Self-employed Program

Self-employed person means a foreign national who:

  • has relevant experience,
  • intends and is able to be self-employed in Canada, and
  • can contribute to Canada’s economy in one of the required areas.

Relevant experience:  Experience is relevant if a candidate has taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level or has been a self-employed person in cultural activities or athletics. “World-class” means a person who is famous internationally. It also applies to persons who may not be popular worldwide but perform at the highest levels in their discipline.

Selection Criteria for Self-Employed Persons

There is a selection grid to assess whether a candidate will be able to make an economic contribution to Canada. A candidate is required to score at least 35 points out of 100 points to meet the minimum eligibility criteria under the following factors:


Education                    25
Experience                    35
Age                    10
Ability in English and/or French                    24
Adaptability                      6
TOTAL                 100


Eligible Occupations under Self-Employed Persons Program

Professional occupations in art and culture (Major Group 51 of NOC):

511 Librarians, archivists, conservators and curators

  • 5111 Librarians
  • 5112 Conservators and curators
  • 5113 Archivists

512 Writing, translating and related communications professionals

  • 5121 Authors and writers
  • 5122 Editors
  • 5123 Journalists
  • 5125 Translators, terminologists, and interpreters

513 Creative and performing artists

  • 5131 Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
  • 5132 Conductors, composers, and arrangers
  • 5133 Musicians and singers
  • 5134 Dancers
  • 5135 Actors and comedians
  • 5136 Painters, sculptors, and other visual artists

Technical occupations in art, culture, recreation, and sport (Major Group 52):

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

  • 5211 Library and public archive technicians
  • 5212 Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries

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

  • 5221 Photographers
  • 5222 Film and video camera operators
  • 5223 Graphic arts technicians
  • 5224 Broadcast technicians
  • 5225 Audio and video recording technicians
  • 5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, and the performing arts
  • 5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts

523 Announcers and other performers, n.e.c.

  • 5231 Announcers and other broadcasters
  • 5232 Other performers, n.e.c.

524 Creative designers and craftspersons

  • 5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
  • 5242 Interior designers and interior decorators
  • 5243 Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers
  • 5244 Artisans and craftsperson’s
  • 5245 Patternmakers – textile, leather and fur products

525 Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations

  • 5251 Athletes
  • 5252 Coaches
  • 5253 Sports officials and referees
  • 5254 Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport, and fitness


The province of Quebec runs its own business immigration program, which includes the Self-Employed Worker program. If you want to live in Quebec, please visit the Quebec immigration section.

 If you would like to know more about Self-Employed Persons Program, you may call +1-647-936-8525 or email, complete a free assessment form or message us using the contact form below.