Self-Employed Program

Program Overview

  • The purpose of the program is to allow applicants in a “cultural” occupation to immigrate to Canada. Only certain occupations are eligible under this program, including:
    • Athletes and coaches
    • Artists (music, fine art, actors, authors, etc.)
    • Technical occupations like screenwriters and directors
  • The applicant is expected to show in their application two main things:
    • That they have relevant and ongoing experience in an eligible occupation, and
    • That they can contribute significantly to Canada’s culture with their self-employment in Canada upon approval of their application.
  • Processing time is unfortunately quite long for this specific program, as it is somewhat on the lower end of priority for IRCC to process. Current listed processing time at July 2022 is 42 months.

Program Requirements

  1. Score at least 35 points out of 100 in an eligibility points grid. This is generally a very easy threshold to pass. For example, simply having the minimum required experience already gives the candidate 30 out of 35 points.
  2. The candidate must have at least 2 full-time years of relevant experience done within the last 5 years, ongoing during processing of the application.
    • “Relevant experience” means: working in a cultural or athletic occupation at a “world-class” level, or be self-employed in a cultural or athletic activity.
    • In other words, the candidate can be employed by an organization but only if they work in their position at a “world-class” level, or they can be self-employed in the same occupation and do not need to be at a world-class level.
    • The candidate must be able to show evidence of at least two full-time years of work experience done within the last five years. For example:
      • If they were self-employed, show business ownership documents, contracts and reference letters from clients showing dates and hours of work, etc.
      • If they participated at a “world-class” level, proof of year-round participation in and training for international events.
  3. Have a plan to show how the candidate can contribute to Canada’s culture and economy through their self-employment related to their occupation. An example of this could be a comprehensive business plan outlining how a world-famous artist will open an art school to teach their methods.

Application Process

  1. Prepare documents and application forms, taking care to provide adequate evidence which shows relevant work experience and ability to contribute to Canada’s culture and economy.
  2. Submit the application for processing. Current processing time is listed at 41 months.
  3. During processing, the applicant may come to Canada to begin to establish their business, but they must do so independently of the processing of the PR application. In other words, the PR application does not give the applicant any special status in Canada during processing.
  4. Upon approval, the applicant will land directly as a PR in Canada, and receive their PR card soon after arriving.