These days being self-employed or a freelancer is very much in trend. Many individuals opt for this route as they intend to work for themselves, not for others. Despite the fact there isn’t any specific visa for self-employed who intend to live in Canada permanently, there are certain programs like the Self-employed Person Program,and the Self-employed Person Program,(for those who’re interested in living in Quebec). If you’re looking to move to Canada as a self-employed, you can apply either to the Self-employed Program or Quebec Self-employed Program. In this article, we’ll be taking you through the Self-employed Person Program. If you’re interested in that, keep on reading!

What is a Self-employed Program?

The Canadian Immigration launched the Self-employed Program to attract candidates who can become self-employed in Canada. This program doesn’t cover those who want to live in the province of Quebec. For that, candidates have to apply to the Quebec Self-employed Program.
The Self-employed Person Program offers permanent residence to self-employed foreign citizens with the required experience.
In order to be eligible for the Self-employed immigration program, the candidate must possess the required experience and can either-
  • Purchase a farm in Canada and manage it; or
  • Contribute to the Canadian sporting or cultural life being an athlete or artisan internationally.

Note:- With effect from 10th March 2018, new applications under the farm stream are no longer accepted.

Being self-employed, you must have the intention, ability and experience to contribute significantly to Canada’s sports or cultural life. Candidates must fulfil the eligibility criteria and obtain at least the passing marks to be considered under the Self-employed Person Program.

Who can apply for the Self-employed Program?

In order to qualify as a self-employed individual, you must:

Note:- In case your post-secondary education credential isn’t equivalent to a Canadian education credential, you have an option to get your secondary education credential evaluated. This would help you in getting points for finishing secondary school.

  • Possess relevant work experience;
  • Fulfil the program’s selection requirements;
  • Fulfil medical, security and all other conditions;
  • Be willing and capable to be a self-employed person in Canada.

Relevant work experience

For a self-employed person, relevant experience means a minimum of two years of work experience in either cultural activities or athletics.


  • 1
    At least two years as a self-employed in athletics; or
  • 2
    At least two years period participating in athletics at a world-class level; or
  • 3
    Integration of a one year time as mentioned in (1) and another one year as mentioned in (2).
Cultural activities
  • 1
    At least two years as a self-employed in cultural activities; or
  • 2
    At least two years period participating in cultural activities at a world-class level; or
  • 3
    Integration of a one year time as mentioned in (1) and another one year as mentioned in (2).

Note:- Valid relevant experience is the period that starts from five years before the day of application. Moreover, candidates can get extra points if they have three, four or five years of experience.

Program’s selection requirements


Candidates are assessed on the below-mentioned selection criteria:

  • Language proficiency
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Age
  • Adaptability

Medical, security and all other conditions

Lastly, candidates must clear a medical exam, get a police clearance certificate and fulfil any other conditions as applicable.
In addition, there are no minimum funds required under this program. But, candidates need to demonstrate they have sufficient finance to immigrate to Canada with their family.

How to apply to the Self-employed Program?


To apply to the Self-employed Program, there are three major steps as mentioned below:

Step 1: Obtain the application package

An application package is accessible to all the interested self-employed people who want to immigrate to Canada. It consists of a guide and documents checklist to ensure you’re all set. You have to use the guide to fill up the forms accurately.

Step 2: Pay the application fee

You have to pay the application fees before submitting your application. The application fee for this program consists of Business Immigration Application Fees ($1575), Right for Permanent Residence Fees ($500), biometrics fees ($85) and third-party fees (like a medical exam, language testing, police clearance certificate etc.)

Additional fees-

  • For Spouse Application Fees:$825
  • For Spouse Right of Permanent Residence Fees:$500
  • For Dependents:$225per person

Step 3: Submit the application

Your application is complete and all set to be submitted when you’ve answered all the questions asked, signed the application plus all forms, paid the processing fee, and attached all relevant supporting documents.
In case you forget something, your submitted application will be sent back to you to rectify any mistakes/errors and re-submit it. Remember, candidates need to mail the completed application to the address provided.

What is the Processing time for the Self-employed Program?

It usually takes almost 34 months to get a Canadian permanent residence visa. However, if any additional documents are required, then it can take longer too. Once your application is approved, you’ll be issued a permanent residence visa opening your gates towards Canada.
If you are interested in this program, contact Shariq Immigration today, where all of the cases are managed by experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants.