Federal Self-Employed Persons Class

This interesting program allows foreign nationals, with specific experience, to immigrate to Canada as self-employed. The requirements for this program are simple yet the applicant needs to satisfy the definition of a self-employed person, which is:

  • have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and
  • be willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada

The experience part must be:

  • a participation at a world-class level of cultural activities or athletics OR
  • a self-employment in cultural activities or athletics

While the duration accounted for is, at a minimum:

for cultural activities:

  • 2 one-year periods being self-employed in cultural activities, or
  • 2 one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities, or
  • a combination of a one-year period of the above described experience

for athletics:

  • 2 one-year periods being self-employed in athletics, or
  • 2 one-year periods participating at a world class level in athletics, or
  • a combination of a one-year period of the above described experience

What are Cultural Activities? 

According to the IRCC website, “cultural activities” include jobs generally seen as part of Canada’s artistic and cultural fields. These are included in Major Groups 52 and 53 of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) as follows:

  • authors and writers,
  • creative and performing artists,
  • musicians,
  • painters,
  • sculptors and other visual artists,
  • technical support and other jobs in motion pictures,
  • creative designers and
  • craftspeople.

What are Athletics? 

Under the Minor Group 525 of the NOC, athletic activities include:

  • Athletes
  • Coaches
  • Sports officials and referees
  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

For a detailed list of both activities, cultural and athletics, you can refer to the Government website here.

After meeting the definition, the applicant must achieve a pass mark of 35 points after being graded based on 5 selection criteria as follows:

Education: 25 points – a minimum of a high-school education level
Experience: 35 points – a minimum of a 2-year period of relevant experience
Age: 10 points
Language ability: 24 points
Adaptability: 6 points

For more details on the selection factors, you can refer to the Government website here.

And just like any other immigration program, the applicant (and his family members, if applicable) needs to take a medical exam and provide police certificates so the officers can complete examining the application and determine whether he is admissible to entering and remaining in Canada.

Do not forget that settlement funds are crucial as well. Applicants need to prove that they have enough funds to support themselves and their family members. Otherwise they render inadmissible as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act s. 39.

One last thing is, if one is interested in immigrating to Québec keep in mind that different rules apply to the Québec self-employed class.

You can read more about the program under the Government website here.

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