self employed move to canada

If you want to settle in Canada and operate as a self-employed person, the government has an immigration program designed exclusively for you.

Canada’s federal government and the province of Québec both offer immigrants who are self-employed an opportunity to become permanent residents.

A self-employed person is basically anyone who has the intention and capacity to create employment for themselves and add a significant contribution to the artistic, athletic, and cultural life of Canada. ‘Significant contribution’ in this case could be a contribution that is better or at par with the nationally recognized standard.

Authors and writers, athletes and coaches, musicians and singers, photographers, painters, librarians and archivists, film and video camera operators, artisans and craftspeople, just to name but a few, are among the occupations Canada’s government would qualify for application under this program.

Below, we explore more aspects of this immigration program that you will want to keep in mind just to ensure you’ve submitted your documentation correctly.

General Requirements for Self-Employed Visa Canada

In order to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person, here are the requirements you must meet in brief:

  • Be willing and have the capacity to be self-employed in Canada
  • Have relevant experience
  • Meet the selection criteria for the program
  • Meet the conditions related to medical, security, and the rest of the aspects included in the program.

Relevant Work Experience

Relevant work experience constitutes the following:

  1. You have been self-employment in athletics or cultural activities for at least two years
  2. You have participated at a global-level in athletics or cultural activities for at least two years

The two years of relevant work experience must have been obtained in the period commencing five years before the application date and ending on the day the government decides on your application.

Furthermore, the experience must be in either cultural activities or athletics or in a combination of both, in which case it must be at least a one-year period being self-employed and another one-year of participation at a world-class level.

Initially, farm management experience was part of the relevant work experience, but on March 10, 2018, the government stopped accepting new applications under that stream.

Settlement Funds

Even though the amount hasn’t been explicitly specified in the regulations, an applicant under this program must demonstrate that they have a sufficient financial net worth enough to enable them to be self-employed in the country, offer a significant contribution to the athletic and/or cultural life in Canada, and fulfill the settlement requirements for immigrants and accompanying family members.

This is actually one of the most critical parts, as it speaks to your willingness and capacity to be self-employed in Canada.

What’s The Selection Criteria?

self employed program canada

Like most federal immigration programs, self-employed visa Canada utilizes a point-based system to rank candidates. The topmost score is 100 points and the least you must have in order to qualify as a self-employed person is 35 points.

Education, work experience, language ability, age, and adaptability are among the factors Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses to assign scores. For example, if you have more years of experience, you are likely to earn extra points.

In the event the information you approve is unclear or is found to have gaps, the immigration officials may schedule an interview to give you a chance to iron everything out.

Québec Self-Employed Visa Program

As we mentioned earlier, the province of Québec has an immigration program that offers qualified persons an opportunity to become permanent residents of Canada. In order to acquire that status, one has to effectively demonstrate themselves as an independent professional or tradesperson in Québec

There are a number of other requirements to be met:

  • Educational Level – Secondary school or general diploma
  • Work Experience – At least two years of experience as a self-employed person in the trade or profession you plan to practice in Québec.
  • Net Worth – Have a minimum of CAD $100,000. It could be from you alone or in conjunction with your accompanying spouse or common-law partner (if they are immigrating too)
  • Deposit for a Start-Up – CAD $25,000 if you intend to practice your profession or trade outside the Montreal Metropolitan area and CAD $50,000 if you purport to do that in the same area.
  • In addition to what we’ve discussed, your application will be evaluated based on other factors like financial self-sufficiency, your age (and that of your spouse, if applicable), visits to Québec, language skills, and any ties you have to the province.

In Summary

Everything you’ve learned from our guide is pretty much everything you need to begin your journey of making a successful self-employed move to Canada. Even if your score is below 35 points, you still have a chance to a successful self-employed visa application, provided you ask for consideration.

Spare some time to visit the federal government’s immigration website and Québec’s, too, especially if you want to obtain the application package and learn more about how to apply for the self-employed program in Canada.