Self-Employed Persons Program
Jul. 20, 2022

Are you eligible for the Self-Employed Persons Program?

Are you eligible for the Self-Employed Persons Program?

In an effort to encourage authentic and substantial immigration applications, we are seeing more Canadian immigration programs catering to a broader array of opportunities for people engaged in all kinds of professions. Specifically, the Federal Self-Employed Persons Program is available to experienced professionals in an advanced level of athletics, arts, or cultural position among other variables. This program is less complex as it provides flexibility to those wanting to immigrate to Canada permanently while pursuing self-employment or occupation at an international level. Doing so enables artists and athletes to optimize their talent within the country while contributing to Canada’s cultural and economic position. 


The Self-Employed Persons Program is a streamline to becoming a permanent Canadian resident, followed by full citizenship. Although requirements for the Self-Employed Persons Program seem lenient, at the end of the day, the program’s criteria should be heavily evaluated when applying for candidacy.


Here are some things to consider for those interested in taking this immigration path:


  • An applicant’s occupation should fall under one of the 34 self-employed occupations listed below. 


Professional Occupations in Art and Culture


5111 Librarians

5112 Conservators and Curators

5113 Archivists

5121 Authors and Writers

5122 Editors

5123 Journalists

5124 Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications

5125 Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters

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 and Skilled Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport


5211 Library and Public Archive Technicians

5212 Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries

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 and the Performing Arts

5231 Announcers and Other Broadcasters

5232 Other Performers

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

5251 Athletes

5252 Coaches

5253 Sports Officials and Referees

5254 Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness


  • Applicants should have relevant experience for at least two years (within the previous 5 years an application is considered and submitted) at either a world-class/international level or can prove their ability to create a sustainable self-employed career. Moreover, the two years of experience do not have to be consecutive. They can be divided into two, one-year periods of being self-employed as one of the occupations previously mentioned.


  • Although there is not a bar set in place for an applicant’s net worth, those interested in immigrating should be capable of financially supporting themselves and any dependents they may have when relocating to Canada. In fact, this economical foundation is expected to be proven. 


  • The applicant and any family members planning to immigrate as well must pass any required medical test and submit security certifications. These may include biometrics and police certificates that confirm any reason to dismiss consideration for the program.


  • The program itself has a selection criteria requirement with a minimum threshold of 35 out of 100 points. Applicants must meet this requirement in order to qualify for candidacy. Points are given by the visa officer evaluating the applicant. Categories and designated points are listed below.


Selection criteria (and available points)


25 points - Education

35 points - Experience

10 points - Age

24 points - English and/or French language proficiency

  6 points - Adaptability 


Education (25 points available)

25 points - Master’s degree or Ph.D. earned, and a minimum of either full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 17 years

22 points - Two or more completed bachelor’s degrees in addition to a minimum of either full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 15 years.

22 points - Three-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship, in addition to a minimum of either full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 15 years

20 points - Two-year university bachelor’s degree in addition to a minimum of either full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 14 years. 

20 points - Two-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship in addition to a minimum of either full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 14 years.

15 points - One-year university bachelor’s degree in addition to a minimum of either full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 13 years.

15 points - One-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship in addition to a minimum of full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 13 years.

12 points - One-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship in addition to a minimum of full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 12 years.

5 points - Completion of high school.


Relevant Experience (35 points available)


20 points

2 years

25 points

3 years

30 points

4 years

35 points

5 years


Age (10 points available)


0 points

16 or under

2 points

17

4 points

18

6 points

19

8 points

20

10 points

21 through 49

8 points

50

6 points

51

4 points

52

2 points

53

0 points

54+


Language Proficiency (24 points available) - English or French


First Official Language 

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

High

4

4

4

4

Moderate

2

2

2

2

Basic

1

1

1

1

None

0

0

0

0


*Only a maximum of two points in total for basic proficiency



Second Official Language

Speaking

Listening

Reading

Writing

High

2

2

2

2

Moderate

2

2

2

2

Basic

1

1

1

1

None

0

0

0

0



Adaptability (6 points available)


Spouse’s or common-law partner’s level of education

5 points - Master’s degree or Ph.D. in addition to a minimum of full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 17 years.

4 points - Two or three-year university degree, diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship in addition to a minimum of full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 14 years.

3 points - One-year university degree, diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship in addition to a minimum of full-time occupational experience or equivalent study of 12 years.

0 points - High school (secondary school) diploma or less


Through the immigration process, it is not uncommon to be selected for an interview. Doing so, a visa officer may ask you to explain unclear information or more in-depth, any inconsistencies in the documentation that was submitted. In certain circumstances, submission of biometric information may be required. 



Previous work in Canada


5 points - The applicant or accompanying spouse/common-law partner has been full-time employed in Canada on a verified work permit for a minimum of one year.


Relatives in Canada


5 points - The applicant or accompanying spouse/common-law partner have a relative who resides in Canada that is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.


Not sure what to read next? Continue following this series below.


Background and Eligibility

Advantages

Process and Processing Time

“Influencer”

Common Q+A


If you are interested in Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program, feel free to contact joe@supervisas.com to learn more!
Jie (Joe) Chen
Jie (Joe) Chen
Co-founder & Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)