Immigrating to Canada as a Self-Employed Person

For those who have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics, and intend and are able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada, 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 purpose of the self-employed stream is to attract talented, self-employed individuals to contribute to Canadian cultural or athletic life and enrich Canadian society as a whole. This program is not difficult as long as one meets the selection factors.

Here is a brief overview of the program and if you think you can satisfy the requirements below, please get in touch with us. Our experienced immigration lawyers will be happy to help you.

  1. Who Can Apply 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 2 years of experience in one of the following professions:

  • Librarians
  • Conservators and curators
  • Archivists
  • Writing, translating and related communications professionals
  • Authors and writers
  • 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
  • Photographers
  • 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, photography and the performing arts
  • Announcers and other performers, n.e.c.
  • Announcers and other broadcasters
  • Other performers, n.e.c.


  1. Is knowledge of English or French languages required?

No, but knowledge of English or French may add points to your application. In order 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 experience 35
Four years’ relevant experience 30
Three years’ relevant experience 25
Two years’ relevant experience 20
Age Maximum 10 Points
21 to 49 years of age at the time of application 10
Deduct 2 points for each year of age over 49 or under 21
Education Maximum 25 Points
(Doctorate OR Master’s Degree) + 17 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies 25
(3-year Trade Certificate OR LLB or Medical Degree) + 15 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies 22
(Bachelor’s Degree OR 2-year Trade Certificate) + 14 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies 20
(Bachelor’s Degree or 1-year Trade Certificate) + 13 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies 15
1 year post-secondary + 12 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies 12
Secondary school education 5
Official Languages Maximum 24 Points
High Proficiency 16 pts for First Language and 8 pts for Second Language
Moderate Proficiency 8 pts for First and Second Language
Basic Proficiency 2 pts First and Second Language
Adaptability Maximum 6 Points
Spouse’s or common-law partner’s education 3-5
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 Canada 5
TOTAL Maximum of 100


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

Yes. There is no checklist of factors that the visa officer will consider when exercising his or her discretion. You have to put forward facts that you believe show that you can become economically established in Canada. In our experience, the key factor for a positive decision is having solid financial record and 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 you can, including bank statements, investment statements, tax returns, properties and so forth.

  1. 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.

  1. Are there any further conditions I have to satisfy once I arrive in Canada?

No, there are no further requirements on you or your business once you arrive in Canada as a permanent resident.


We are here to make your application for Canadian immigration simple. We can guide you through the application process and save you time and money by making sure that 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.


The end result of the Self-Employed program is 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 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.

Please get in touch with us to start your immigration process.

About the Author:

Sobirovs Law Firm
Sobirovs Law is a new generation law firm that merges the latest technology with traditional excellence in legal services. We focus on immigration law and business law practices and feel honored to serve Canada’s multinational community. Fluent in several languages, our lawyers truly reflect this community and make up a dedicated team of legal advisors who focus on delivering tailored solutions to each client’s legal matters. We have diverse client base: from investors and multinational corporations looking for business opportunities in Canada or relocating corporate management teams to Canada, to individuals hoping to settle in Canada. All our clients have one thing in common: they all work hard to succeed, and we share that passion with them. Whether it is a simple advice for an individual client or a complex international transaction for a business client, we provide cost-effective and pragmatic legal services that exceed client’s expectations. We believe that your success is our success. Because we care.

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