Federal Self-Employed

Federal Self-Employed Program

Self-employed professional athletes or individuals in the arts and culture industry who can prove that they have the potential to be gainfully self-employed in Canada are eligible for a business immigration visa, provided they meet the selection criteria for the Federal Self-Employed Persons Program.

To qualify for business immigration to Canada under the Self-employed Program, an applicant must demonstrate that they have the relevant artistic or athletic experience that has allowed them to be self-employed while living in their country of origin. The candidate must furthermore be able to make a reasonably significant contribution to one of these two fields through their relevant experience and skills in Canada in order to be successful in their application.


Painters Sports coaches
Dancers Athletes
Journalists Referees
Writers Program leaders

To immigrate as a self-employed person, you must:

  • have relevant experience
  • be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada
  • meet the program’s selection criteria and
  • meet medical, security and other conditions

The National Occupation Classification of Canada has a complete list of all the careers types that fall under these three categories which, for the most part, there is no exception to.

Federal Self-Employed Program Requirements

At least two years of relevant work experience in the applicant’s professional industry are required within the five years that precede their business immigration application. Professional athletes and individuals in the arts and culture industry must either provide proof of:

  • Two years of being self-employed within their industry, or
  • Two years of participating at a world-class level within their domain, or
  • A combination of one year of each of the above.

All those applying to the Federal Self-Employed Program must intend to settle in any Canadian province or territory with the exception of Quebec, who has its own self-employed immigration program.

Selection Criteria for Federal Self-Employed Program

In addition to meeting the experience requirements, applicants will also be graded on a point system to better assess their eligibility for a Self-Employed Visa.

Applicants are awarded points for their education (25), experience (35), age (10), language proficiencies (24), and adaptability (6), for a total score of 100 points. Successful candidates will have a minimum passing score of 35, that is subject to change. Candidates will be selected based on their scores for each category, the documents they provide with their application, and whether or not they meet the standards of a self-employed person in Canada.

Medical, security checks and other requirements

You and your family members must have a medical exam and get police certificates.
You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada.

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