The Self-Employed Persons Program (SEPP) is an immigration program that allows self-employed individuals with relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics to immigrate to Canada.
Also known as Self Employed Visa Canada, this program is designed for people who can make a significant contribution to Canada’s cultural or athletic life and have the intention and ability to be self-employed and create their own employment in Canada.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must have at least two years of relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and meet the selection criteria for self-employed persons, including factors such as education, language proficiency, and adaptability. If successful, applicants and their families may be granted permanent resident status in Canada.
Here are five success factors that can increase the chances of artists or athletes qualifying for this Self-Employed Persons Program (SEPP).
1. Enter Canada on a Federal Entrepreneur Work Permit
Prospective Self-Employed Persons Program applicants can apply for this program from inside or outside Canada. However, they stand a better chance of being approved if they have entered the country and set up their business in Canada as a foreigner.
They can obtain a work permit through Federal Entrepreneur programs and then come to Canada. Once they have operated their Canadian business for six months, they apply for permanent residence through the Self-Employed Person’s program. Having an existing business in Canada is great because it demonstrates an applicant’s intent to perform business activities in the country.
A solid business plan for business immigration helps showcase your ability to consider the financial and economic environment you are moving into. It must focus on what you plan to contribute to the Canadian economy and generate employment for Canadians and permanent residents.
2. Demonstrate Your Activities Will Offer Cultural Contribution
Most Canadian business immigration programs require applicants to demonstrate that their business activities will benefit the Canadian economy. However, the Self-Employed Person’s program does things differently by prioritizing candidates whose activities can socially or culturally benefit Canada.
This could be as simple as the candidate showing they have the funds and experience necessary to offer art lessons or sports coaching in a Canadian community lacking such professionals. Artists and athletes with unique talents or perspectives that enrich the Canadian cultural scene can demonstrate their value and potential for success in this program.
3. Highlight Your Awards, Achievements, and International Events
The program requires applicants to have at least two years of relevant experience in their field. But, IRCC prefers those Self-Employed Persons Program applicants who are recognized at a world-class level.
Artists and athletes with a proven track record of professional experiences, such as performances, exhibitions, or awards, have a better chance of meeting this requirement and demonstrating their exceptional skills.
Such individuals can demonstrate their world-class standing in their industry by highlighting their international awards, media coverage, or attendance at relevant international events. Candidates recognized on a world-class level are considered incredibly valuable and will stand out even after shifting to Canada.
4. Present a Solid Business Plan
The Self-Employed Person’s program is a type of business immigration program. IRCC typically assesses applicants in business immigration programs through the business plan they provide. A Self Employed Visa applicant’s business plan should include key details about their intended business activities in Canada, funding sources, and projected sales.
Self-employed persons must have the ability and intention to establish and run a business that financially supports them and their dependents. This business plan aims to demonstrate that applicants can replicate their success in their home country inside Canada.
5. Apply for Smaller Cities
Canada is a large country with many cities. However, most of the population resides in a few major metropolitan areas such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Such areas are brimming with internationally recognized artists, and athletes, so Self-Employed Person’s applicants won’t stand out if they choose to settle in these cities.
IRCC wants the applicants they approve to remain “world-class” in their chosen Canadian community. For this reason, it is better for Self-Employed Person program applicants to choose smaller Canadian communities such as Saskatoon or Kamloops on their applications.
The Canadian Government would also like such smaller communities to benefit from the presence of world-class applicants, so Self-Employed Person’s Program applicants stand a better chance by choosing less-popular Canadian communities with small populations.
The above guide shows that there are a few ways to boost your chances of being granted a Self-Employed Visa Canada. However, you can further optimize your application by reaching out to Elaar Immigration.
Our experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants understand how IRCC assesses Self-Employed Person’s programs and can guide you in meeting each of their requirements.