Immigration Canada and Self-Employed Persons

Posted in Self-Employed Immigration

Currently in Canada the Entrepreneur category and Investor category of permanent residence is closed and will no longer accepting such applications. However, the self-employed category remains open for those who wish to establish a business in Canada.

This category leads to permanent resident status in Canada should the applicant be successful in satisfying an officer that have sufficient experience and ability to establish a business at will.

For the purposes of immigration, a self-employed person is a foreign national who:

  • has relevant experience,
  • intends and is able to be self-employed in Canada, and
  • can contribute to Canada’s economy in one of the required areas.

Relevant experience for a self-employed person means at least two years of experience of experience in their intended business in Canada.

You will also need to take part in specified economic activies. These activies for self-employed individuals are selected by the province and decided by the laws of the province.

Specified economic activities for a self-employed person, means:

  • cultural activities,
  • athletics, or
  • buying and managing a farm.

This also means that for your experience to be considered relevant it must have:

  • taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level,
  • been self-employed in cultural activities or athletics, or
  • experience in managing a farm.

Below is the list of occupations and their associated national occupational classification codes. Your intended activity in Canada will need to be on this list:

Professional occupations in art and culture

511 Librarians, archivists, conservators and curators

5111 Librarians

5112 Conservators and curators

5113 Archivists

512 Writing, translating and related communications professionals

5121 Authors and writers

5122 Editors

5123 Journalists

5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters

513 Creative and performing artists

5131 Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

5132 Conductors, composers and arrangers

5133 Musicians and singers

5134 Dancers

5135 Actors and comedians

5136 Painters, sculptors and other visual artists

Technical occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport

521 Technical occupations in libraries, public archives, museums and art galleries

5211 Library and public archive technicians

5212 Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries

522 Photographers, graphic arts technicians and technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts

5221 Photographers

5222 Film and video camera operators

5223 Graphic arts technicians

5224 Broadcast technicians

5225 Audio and video recording technicians

5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts

5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts

523 Announcers and other performers, n.e.c.

5231 Announcers and other broadcasters

5232 Other performers, n.e.c.

524 Creative designers and craftspersons

5241 Graphic designers and illustrators

5242 Interior designers and interior decorators

5243 Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers

5244 Artisans and craftspersons

5245 Patternmakers - textile, leather and fur products

525 Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations

5251 Athletes

5252 Coaches

5253 Sports officials and referees

5254 Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

Things to Know about Applying as a Self Employed Individual

As a self-employed individual you can apply for permanent resident status based on your ability to demonstrate that you will make significant contribution to Canadian culture or athletics or if it is your intention to purchase and manage a farm.

The Self Employed category is a very complicated application as you will need to demonstrate intentions as well as your future plans in Canada.

Our clients who have applied for this category struggle with what documentation they could provide to demonstrate this. Typically, we assist them in producing a business plan that would satisfy an officer of their intentions. Further, use proof of previous work or completed projects as an indication of what an officer can expect them to produce in Canada.

This category will be assessed against 5 selection factors:

Selection factors


Factor 1: Business experience

Maximum 35 points

Factor 2: Age

Maximum 10 points

Factor 3: Education

Maximum 25 points

Factor 4: Ability in English and/or French

Maximum 24 points

Factor 5: Adaptability

Maximum 6 points


Maximum 100 points

A pass mark of 35 points is required as the minimum in order to be considered eligible.

Further, if you wish to be awarded points for your proficiency in English and/or French, you must submit language test results from a designated testing agency with your application.

You must include the results of one of the following language tests from a testing agency designated by CIC:


  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (General Training test only)
  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (General test only)


  • TEF: Test d’évaluation de français

Tags: Self-Employed Immigration Business Immigration Canadian Permanent Residence

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