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Immigrate to Canada as a Self Employed Person

Self-employed Persons Program is a tailor-made option for those persons who intend to immigrate permanently to Canada and had the ability to work as self-employed.

In order to be eligible to the program, applicants must meet the definition of a self-employed person, that is they have a relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics, and intend to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.

The Self-employed Persons Program allows successful applicants to immigrate to Canada with permanent residency. There are three main requirements for this program, which are set out below respectively.

  1. Relevant Experience as a Self-Employed Person

Self-employed persons who intend to work as a self-employed individual in Canada must have at least 2 years of experience in the last 5 years preceding the application date in one of the following areas:

  1. At least two-year experience of participation in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level;
  2. At least two-year experience of self-employment in cultural activities or athletics; or
  3. A combination of one year experience of participation described in (a), and one year experience of self-employment described in (b).


The followings are the qualifying occupations for self-employed persons:

Professional Occupations

Technical and Skilled Occupations

NOC 5111


NOC 5211

Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants

NOC 5112

Conservator and Curator

NOC 5212

Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries

NOC 5113


NOC 5221


NOC 5121


NOC 5222

Film and Video Camera Operator

NOC 5122


NOC 5223

Graphic Arts Technician

NOC 5123


NOC 5224

Broadcast Technician

NOC 5124

Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications

NOC 5225

Audio and Video Recording Technician

NOC 5125

Translator, Terminologist and Interpreter

NOC 5226

Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts

NOC 5131

Producer, Director, Choreographer and Related Occupations

NOC 5227

Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts

NOC 5132

Conductor, Composer and Arranger

NOC 5231

Announcer and Other Broadcasters

NOC 5133

Musician and Singer

NOC 5232

Other Performers

NOC 5134


NOC 5241

Graphic Designer and Illustrator

NOC 5135

Actor and Comedian

NOC 5242

Interior Designer

NOC 5136

Painter, Sculptor and Other Visual Artists

NOC 5243

Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers



NOC 5244

Artisan and Craftsperson



NOC 5245

Patternmakers – Textile, Leather and Fur Products



NOC 5251




NOC 5252




NOC 5253

Sports Officials and Referees



NOC 5254

Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness

  1. Meet the Selection Criteria

Self-employed applicants who meet the relevant experience requirement will be assessed according to the selection criteria listed below. Applicants must get a minimum of 35 points out of 100 points to be able to apply.

However, achieving the minimum score of 35 points does not per se guarantee a positive result. The minimum score is only the eligibility requirement.


Selection Criteria

Maximum Points







Ability in French and/or English







  1. Medical Examination and Police Certificate

Medical examination and police checks are the standard procedure for all permanent residence candidates to Canada. this requirement is pertaining to criminal and medical admissibility. Applicants and their family members must undergo medical exams.

They must also provide police certificates for the security risk assessment from countries where they have lived for more than six months in the last five years or since they turn 18 years old, whichever is more recent.

Adequate Settlement Funds and Business Plan

Applicants must demonstrate that they can get economically established in Canada and work as a self-employed person. At the time of the application, applicants must submit financial documents showing that they have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their immediate family members after they arrived in Canada.

Having significant financial assets will increase the chances of achieving permanent residency under this program. A robust business plan will also show the applicant’s interest in performing as a self-employed person in Canada

After You Apply

While processing times for the Self-Employed Persons Program may vary according to the specific circumstances of each application, it may take up to 24 months to complete the processing of a Self-Employed Persons Program. Applicants can avoid delays in processing times by completely submitting all required documents and information on time.

Applications will be assessed based on the following grounds: (i) whether applicants qualify as self-employed persons: (ii) whether they achieve the minimum score on the scale of the selection criteria; (iii) whether they have sufficient settlement funds; (v) any other supporting documentation they submitted.

The results of their medical exam and the content of their police certificates would play a role in applicants’ admissibility to Canada as permanent resident.

Successful applicants and their immediate family members become a permanent resident of Canada. Permanent residents can apply for Canadian citizenship provided that they proved that they have resided as permanent resident in Canada for 1095 days in the relevant five-year period.

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