The Immigration Program for Self-Employed Persons in Canada

What is Canada's Self-Employed Program?

Canada’s Self-Employed Program is an immigration scheme for individuals who have relevant experience in cultural activities, or athletics to immigrate to Canada as self-employed individuals. This program is designed for individuals who want to establish themselves in Canada and contribute to the cultural, artistic, or agricultural sectors of the country.
To be eligible for the Self-Employed Program, applicants need to show that they have relevant experience in one of the designated fields, have the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada, and meet the program’s selection criteria. Successful applicants under this program may be given permanent residency in Canada.

What is Canada's Self-Employed Program

In the Self-Employed Program of Canada, who is Eligible to Apply?

In the Self-Employed Program of Canada, individuals who are eligible to apply are those who have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and wish to become self-employed in Canada in those fields. Applicants must prove that they have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics that will authorize them to make a considerable contribution to the cultural or athletic sector of Canada. Applicants need to also meet the eligibility criteria determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which may include factors like language proficiency, financial resources, and the ability to establish themselves in Canada. It is crucial for potential applicants to carefully review the specific requirements and instructions provided by IRCC before applying to the Self-Employed Program.

Selection Criteria for Self-Employed Persons

The selection criteria for self-employed persons applying for immigration to Canada usually include factors like:
Selection Criteria for Self Employed Persons

Relevant Experience

Applicants are required to have relevant experience in the field they want to be self-employed in. This experience is typically evaluated according to the applicant’s previous work history, qualifications, and achievements in their field.

Business Plan

Applicants must typically submit a detailed business plan outlining their intended self-employment venture in Canada. The plan should show the viability and potential success of the business.


Applicants may be evaluated on their ability to adapt to the Canadian business environment and integrate into Canadian society. Factors like language proficiency, education, and previous experience in Canada may be considered.

Contribution to the Economy

Applicants need to show how their self-employment venture will contribute to the Canadian economy, create jobs for Canadians, or improve the cultural or artistic landscape of Canada.

Financial Resources

Applicants must have adequate financial resources to establish and preserve their self-employment venture in Canada. This may involve proof of funds, investment capital, or access to financing.


You will be granted selection points according to your age at the time when the visa office receives your application.

Language proficiency

Your proficiency in English or French is one of the eligibility criteria. You’ll be given up to 24 points for your basic, intermediate, or superior proficiency in English and French. You’ll be awarded points according to your ability to use determined languages.


technical and co_ordinating jobs in the field of motion pictures, performing arts and broadcasting

Eligible Occupations under the Self-Employed Persons Program

The Self-Employed Persons Program in Canada is designed for individuals who have relevant work experience in cultural activities or athletics and who want to become self-employed in Canada. Eligible occupations under this program may involve, but are not limited to:

Professional Occupations in Art and Culture


Conservators and Curators


Authors and Writers



Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications
Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters
Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations
Conductors, Composers and Arrangers
Musicians and Singers
Actors and Comedians
Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists

Technical and Skilled Occupations

Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants

Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries


Film and Video Camera Operators

Graphic Arts Technicians

Broadcast Technicians

Audio and Video Recording Technicians
Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts
Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts
Announcers and Other Broadcasters
Other Performers
Graphic Designers and Illustrators
Interior Designers
Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers
Artisans and Craftspersons
Patternmakers – Textile, Leather and Fur Products
Sports Officials and Referees
Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness
invitation to apply for provincial nominee programs

Application Processing Time for Self-Employed Program

The processing time for the Self-Employed program in Canada can vary based on different factors, such as the number of applications, the completeness of the application, and the specific circumstances of the applicant. The estimated processing time for the Self-Employed program is roughly 50 months.

It is essential to know that this is just an estimate and actual processing times may vary. Applicants are required to regularly check the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for updates on processing times and to make sure that all necessary documentation is submitted accurately to avoid delays in the processing of their application.