Self-Employed Program

Independent international professional athletes or individuals in the arts and culture industry who can demonstrate that they have the potential to pursue gainful employment in Canada are eligible for a business immigration visa provided they meet the eligibility criteria for the Federal Self-Employment Program.

Compared to other business immigration streams, where applicants are required to invest a sum of their own funds in a business or government or acquire funds from a private organization, eligible applicants are only asked to provide evidence of experience in their industry which is proof of their claims to be successfully self-employed.

Federal Self-Employed Program Requirements

In the five years before to submitting an application for business immigration, the candidate must have at least two years of relevant work experience in their field of expertise. Professional athletes and members of the arts and culture must demonstrate;

  • either two years of self-employment in their industry
  • two years of involvement at the highest level possible
  • or a one-year combination of all three

Except for Quebec, which has its own self-employment program, applicants to the federal self-employment program must have the intention of settling in any province or territory of Canada.

Self-Employment Program Selection Criteria

The applicants' eligibility for a self-employed visa is determined in part by whether they satisfy the experience requirements and in part by how well they score on a points system. The main factors which determine applicant scores for the Self-Employment Program from the total score of 100 points are as follows:

  • Education (25)
  • Experience (35)
  • Age (10)
  • Language proficiencies (24)
  • Adaptability (6)

A minimum passing score of 35, which is subject to change, is required for candidates to be chosen as a winner. Candidates will be chosen based on their scores in each area, the supporting documentation they submit with their applications, and whether or not they satisfy the requirements for Canadian self-employed status.