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Federal Self-Employed

Self-employed farmers, international, professional athletes, or individuals in the arts and culture industry who can prove that they have the potential to be gainfully self-employed in Canada are eligible for a business immigration visa, provided they meet the selection criteria for the Federal Self-Employed Persons Program.

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In comparison to other streams of business immigration, where applicants are required to invest a sum of their own funds into a company or government, or acquire funding from a private organization, eligible applicants are instead only asked to provide proof of their experience within their industry as well as evidence supporting their claims to being successfully self-employed.

Federal Self-Employed Program Requirements

At least two years of relevant work experience in the applicant’s professional industry are required within the five years that precede their business immigration application. Professional athletes and individuals in the arts and culture industry must either provide proof of:  

  • Two years of being self-employed within their industry, or
  • Two years of participating at a world-class level within their domain, or
  • A combination of one year of each of the above.

Self-employed persons wishing to own and operate a farm must be equipped with two years of farm management experience within the five-year period immediately preceding their application. All those applying to the Federal Self-Employed Program must intend to settle in any Canadian province or territory with the exception of Quebec, who has its own self-employed immigration program.

Selection Criteria for Federal Self-Employed Program

In addition to meeting the experience requirements, applicants will also be graded on a point system to better assess their eligibility for a Self-Employed Visa.

Overview of Factors

Selection CriteriaMaximum Points
Education25
Experience35
Age10
Ability in English and/or French24
Adaptability6
Total100

Education

EducationPoints
Master’s Degree or Ph.D. and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.25 points
Two or more university degrees at the bachelor’s level and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.22 points
Three-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.22 points
University degree of two years or more at the bachelor’s level and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.20 points
Two-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.20 points
One-year university degree at the bachelor’s level and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.15 points
One-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.15 points
One-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study.12 points
Completed high school.5 points
Maximum25

Experience

ExperiencePoints
Two years of relevant experience20
Three years of relevant experience25
Four years of relevant experience30
Five years of relevant experience35
Maximum35

Age

AgePoints
16 or under0
172
184
196
208
21–4910
508
516
524
532
54+0
Maximum10

Language

Language ProficiencyPoints
First Official LanguageSpeakingListeningReadingWriting
High proficiency4444
Moderate proficiency2222
Basic proficiency1111
No proficiency0000
Please Note: You can score a maximum of only two points in total for basic-level proficiency.
Second Official LanguageSpeakingListeningReadingWriting
High proficiency2222
Moderate proficiency2222
Basic proficiency1111
No proficiency0000
Maximum24

Adaptability

AdaptabilityPoints
Spouse’s or common-law partner’s level of education
Secondary school (high school) diploma or less0
A one-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies3
A two or three-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies4
A master’s degree or PhD and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies5
Previous work in Canada
You, or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed a minimum of one year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit.5
Previous study in Canada
You, or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed a program of full-time study of at least two years’ duration at a post-secondary institution in Canada. You must have done this after you were 17 years old and with a valid study permit.

There is no need to have obtained a degree or diploma for these two years of study to earn these points.
5
Relatives in Canada
You, or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner, have a relative (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, child of a parent, sibling, child of a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or grandchild of a parent, niece or nephew) who is residing in Canada and is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.5
Maximum6

Applicants are awarded points for their education (25), experience (35), age (10), language proficiencies (24), and adaptability (6), for a total score of 100 points. Successful candidates will have a minimum passing score of 35, that is subject to change. Candidates will be selected based on their scores for each category, the documents they provide with their application, and whether or not they meet the standards of a self-employed person in Canada.

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Business Immigration Assessment

If you are an entrepreneur or an investor, we can help you immigrate to Canada. Simply complete our free assessment for business immigration and a business associate of Attorney Dery will review your eligibility and contact you to discuss your options.

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