document checklist from the application package. This includes:

  • Work experience documents.
  • Passports or other relevant travel-related documents.
  • Education documents such as degrees, diplomas, and certificates.
  • Language exam results for exams taken within the last two years.

3. Pay the Application Fees

Next, applicants must pay their application fees. This includes:

  • Processing fees: $1,575 CAD
  • Biometrics fees: $85 CAD per person
  • Right of Permanent Residence fees: $500
  • Third-party fees for police certificates, medical exams, and language tests

Candidates must pay their fees online at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

4. Submit Your Application

Once applicants have completed each of the steps mentioned above, they can mail their applications to the following address:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Self-employed Class
Centralized Intake Office
P.O. Box 7200
Sydney, NS
B1P 0E9
Canada

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Stage Two

5. Submit Your Biometrics and Photos

Self-employed applicants will be asked to submit their fingerprints and photos while their application is processed. They must complete this submission within 30 days of receiving the initial request.

6. Receiving a Confirmation of Permanent Residence

Successful applicants will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence and an entry visa that allows them to come to Canada.

How ELAAR can help you?

Self-employed individuals who intend to immigrate to Canada through the Self-Employed Persons program should get in touch with us. Our exceptional team of Regulated Immigration Consultants is familiar with the eligibility requirements and application process for this program.

Together, we can optimize your application and business plan to boost your chances of succeeding under this program. Please contact Elaar Immigration and take the next step towards your new life in Canada.

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