Self Employed Stream

This page covers the process of immigrating to Canada as a self-employed person. The Self-Employed Persons Program allows people to immigrate to Canada, permanently, as a self-employed person. To be eligible, you must have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics, and be willing to contribute to these fields in Canada. This article will outline the eligibility criteria, the point-based selection criteria, and the application process.


Who is Eligible?

To be eligible, you must be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada. A self-employed person is defined as an immigrant admitted to Canada, because they have relevant work experience in working for himself or herself. The immigrant must intend and be able to become self-employed in Canada, in the field of arts and cultural activities or athletics.

You must have relevant experience in athletics or cultural activities. Your experience is relevant if you have:

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

- Been self-employed in either cultural activities or athletics

- Have two years experience in either cultural activities or athletics

- Your experience was a maximum of 5 years before the day you applied, and ends the day a decision is made on your application

- If you have 3, 4, 5 or more years of experience you will have a higher chance of being selected

For cultural activities, at a minimum, your experience must be:

- 2 one-year periods of being self-employed in cultural activities

- 2 one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities

- A combination of the above – a one-year period of being self-employed, and a one-year period of participating at a world-class level in cultural activities

For athletics, your experience must be a minimum of:

- 2 one-year periods of being self-employed in athletics

- 2 one-year periods participating at a world class level in athletics

- A mixture of the above


Selection Criteria: Points-based System

The Canadian Immigration authority will assess you on a range of selection criteria. The selection process for a self-employed person to come to Canada is based on a points system. The more years of experience you have, the more points you will have to begin with. You will then be assessed on:

- Experience

- Education

- Age

- Language abilities

- Adaptability

The maximum possible score is 100, and the pass mark is at 35 points currently. This is subject to change – check the Canadian immigration site regularly to ensure that the selection criteria pass mark has not changed.


Application Process

1. To apply, download and complete the application form [Generic Application Form for Canada IMM 088]. Click ‘validate’ when you are finished, and any fields you have missed out will be outlined in red. Ensure you have completed all fields, and include all pages in your completed application, and have signed and dated where applicable. 

2. You may then gather the documents listed in the Documents Checklist in the application. Include everything that is required, or your application will be listed as incomplete and returned without processing. 

3. Then, you can pay your application fees and submit your application. Send your application to the centre listed in the instruction guide. 

You must complete a medical exam and obtain police certificates. You must ensure that you pass the medical exam – you may be medically inadmissible for a number of reasons. Your police certificates prove that you do not have a criminal record. It can either be a statement from your police or your current criminal record. 

You must also demonstrate that you have the money necessary to support yourself and your family in Canada. 

In most cases, you will need to give your biometrics (photo) and fingerprints after applying. You must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application, and you will then receive a letter telling you where to go and give your biometrics. You can only do this in person, so be sure to book an appointment where this service is offered – this is called a collection point. 

Candidates are selected based on their eligibility and score they achieve on the selection criteria. You may be interviewed as part of the selection process. The interview will usually be to explain any information that is unclear, inconsistent, or if there are gaps or problems in the documents you provided. If there is a discrepancy between your statement of qualifications and the visa officer’s assessment, points will be based on the interview’s decision.

All of your answers on your application must be complete and true. If the Canadian immigration authority discovers that you misrepresented yourself by giving untrue information, or deliberately omitting important information, your application can be refused. You may also be barred from Canada for 5 years. 

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