To qualify for business immigration to Canada under the Self-employed Program, an applicant must demonstrate that they have the relevant artistic or athletic experience that has allowed them to be self-employed while living in their country of origin. The candidate must furthermore be able to make a reasonably significant contribution to one of these fields through their relevant experience and skills in Canada in order to be successful in their application. The National Occupation Classification of Canada has a complete list of all the career types that fall under these two categories which, for the most part, there is no exception to.



  • Painter
  • Dancer
  • Journalist
  • Writer
  • Musician
  • Designer


  • Sport Coach
  • Athlete
  • Referee
  • Program leaders


We have only outlined a broad understanding of the type of work that is relevant under each category but if you have any queries as to whether or not your title falls under one of these, you can sign up so that we can do an assessment for you, giving you the best advice about which program is right for you. With the help of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs), you are in a better position to strengthen your profile, gain expert insights into the immigration process and get chosen as one of the successful applicants. These knowledgeable professionals know all about Canadian immigration policy as well as how the over 70 different immigration programs work. This means they can tell you exactly what aspects to build up as well as what requirements you need to complete before moving on to the next stage of the program. If the Self Employment Program in Canada is not for you, we can also help you find the right program that does suit your background.

When you apply for the program, you'll need to meet the criteria stated below in order to receive points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). These points are then added to create a score for your online profile which you created when you applied. This total score competes against other scores for until there is a draw from the pool of candidates. These candidates will then receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada. Remember that your score can always be updated throughout the process as you gain recommendations, new skills, or qualifications.


The Self Employment Program in Canada uses very specific criteria to measure your chances of being selected for immigration. As mentioned before, you need to accumulate points which ultimately total to give you a profile score. The more boxes you check, the better your score, and the better your chances are of being drawn from the pool of candidates who apply. If you don’t currently meet the requirements, don’t give up hope. We can give you guidance on where and how to grow your skill-set, ability, and qualifications in order to meet the standards for immigration.


Work Experience  At least two years experience in your field (points up to five years)
Education Relevant tertiary or skills qualification in your field
Age Ideally between the ages of 18 and 35
Language Skills Proficient in Canada's official languages (basic, moderate, high)
Adaptability How easy it would be to assimilate into Canadian society


Factors that are scored include your age (and the age of your spouse) because younger candidates are preferred as they can contribute to the economy for a longer period of time. However, this doesn’t mean that older candidates cannot apply, it will simply mean that you receive less or no points under this category.

The number of years of experience that you are bringing to the field is important and the more years the better. In a field such as athletics, having been an athlete on an internationally competitive level also counts towards experience. This can be applied to other self-employment streams where you have achieved something or earned a globally recognized award for that profession. Another aspect of this is the nature and duration of your respective professional training which can include practical skills gained while working in that field.

Your education level (tertiary or other training programs) are important for proving you are qualified in the field you have chosen to pursue, especially if you are younger and perhaps lack significant experience. In terms of language skills, you would do well to gain proficiency in both French and English, which are major languages spoken throughout Canada.

The last aspect to be aware of is adaptability which looks at the likelihood that you will be successful in terms of cultural immersion. This is very important because ultimately Canada is a diverse multicultural country made up of a lot of international ex-pat communities but together they work cohesively to run a strong economy and further a rich cultural history. Criteria for this has to do with how long you may have already worked in Canada, your spouse or partner's education level, whether or not you have studied in Canada and what family connections you have in the country.



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