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Immigrating to Canada as a Self-Employed Professional

Canada, known for its diverse culture and welcoming immigration policies, offers a unique pathway for self-employed professionals looking to settle in the country. The Self-Employed Persons Program is designed specifically for those who have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and are willing to make a significant contribution to Canada's cultural or athletic life.

1. Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Self-Employed Persons Program, you must:

  • Have at least two years of relevant experience in your field.

  • Demonstrate an intention and ability to establish a business that will, at a minimum, create an employment opportunity for yourself.

  • Score a minimum of 35 points on a selection grid that considers age, education, experience, language ability, and adaptability.

Relevant Experience: Your experience is relevant if you have:

  • Taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level.

  • Been self-employed in cultural activities or athletics.

2. Application Process

  1. Determine Eligibility: Before applying, ensure you meet the criteria mentioned above.

  2. Gather Documents: This includes identity documents, proof of work experience, language test results, and others.

  3. Submit Application: Complete the application package and pay the processing fee.

  4. Wait for Decision: Your application will be reviewed, and you may be asked for an interview.

  5. Pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee: Once approved, you'll need to pay this fee before becoming a permanent resident.

3. Benefits

  • Permanent Residency: Enjoy most of the social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care.

  • Citizenship: After living in Canada for three years, you can apply for citizenship.

  • Protection: You're protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

4. Important Considerations

  • Medical Examination: You and your family members must pass a medical exam.

  • Criminal Record: You must provide a police certificate for every country you've lived in for 6 months or more since the age of 18.

5. References and Links

  1. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): Official website with detailed information on all immigration programs.

  2. Self-Employed Persons Program Guide: Comprehensive guide on the Self-Employed Persons Program.

  3. Canadian Immigration Selection Factors: Understand how points are awarded in the selection grid.

Who Can Apply Under the Self-Employed Stream?

To qualify as a self-employed person, you must show that (i) you intend to work as a self-employed individual in Canada and that (ii) you have at least two years of experience in one of the following professions:


Conservators and curators


Writers, translators and related communications professionals




Translators, terminologists and interpreters

Creative and performing artists

Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

Conductors, composers and arrangers

Musicians and singers


Actors and comedians

Painters, sculptors and other visual artists

Technical occupations in libraries, public archives, museums and art galleries

Library and public archive technicians

Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries

Photographers, graphic arts technicians and technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts

Creative designers and crafts-persons

Graphic designers and illustrators

Interior designers and interior decorators

Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers

Artisans and crafts-persons

Patternmakers – textile, leather and fur products

Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations



Sports officials and referees

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

Film and video camera operators

Graphic arts technicians

Broadcast technicians

Audio and video recording technicians

Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts

Announcers and other performers, n.e.c.

Announcers and other broadcasters

Other performers, n.e.c.


Canada's Self-Employed Persons Program offers a golden opportunity for professionals in cultural and athletic fields to make Canada their home. With its clear criteria and benefits, it's an attractive option for those looking to contribute to Canadian society while enjoying the privileges of living in one of the world's most sought-after destinations.

Note: Always consult with an immigration attorney or the official IRCC website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

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