Self-Employed Individuals Immigrating to Canada

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Self-Employed Individual

Any individual that would like to immigrate to Canada to establish a business that contributes to the Canadian economy may do so under the self-employed category. The self-employed category ultimately leads to permanent residency in Canada, of course if the applicant is successful in satisfying an Immigration officer that they have the ability and experience to establish a business within Canada. Therefore, in this article, I will address who is eligible to apply under this category, how to apply under the self-employed category and other important information about this specific category.

Am I Eligible to be Self-Employed

Immigration Canada has very specific requirements and qualifications for individuals who are applying under the self-employed category in Immigration. They define a self-employed person as an individual who has relevant experience; intends and has the ability to be self-employed in Canada; meets the selection criteria for self-employed individuals; and, meets the medical, security, and other important conditions. Below, I will explain what each of these criteria means.

Relevant Experience

In order for your past experience to be relevant in Canada, you must demonstrate and have taken part in cultural activities and/or athletics at a world-class level; or, have experience in managing a farm; or, been self-employed in cultural activities or athletics. The individual must also have a minimum relevant experience of two years.

Intention & Ability to be Self-Employed in Canada

When immigrating to Canada, it is important that you establish and prove to the Immigration officer that you have every intention of establishing your business in Canada. Furthermore, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds allocated to do so successfully.

Selection Criteria for Self-Employed Individuals

While assessing your eligibility under this category, an Immigration officer will use selection criteria to review your overall eligibility. The selection criteria include your past experience, your education credentials, your age, your adaptability, and lastly your language abilities. All of these factors are very important to analyze as they will ultimately determine whether you will be able to successfully sustain your business in Canada.

Medical, Security & Other Requirements

In order to apply under the self-employed category, one must undergo a medical exam and retrieve police clearance certificates. As aforementioned, another very important aspect is to prove and demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any other family members who will join you while in Canada.

How to Qualify based on Selection Factors

It is very important to note that in order to successfully qualify as a self-employed individual you must encompass the definition of a self-employed person as per the definition aforementioned. Additionally, you must also receive a minimum of 35 points based on the point system below, after the Immigration officer assessed and grades you based on the five selection criteria/point system.

Education 25
Experience 35
Age 10
Language Ability (English and/or French) 24
Adaptability 6


Therefore, as long as you can calculate a minimum of 35 points under this selection criteria/point system, you will be eligible under the self-employed category. However, the more points you can acquire, the better.

How to Apply under the Self-Employed Category

Similar to any other Immigration application, the application process under the self-employed category includes providing Immigration with appropriate documentation and important information. As a self-employed individual you must also diligently fill out and complete the appropriate forms for this type of application. There are specific required documents that you must submit. Below is a list of the specific documentation:

  • Proof of your education credentials (such as, diplomas, degrees, certificates, & transcripts)
  • Language proficiency test results (such as, IELTS, CELPIP, and/or TEF)
  • Proof of relevant experience from the past 5 years
  • Proof of adaptability (such as, proof of your relationship to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada)
  • Travel documents & passports
  • Police certificates & clearances
  • Identity & civil status documents (such as, birth certificates & marriage certificates)
  • Children’s documents (if applicable) (such as, birth certificates & proof of studies)
  • 2 passport photos

In order to successfully apply under the self-employed category, you must provide Immigration with all of the aforementioned documentation. Keep in mind, if any of the mentioned documents are in any other language, they must be certified and translated into English or French. These are the official languages of Canada and thus an Immigration officer is not authorized to read or analyze any document in any other language.

Important Information to Know as a Self-Employed Individual

Self-employed individuals are fortunate in that they are able to apply for permanent residency in Canada, so long as they can successfully demonstrate to an Immigration officer that they will make a significant contribution to Canadian society through their business. Moreover, the application process under the self-employed category can seem complicated as you must prove a lot of subjective factors, such as your intentions and your future plans within Canada. Many clients feel confused as to how they can prove this and often get flustered with what kind of documentation they can provide to prove this accurately. At Akrami & Associates, we can definitely assist you with what documentation you can provide in order to make your application as strong as possible.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned important information in consideration prior to applying under the self-employed category of Immigration. Applying under this category can be an extremely complicated task to accomplish on your own; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients become permanent residents under the self-employed category. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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