Canada’s Self-Employed Persons Program

The Self-Employed Persons Program is for individuals who have relevant experience in athletics or cultural activities. Individuals who wish to make a significant contribution to the athletic or artistic output of Canada can apply for the program.


To obtain the visa, the applicant should have at least two years’ experience in athletics or cultural activities at a world-class level. The applicant can also apply for the Canada PR visa if they are self-employed in athletics or the artistic fields over the same period.


Application Process for the Self-Employed Persons Program


The process of applying for Canada’s self-employed visa involves filling out an application form, paying the specified fees, and submitting the application. Contact our licensed immigration to Canada consultants for help in the self-employed business visa program’s application process.


Applicants have to get police certificates and give a medical exam to apply for the program. Additionally, applicants have to show that they have the required money to support themselves and the family after immigrating to Canada. The following table shows the funds required based on the number of family members.


Family Members Required Funds in C$
1 C$12,960
2 C$16,135
3 C$19,836
4 C$24,083
5 C$27,315
6 C$30,806
7 C$34,299
Additional family member C$3,492



In case of any confusion, the immigration officer will require the applicant to send additional information or attend an interview. The Program officer will ask for clarification regarding any statement in the application. The officer may also request an interview to fill gaps in the application.


If there are any notable differences in the application’s statements and the assessment officer’s remarks, the officer’s decision is final when awarding marks.


Eligibility Criteria for the Self-employed Persons Program


The federal immigration authority selects candidates for the Self-Employed Persons Program based on different criteria. The applicant can get a maximum point of 100 for meeting the selection criteria requirements. The passing mark to qualify for the Self-employed Program is 35.


The following table shows the maximum points in different eligibility criteria for the program.


Criteria Mark
Experience 35
Education 25
Language ability (English/French) 24
Age 10
Adaptability 6
Total 100




Individuals who want to immigrate based on the Self-Employed visa program must show relevant athletics or arts experience. The applicant has to meet the following experience requirements for the specified occupation.

  • Self-employed in the cultural or athletic field for at least two years
  • Participating at a world-class level in arts or sports field for at least two years
  • A combination of at least one-year of self-employed experience and one year experience in participation at a world-class level


Maximum points are awarded to individuals with five years or more relevant experience. The minimum experience requirement for the Self-Employed Persons Program in the arts and athletics field is two years.




Applicants can get points based on the educational level. Individuals holding a Masters’ or Ph.D. degree will get maximum points.


Language Competency 


The language proficiency level will determine the score in the language competency criteria. High proficiency in English or French will result in full marks.




Applicants whose age is between 21 and 29 will get maximum points. No points are awarded for individuals below 16 or above the age of 53.




Applicants can receive points based on different adaptability factors. These include spouse or common-law partner education level, previous study or work experience in Canada, and relatives in Canada.

The mark requirements and criteria change over time. Contact a licensed immigration agent to learn about the latest minimum passing marks to qualify for the Self-employed visa program.


Eligible Occupations


The following table shows the eligible cultural and athletics occupations for Canada’s Self-Employed visa program.


Occupations Codes
Librarians 5111
Conservators and Curators 5112
Archivists 5113
Authors and Writers 5121
Editors 5122
Journalists 5123
Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications 5124
Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters 5125
Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations 5131
Conductors, Composers, and Arrangers 5132
Musicians and Singers 5133
Dancers 5134
Actors and Comedians 5135
Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists 5136
Library and Public Archive Technicians 5211
Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries 5212
Photographers 5221
Film and Video Camera Operators 5222
Graphic Arts Technicians 5223
Broadcast Technicians 5224
Audio and Video Recording Technicians 5225
Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts 5226
Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts 5227
Announcers and Other Broadcasters 5231
Other Performers 5232
Graphic Designers and Illustrators 5241
Interior Designers and Interior Decorators 5242
Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers 5243
Artisans and Crafts Persons 5244
Patternmakers – Textile, Leather, and Fur Products 5245
Athletes 5251
Coaches 5252
Sports Officials and Referees 5253
Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness 5254



Post-Application Process


Inform the federal immigration authority about any changes to personal information such as family status, contact information, new certification, changes in a job, or updated language test results. Updating the federal authority in case of any changes is essential. The immigration authority may cancel the application if the investigation shows missing or wrong information.


An application’s processing time will be longer if the visa office has to carry out additional background checks or verify the information in visa offices in foreign visa offices. The processing time will also be longer in a complicated family situation, such as adopting a new child or pending custody cases.


The visa program’s decision depends on meeting the eligibility requirement, results of the medical exams, and proof of financial resources to support self and family upon arrival in Canada.


Applicants whose application is accepted will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and entry visa.


Contact our professional Canadian immigration consultants to know the options regarding the Self-Employed Farmer visa. We can assess the case and guide you through the process involved in immigrating to Canada.