Immigrate to Canada as A Self-Employed Professional

Looking to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed individual? Learn about eligibility requirements, the application process, and other details of the self-employed persons program. Please note that the Canadian government has paused taking new applications under this program until 2026 to process the existing backlog.

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Self-Employed Professional Immigration To Canada

For those who have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and intend and can make a significant contribution to Canada’s cultural or athletic life, the Self-Employed Stream is a perfect option to immigrate. This program allows creative people and athletes to come to Canada as permanent residents. The self-employed stream aims to attract talented, self-employed individuals to contribute to Canadian cultural or athletic life and enrich Canadian society. This program is not complex as long as one meets the selection factors.

Below is a brief overview of the program. If you think you can satisfy the requirements, please contact us. Our experienced immigration lawyers will be happy to help you.

pottery artisan working in studio writing on a notepad

1. Who Can Apply for Immigration Under the Self-Employed Stream?

To qualify as a self-employed person, you must show that (i) you intend to work as a self-employed individual in Canada and that (ii) you have at least two years of experience in one of the following professions:

  • Librarians
  • Conservators and curators
  • Archivists
  • Writers, translators and related communications professionals
  • Authors
  • Editors
  • Journalists
  • Translators, terminologists and interpreters
  • Creative and performing artists
  • Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
  • Conductors, composers and arrangers
  • Musicians and singers
  • Dancers
  • Actors and comedians
  • Painters, sculptors and other visual artists
  • Technical occupations in libraries, public archives, museums and art galleries
  • Library and public archive technicians
  • Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries
  • Photographers, graphic arts technicians and technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
  • Creative designers and crafts-persons
  • Graphic designers and illustrators
  • Interior designers and interior decorators
  • Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers
  • Artisans and crafts-persons
  • Patternmakers – textile, leather and fur products
  • Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations
  • Athletes
  • Coaches
  • Sports officials and referees
  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness
  • Film and video camera operators
  • Graphic arts technicians
  • Broadcast technicians
  • Audio and video recording technicians
  • Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts
  • Announcers and other performers, n.e.c.
  • Announcers and other broadcasters
  • Other performers, n.e.c.

French e-book on reading device

2. Is knowledge of English or French language required?

No, but knowledge of English or French may add points to your application. To be successful in this program, you must earn a minimum of 35 points (out of a possible 100 points) based on the following factors:

Relevant Experience (within 5 years of application)
Maximum 35 Points
Five years’ relevant experience35
Four years’ relevant experience20
Three years’ relevant experience25
Two years’ relevant experience20
Maximum 10 Points
21 to 49 years of age at the time of application10
Deduct 2 points for each year of age over 49 or under 21
Maximum 25 Points
(Doctorate OR Master’s Degree) + 17 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies25
(3-year Trade Certificate OR LLB or Medical Degree) + 15 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies22
(Bachelor’s Degree OR 2-year Trade Certificate) + 14 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies20
(Bachelor’s Degree or 1-year Trade Certificate) + 13 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies15
1 year post-secondary + 12 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies12
Secondary school education5
Official Languages
Maximum 24 Points
High Proficiency16 pts for First Language and 8 pts for Second Language
Moderate Proficiency8 pts for First and Second Language
Basic Proficiency2 pts for First and Second Language
Maximum 6 Points
Spouse’s or common-law partner’s education3-5
Minimum one year’s full-time authorized work in Canada (applicant or spouse)5
Minimum two years’ full-time post-secondary studies in Canada (applicant or spouse)5
Family Member in Canada5
Maximum 100

person sitting on the floor reviewing her finances

3. Are there other factors that are important for this program?

Yes. There is no checklist of factors the visa officer will consider when exercising his or her discretion. You have to put forward facts showing that you can become economically established in Canada. In our experience, the key factor for a positive decision is having a solid financial record and the availability of funds to become economically established in Canada. Thus, the more money you have, the better your chances of becoming economically established in Canada. If you have significant financial assets, be sure to provide as much evidence of these assets as possible, including bank statements, investment statements, tax returns, properties, etc.

4. How long will it take to receive a permanent residence?

While the processing times vary, in our experience, it usually takes from 1 year to 2.5 years to process your application under this stream. However, the good news is that you may apply for a work permit to arrive in Canada earlier to start your business while waiting for the outcome of your permanent residence application.

5. Are there any other conditions I must satisfy once I arrive in Canada?

There are no further requirements for you or your business once you arrive as a permanent resident in Canada.

Processing Time for Self-Employed PR Applications

The processing timeline for self-employed PR applications can vary significantly based on the volume of applications, the complexity of the case, and the specific requirements of the immigration program. Generally, processing times can range from a few months to over a year.

Applicants are encouraged to provide comprehensive and accurate documentation to support their application and to respond promptly to any requests for additional information from immigration authorities to avoid delays. Keeping an eye on the official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for updated processing times can give applicants a general idea of the timeline to expect.

How to Obtain Professional Accreditation in Canada as a Foreigner?

Obtaining professional accreditation in Canada as a foreigner involves navigating the requirements set by the regulatory bodies for specific sectors, such as securities, medical, or teaching. Each profession has its regulatory authority that outlines the accreditation process, which may include credential assessments, examinations, and practical experience requirements.

Foreign professionals should contact the relevant regulatory body to understand the specific requirements and procedures for accreditation in their field. The process can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s advisable to begin well before any planned move to Canada.

How We Can Help

We are here to make your application simple. We can guide you through the application process and save you time and money by ensuring you are providing the correct information and documents to the Canadian immigration authorities. We understand what it takes to be successful in this program, so we will present your application in the best possible way to ensure a positive outcome.

What Kind of Visa Do You Get At The End?

The Self-Employed program results in a Canadian Permanent Residency for you and your immediate family members. Permanent residency is the equivalent of a US Green Card in the US. As a permanent resident in Canada, you will be protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and able to live and work anywhere you want in Canada. Permanent residency is one step below Canadian citizenship and can lead to citizenship if you live in Canada for 1095 days as a permanent resident.

Now is a great time to get started with your application, and we would be excited to help you on this journey if you qualify for this program.

Bringing You, Your Tech Talent & Your Business To Canada

Get started and make your first step towards Canada. Book your 1-hour strategy meeting with a licensed Canadian immigration lawyer.

Immigration to Canada can be very complicated for businesses, business owners, and foreign employees. Hiring business immigration lawyers with the skill, experience, and patience is often crucial to successfully navigating this complex process. The experienced professionals at Sobirovs Law Firm offer tailored legal services in all business and corporate immigration matters. Contact us for more information on how we can help you meet your immigration needs.

We have worked with & represented clients from all walks of life. Always just one call – or click – away, weʼre happy to help you begin your & your familyʼs journey to Canada.

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Our Clients Say…

Lucia Lu
Lucia Lu
I cannot say enough good things about Sobirovs Law Firm’s exceptional team. My work permit application was quite complex and underwent numerous tests, including a rejection from the first attempt. Feruza developed a tailored strategy that contributed to the best chance of success in the resubmission, and her entire team presented my case with unparalleled expertise and genuine care. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Maggie, a phenomenal consultant who supported me in every step of the application, took the time to understand my unique situation and answered all my questions patiently. Her in-depth knowledge of the work permit program, proficiency in preparing my application and professional communication were reassuring and truly remarkable. Thanks to your team’s extraordinary work, I can now pursue my business goals in Canada with peace of mind. I am grateful for your hard work and the compassionate support you provided throughout this journey. You have my highest recommendation without any reservations.
Nomin Dunburee
Nomin Dunburee
I had the pleasure of collaborating with the highly skilled professionals at Sobirovs to achieve my goals. Feruza's extensive expertise was invaluable, as she guided me through the most suitable pathway for my business immigration. I am profoundly grateful for choosing Sobirovs and highly recommend their exceptional services!
Bimal Banik
Bimal Banik
I really appreciate Sovirovs professional services ,I am truly happy and satisfied with their team work .I wish them all the best
Amirov Temur
Amirov Temur
I am happy with the help I got from Sobirov Law Firm. They were always there for me : answering my questions and giving me support through the visa application process and with general immigration related questions. They made everything easier and were quick to respond whenever I needed them. I would recommend Sobirov Law Firm to anyone needing visa assistance for Canada. I trusted them, and did not regret! Thanks for all your help! I hope for further cooperation with you.
Yuri l
Yuri l
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms. Feruza Djamalova, Ms. Judy Le and the entire team of Sobirovs Law Firm for their highly professional and excellent work in the complicated process of obtaining approval of our application for the business immigration program. I had several previous refusals over the course of 5 years. At that point, I contacted Sobirovs Law Firm. Their knowledge, competence, and perseverance turned my application into a success! My case was dealt by Feruza and Judy and I sincerely appreciate what an incredible job they have done and how much they have helped us. I believe they have a special gift and talent for assisting their clients. I want to particularly thank Judy for her patience and attention to detail in our case and also for thanks to her diligence, skill and attention to detail. I highly recommend Sobirovs Law Firm to anyone who wants to move to Canada using Business Immigration Programs and is looking for an immigration law firm capable of making a dream come true. They are highly professional and specialized in this field. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for their support.
Syed Namdaar Ali
Syed Namdaar Ali
My experience with Sobirov's was very rewarding. Starting from LMIA to Work permit it was a smooth sail. The entire team especially Yulia prepared my case painstakingly. They guided me on every little detail. Special thanks to Feroza, Farukh, Madina and the entire team for making this happen.
Bhrushank Ved
Bhrushank Ved
I had an amazing experience with the Sobirovs in applying for my C11 Work Permit. Feruza, Maggie, Judy and Yulia planned every step of the way and made the process a breeze. Benjamin was also quite knowledgeable and assisted me with the business plan for my application. I recommend Sobirovs team if you plan to expand your existing business or start a new business in Canada. Highly recommended!
Senol Ercetin
Senol Ercetin
Dear Sobirovs Team, I would like to thank you (Yulia, Faruk, Feruza, Madina) for taking care of us closely in obtaining the necessary work permits for the establishment of the Canadian branch of our company and the necessary visas for our family. You have carried out a flawless process. With sincere regards
Rakesh Shrivastava
Rakesh Shrivastava
I had a great experience working with the Sobirov Law Firm. The entire team was professional, prompt, and meticulous in their approach. We started working with them on LMIA under GTS of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The time it took from creation of an Incorporation to submission and approval of our application was around 8 weeks. Work Permit approval took another 2 weeks. They also helped us get shared office space since it was a new experience for us. They guided us in finding a payroll service provider and a realtor to help with the relocation of the foreign employee. My sincere thanks to Feruza Djamalova and Rakhmad Sobirov (Attorneys), and Yulia Kan (Team Lead).


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