Self Employed Program

The federal self-employed program is designed at attract applicants who intend to become self-employed in Canada in the eligible list of occupations. These applicants should intend to make a significant contribution to cultural activities or athletics in Canada.

To be eligible for the Self-Employed programs, the applicants must:

  • Have relevant self-employed experience in an eligible occupation, i.e. in cultural activities or in athletics OR self-employed experience in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level
  • Experience must be at least for two years and full time in the past 5 years before applying
  • Demonstrate intention and ability to continue these cultural/athletic activities to self-support in Canada
  • Self and family must clear the medical test and security risk assessments
  • Demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support self and family once they arrive in Canada
  • Have an intention to reside outside Quebec

 Qualifying Occupations for Self-Employed Persons


Major Group 51: Professional Occupations in Art & Culture
   5111 Librarians
   5112 Conservators & curators
   5113 Archivists
   5121 Authors and writers
   5122 Editors
   5123 Journalists
   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
Major Group 52: Technical Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation & 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 coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
   5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography 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 craftsperson
   5245 Patternmakers – textile, leather and fur products
   5251 Athletes
   5252 Coaches
   5253 Sports officials and referees
   5254 Instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

Selection Factors for Self-Employed

If the applicants meet the definition of “Self-Employed” then they will be assessed on the selection criteria mentioned below.  Applicants must earn a minimum 35 points out of 100 possible points. 

   Selection Factors

Maximum Points







Ability in English and/or French







In contrast to most of Immigration Canada’s other permanent residence programs, the Self-Employed Program has no minimum need in terms of language abilities in French and/or English.

In case the applicant does not earn a minimum of 35 points, they can still apply. Visa Officers have the discretion to assess the profile for a fit and grant permanent residency. One has to request for a consideration in such a case.


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