What is a Self-employed Class?
Emerging immigration policies and laws have made Canada is an excellent choice to move to. With several migrating options, Canada has become the number one choice for self-employed immigrants. If you are an applicant with experience in cultural activities and athletics as a self-employed person or participant at a world-class level, this program may be for you. Unlike the Federal Start-up Visa program, neither the self-employed program requires the applicant to get approval from angel investors or incubators group to invest in their business, nor the applicant has to show money for investment. The process is quite simple which requires applicants to meet certain eligibility criteria and file for migration as a self-employed person. It will allow applicants to move to Canada permanently along with the whole family.
Eligibility criteria for self-employed program:
To qualify under the self-employed program, an applicant with valid relevant experience, at least two (02) years in the last 05 years, in farming, arts & culture, or professional athletics is required and can apply for the Permanent Residence of Canada under the federal self-employed program. The government of Canada has stopped accepting the new applications of self-employed persons under farming or farm management stream but any applicant who has experience as a self-employed person in arts & culture or, professional athletics or an applicant who has world-class experience in participation arts & culture or, professional athletics and meets the following eligibility criteria may be qualified to apply under the Federal Self Employed Class:
• Has relevant experience which can contribute to cultural & athletic activities in Canada.
• Meets the program selection criteria.
• Can move to Canada as a self-employed individual.
• Meets all medical and security conditions.
What is the relevant experience for the self-employed class?
For an applicant to have relevant experience means that they have two years of experience in either culture or athletics at a world-class level as a participant or they have two years of experience in either culture or athletics as a self-employed person. The applicant must have been self-employed or taken part in cultural/athletic activities at a world-class level and must be renowned and famous. The application can only be filed if the applicant has 02 years of relevant experience within the last 05 years before the date of application. This is a point-based process thus if the applicant has more than 02 years of experience in the last 05 years up to the full 05 years of experience, they will get more points.
Type of Experience Required for the self-employed program:
Self-employed Experience in Cultural activities:
The minimum experience to qualify for the self-employed program in cultural activities is a follow:
- Either two (02) years of experience being self-employed in cultural activities or two (02) different one-year periods being self-employed in cultural activities.
- Either two (02) years of experience in participation in cultural activities on a world-class level or two (02) different one-year periods of participation in cultural activities on a world-class level.
- Combination of 1 and 2 with one year of self-employment in cultural activities combined with one year of participation in cultural activities on a world-class level.
Self-employed Experience in Athletics:
The minimum experience to qualify for the self-employed program in athletics is a follow:
- Either two (02) years of experience being self-employed in athletics or two (02) different one-year periods being self-employed in athletics.
- Either two (02) years of experience in participation in athletics on a world-class level or two (02) different one-year periods of participation in athletics on a world-class level.
- Combination of 1 and 2 with one year of self-employment in athletics combined with one year of participation in athletics on a world-class level.
Eligible Occupations for Self-employed:
The following categories of occupation are considered eligible to be applied under the Federal Self Employed program:
Occupations in Arts & Culture Recreation and Sports:
- Conservators and Curators
- Author and Writers
- Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters
- Producers, Directors, Choreographers and related occupations
- Conductors, Composers, and Arrangers
- Musicians and Singers
- Actor & Comedians
- Painters, Sculptors, and Other Visual Artists
Technical and Skilled Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation & Sport:
- Library and Public Archive Technician
- Technical occupations related to Museum and Art Galleries
- Film & Video Camera Operators
- Graphics Arts Technicians
- Broadcast Technicians
- Audio & Video Recording Technicians
- Other Technical and Co-coordinating occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts
- Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts
- Announcers & Other Broadcasters
- Other Performers like Acrobat, Busker, Circus performer, Clown, Fashion model, Magician, Puppeteer, Ventriloquist, etc.
- Graphic designers and Illustrators
- Interior Designers and Interior Decorators
- Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers
- Artisans & Craftspersons
- Patternmakers – Textile, Leather, and Fur Products
- Sports Officials and Referees
- Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness
Selection Criteria of Self-employed Persons:
A self-employed program is a points-based system and to qualify as a self-employed person, the following eligibility criteria needed to be met:
The applicant will be awarded points for each factor:
Factor Maximum Points
Language abilities 24
Successful applicants will have to achieve a minimum passing score of 35 points. For a complete breakdown of business immigration points calculation refer to our Business Immigration Requirements and Points Grid section.
How to apply for Self-employed Stream:
To apply for the self-employed stream, the following steps must be followed by a self-employed applicant:
- Get the application package
- Pay application fees
- Submit the application
The applicant will be required to download the correct application package correspond to the stream that is applying under i.e. self-employed stream. Once downloaded the correct application package for the self-employed stream, it is the applicant's responsibility to fill the application correctly and sign the application. By putting signatures and dates the applicant is endorsing the information filled is true and accurate according to his/her best knowledge and belief. The application package has a document checklist and a guide on how to fill the application. Once done the applicant can make sure he/she has completed the application and attached all required documentation as per the document checklist. The applicant must make sure they have printed and kept a hard copy safe with them for their record.
The applicants must make sure they have filled out the application correctly and have not missed out on any parts. They must also make sure that all documents are attached and signed. It is also imperative to attach language test results and requisite fees. The applicant must responsibly follow all instructions as anything missing will lead to the application being unprocessed.
In case any application consists of false information or misinterpretation it can be rejected. The applicant can also find themselves inadmissible to Canada and be barred from applying to Canada for a period of up to FIVE years. Therefore, the application must be complete as per section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and filled out truthfully. Section 10 focuses on the following things:
- correct forms as correspond with the application stream
- all forms should be properly filled without any missing information and are signed, dated, and validated (if required)
- all the required information and documents as per the document checklist are attached with the application
- proof of payment of government processing fee attached or paid online (as applicable)
- all family members are properly identified on the application forms i.e. principal applicant, spouse, and dependent children (if applicable)
After an applicant has successfully filled out the application and applied, he/she will need to give their biometrics.
Self-employed Application Processing Fee
Once the application is filled out completely the next step is paying the fees. All fees will be paid online. Applicants will have to pay the following fees:
a) Processing Fees & Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF):
Effective April 30, 2020, in the Self-Employed Persons Program, the fees are CAD$ 1,575 for the Immigration Application Fee and CAD$ 500 for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF). For a spouse/partner, the fees are CAD$ 825 for the application processing fee and CAD$ 500 for the RPRF.
b) Biometric Fees:
If the applicant is between 14 and 79 years old, they will need to give their fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for every application including applications for permanent residence. It is very important to pay the biometric fees in time to avoid any delays. The biometric fee is paid at the time of submission of the application. The fee is as follow:
• One person – CAD$ 85
• Per Family (2 or more people) - CAD$ 170
(Maximum fee for a family of 2 or more people applying at the same time & place.)
The biometric fees cover the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Once the fees are paid, the applicant will receive a letter of confirmation that needs to be shown when giving biometrics. The applicant has 30 days to get their biometrics after receiving of letter of confirmation.
c) Other Fees (Third-Party Fees):
The applicant may have to pay other fees such as third-party fees for medical exams, police certificates, and language tests.
Once the applicant has made sure the application is complete and signed, they must attach a receipt of paid fees. The applicant must also ensure all documents are attached and then they may submit the application at the given mailing address in the guide.
Financial Requirements by Self-employed Applicants
The self-employed applicants must have financial proof of being able to support themselves along with their family if they settle in Canada.
All applicants must have medical records along with police certificates of themselves and their families. If an applicant(s) has a criminal history that poses a threat to Canada or Canadians, they may be inadmissible.
Processing Times of Self-employed program:
The processing time for the self-employed program is up to 24 months. To avoid any delays, the applicant needs to update changes timely. Changes in an application may include address changes, contact information, births/deaths, marriages/divorces, adoption, updated language tests, changes in job offers, or educational credentials.
Processing Delays in Self-employed Applications:
The self-employed applications may be subject to delayed processing due to any of the following reasons:
- Criminal/security problems
- The family situation is uncertain regarding marriage/divorce, adoption, custody, etc.
- The immigration office requires more information or may require more background checks.
If the self-employed application is successful, the applicant will be issued a permanent residence visa along with a confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) with an entry visa. The COPR along with the visa must be presented at the time of arrival in Canada.