A Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Employed Visa Canada

Immigrate to Canada as a self-employed artist, athlete or other eligible freelance occupation under Self-Employed Visa Canada, also known as the Self-Employed Persons Program (SEPP). A Direct PR pathway to Canada under Business Immigration.

The Self-Employed Persons Program (SEPP) is a unique immigration program offered by Canada for self-employed individuals in specific fields. It is popularly known as Self-Employed Visa Canada. It caters to individuals with experience in athletics and cultural activities who can contribute to these fields in Canada.

People who qualify under this program can apply for permanent resident status if they meet the minimum eligibility requirements. The Self-Employed Visa Canada may be preferable for individuals who may not qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

This guide will examine the eligibility criteria and application process for the Canada Self-Employed Persons Program.

What is Self-Employed Visa Canada?

Self-Employed Visa Canada, officially known as the Self-Employed Persons Program, is available to individuals who are self-employed, or in the arts and culture industries, and who can prove that they have enough experience and potential to apply for the Self-Employed Visa in Canada.

A successful self-employed applicant is required to provide evidence supporting their claims of experience within their industry as well as evidence supporting their claim that they have been successfully self-employed.

Canada Self-Employed Visa

Eligibility Requirements: Self-Employed Visa Canada

Self-employed candidates who wish to apply for a Canada Self-Employed Visa must meet eligibility requirements in the following areas:

  • Canada Self-Employed Visa Eligible Occupations
  • Work Experience Requirements
  • Self Employment
  • Security clearance, medical exam, and other criteria

Self-Employed Visa Occupation List

Applicants must work in one of the occupations listed below to apply for the Self-Employed Visa Canada. You can learn more about each occupation’s definition and duties by looking up the National Occupation Code (NOC) TEER Category corresponding to the position on the Government of Canada website.

TEER CategoryNOC CodeOccupation
550010Library, archive, museum and art gallery managers
550011Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
550012Recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors
551100Librarians
551101Conservators and curators
551102Archivists
551110Editors
551111Authors and writers (except technical)
551112Technical writers
551113Journalists
551114Translators, terminologists and interpreters
551120Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
551121Conductors, composers and arrangers
551122Musicians and singers
552100Library and public archive technicians
552110Film and video camera operators
552111Graphic arts technicians
552112Broadcast technicians
552113Audio and video recording technicians
552114Announcers and other broadcasters
552119Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performingarts
552120Graphic designers and illustrators
552121Interior designers and interior decorators
553100Registrars, restorers, interpreters and other occupations related to museum and art galleries
553110Photographers
553111Motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and performing arts assistants and operators
553120Dancers
553121Actors, comedians and circus performers
553122Painters, sculptors and other visual artists
553123Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers
553124Artisans and craftspersons
553125Patternmakers - textile, leather and fur products
553200Athletes
553201Coaches
553202Sports officials and referees
554100Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness
555109Other performers

Work Experience Requirements for Self-Employed Visa Canada

Prospective Self-Employed Canada program applicants are required to possess the relevant experience to qualify for this program. The program defines “relevant experience” as the experience gained while the candidate was working in the athletics or cultural activities fields at a world-class level. Applicants should also note that they must have gained experience in the last five years.

Applicants with cultural activities experience must meet the requirements listed below:

  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they were self-employed in cultural activities.
  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they participated in cultural activities at a world-class level.
  • They possess a combination of the two instances mentioned above, with a minimum of one year of experience in each.
  • Applicants with athletics experience must meet the requirements listed below:
  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they were self-employed in athletics.
  • Offer two instances of one-year periods where they participated in athletics at a world-class level.
  • They possess a combination of the two instances mentioned above, with a minimum of one year of experience in each.

Self-Employment Experience

Applicants are also required to possess relevant experience as qualified self-employed persons. They must also intend to work as self-employed professionals in the arts or athletics fields after arriving in Canada.

Security, Medical, and Other Criteria

  • Prospective applicants must undergo special medical exams and security clearance when applying for the Self-Employed Person’s program. These ensure the candidate is eligible for entry into Canada.
  • Applicants must also demonstrate they possess the funds required to settle in Canada with their families.

Selection Criteria for Canada's Self-Employed Visa

Applicants for the Self-Employed PR Canada program must check their scores under the selection criteria listed below. They must get a minimum score of 35 points to qualify under the program. The selection criteria are broken down into five key areas. These are:

a) Education

Self-employed applicants can receive a maximum of 25 points for their education. The points given for each education level are shown below:

Completed EducationPoints Awarded
Master’s degree, or a Ph.D. plus 17 years or more full-time study25
Two or more bachelor level university degrees plus 15 years or more of full-time study22
Three-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 15 years or more of full-time study22
University bachelor’s degree for a program lasting two years or more plus 14 years or more of full-time study20
Two-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 14 years or more of full-time study20
University bachelor’s degree for a program lasting one year plus 13 years or more of full-time study15
One-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 13 years or more of full-time study15
One-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 13 years or more of full-time study12
High school5

b) Experience

Candidates that have attained qualifying work experience in the five years preceding their application can score up to 35 points depending on their experience amount. The points given for various experience levels are shown below:

Years of Relevant ExperiencePoints Awarded
Two years20
Three25
Four30
Five35

c) Age

The Self-Employed Person Canada program also awards up to 10 points based on the applicant’s age. The number of points awarded for different ages is as follows:

AgePoints Awarded
16 or younger0
172
184
196
208
21 to 4910
508
516
524
532
54 or above0

d) Language Ability

Candidates may be eligible to receive up to 24 points for their proficiency in the English or French languages. These points are awarded based on the applicant’s performance in recognized language exams. Each language exam assesses applicants in the following areas:

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
Language ProficiencySpeakingListeningReadingWriting
High4444
Moderate2222
Basic1111
No proficiency0000

e) Adaptability

Candidates can receive up to 6 points in the adaptability criteria if they fit into the various categories below:

Adaptability CategoryPoints Awarded
Common-law partner or spouse with a post-secondary education:

  • One-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 12 years or more of full-time study: 3 points

  • Two-year diploma, apprenticeship, or trade certificate plus 14 years or more of full-time study: 4 points

  • Master’s degree or Ph.D. plus 17 years or more of full-time study: 5 points

3 to 5
Applicant or applicant’s partner has one year or more of full-time Canadian work experience while on a work permit.5
Applicant or applicant’s partner has finished studying at a full-time program lasting two years or more at a Canadian post-secondary institution. This must be completed above the age of 17 and with a valid study permit. A degree or diploma is not completely necessary to earn these points.5
Applicant or applicant’s partner has relatives residing in Canada. This includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews.5

Importance of Business Plan for Self-Employed Visa Canada

Candidates must demonstrate their willingness to become self-employed professionals after becoming Canadian permanent residents. They can show this willingness by creating and submitting a proper business plan with their application.

The business plan must mention:

  • The applicant’s previous work experience.
  • Information on the applicant’s intended residence in Canada.
  • A description of how the applicant plans to start working in a self-employed capacity in their field.
Benefits of Self-Employed Visa Canada

Application Process: Self Employed Visa Canada

Self-employed candidates can apply for the Self-Employed Person Canada program by following the steps outlined below:

Application Process for Self-Employed Visa Canada

Stage 1

  • Obtain the Application Package
  • Gather Your Documents
  • Pay the Application Fees
  • Submit Your Application

Stage 2

  • Submit Your Biometrics and Photos
  • Receiving a Confirmation of Permanent Residence

Stage One

1. Obtain the Application Package

Applicants can start by obtaining the relevant application package. They must then fill out the form and select the “validate” button after completion.

2. Gather Your Documents

Candidates must then gather each document listed in the document checklist from the application package. This includes:

  • Work experience documents.
  • Passports or other relevant travel-related documents.
  • Education documents such as degrees, diplomas, and certificates.
  • Language exam results for exams taken within the last two years.

3. Pay the Application Fee

Next, applicants must pay their application fees. This includes:

  • Processing fees: $1,575 CAD
  • Biometrics fees: $85 CAD per person
  • Right of Permanent Residence fees: $500
  • Third-party fees for police certificates, medical exams, and language tests

Candidates must pay their fees online at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

4. Submit Your Application

Once applicants have completed each of the steps mentioned above, they can mail their applications to the following address:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Self-employed Class
Centralized Intake Office
P.O. Box 7200
Sydney, NS
B1P 0E9
Canada

Stage Two

5. Submit Your Biometrics and Photos

Self-employed applicants will be asked to submit their fingerprints and photos while their application is processed. They must complete this submission within 30 days of receiving the initial request.

6. Receiving a Confirmation of Permanent Residence

Successful applicants will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence and an entry visa that allows them to come to Canada.

How ELAAR can help you?

Self-employed individuals who intend to immigrate to Canada through the Self-Employed Persons program should get in touch with us. Our exceptional team of Regulated Immigration Consultants is familiar with the eligibility requirements and application process for this program.

Together, we can optimize your application and business plan to boost your chances of succeeding under this program. Please contact Elaar Immigration and take the next step towards your new life in Canada.

FAQ: Self Employed Visa Canada

For whom is the Self-Employed Persons Programme appropriate?

For someone to be eligible, they must possess:

– Relevant background in sports, the arts, or agricultural management.
– The desire and capacity to work for oneself in Canada.
– Fulfil the requirements for selection based on background, goals, and capacity to support the Canadian economy.

Which kinds of tasks fall under the Self-Employed Persons Programme?

The program’s target audience includes people who work in the arts and culture, such as writers, singers, painters, coaches, athletes, and farm managers.

How may I apply for the Programme for Self-Employed Persons?

Among the steps in the application procedure are:

– Satisfying the requirements for qualifying based on pertinent experience.
– Assembling and sending the necessary paperwork to the Canadian immigration authorities.
– Undergoing security checks and medical exams.
– Awaiting the application’s judgement.

Does the Self-Employed Persons Programme have a minimum investment requirement?

This programme does not involve any specific financial investment, but applicants must show that they are capable of working for themselves and making a positive impact on the Canadian economy in their area of expertise.

What are the benefits of the Self-Employed Persons Program?

Successful applicants under this program are granted permanent residency in Canada, allowing them and their families to live and work anywhere in the country. They can access various social benefits and eventually apply for Canadian citizenship.

What advantages does the Self-Employed Persons Programme offer?

The programme grants permanent residency to successful applicants, enabling them to live and work anywhere in Canada with their families. They will eventually be able to apply for Canadian citizenship and get a variety of social advantages.

Apply for Self-Employed Visa Canada

Get Canadian permanent residence as a self-employed, experienced artist or athlete through Self-Employed Visa Canada.