The Self-employed Persons Program allows people to immigrate to Canada permanently as a self-employed person. If you’re interested in this program, you must:
• 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 following criteria will be required to be met to immigrate under this category.
- Applicants must demonstrate that they have at least two years of relevant experience during the period beginning five years before the date of the permanent resident application and ending on the day a determination is made on the application, as outlined in the definition.
- Self-employed experience in cultural activities or athletics will capture those traditionally applying in this category, for example, music teachers, painters, illustrators, film makers, freelance journalists. Beyond that, the category is intended to capture those people who work behind the scenes as a self-employed person, for example, choreographers, set designers, coaches and trainers. If you want to apply under the self-employed program, check if your occupation can be considered self-employment. This is not a definitive or exhaustive list.
- Participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics intends to capture performers. This describes those who perform in the arts, and in the world of sport. “World class” identifies persons who are known internationally. It also identifies persons who may not be known internationally but perform at the highest levels in their discipline.
- A self-employed applicant must demonstrate the intention and ability to create his/her own employment in Canada through cultural activities, athletics or the purchase and management of a farm.
- A person’s financial assets may be a measure of intent and ability to establish economically in Canada. There is no minimum investment level for a self-employed person. The capital required depends on the nature of the work.
- Applicants must have sufficient funds to create an employment opportunity for themselves and support themselves and their family members. This includes the ability to be self-supporting until the self-employment has been created.
- A demonstrated ability to support themselves and their family through their talents could be a good indicator of their ability to continue to do so in Canada.
- With respect to the intent and ability to purchase and manage a farm in Canada, self-employed applicants must demonstrate evidence of sufficient funds to purchase and manage the farm. If the applicant is purchasing the farm using borrowed funds, they should be knowledgeable about the cost of borrowing money and the visa officer must be satisfied that the applicant can make a success of his/her farming project, using borrowed funds.
- To be able to manage a farm successfully, the applicant needs to demonstrate that they have some familiarity with the type of farming activities in the area of destination. An applicant who has not conducted a minimum level of research into the proposed farming enterprise in Canada would have difficulty in supporting his/her claim to have the intention and the ability to pursue farming in Canada.
- Officers may also refer to the websites of Agriculture Canadaor the Canadian Federation of Agriculture to gather information on the agricultural sector in the province where the applicant wishes to settle, including the types of farming activities in the province, the average price for a farm, the average size of a farm, the requirements needed in terms of investment, expected revenues per year. Regulations (quotas, etc) in effect for the various types of farm products and other relevant conditions which may have an impact on the applicant’s plans as well as farming real estate websites are also useful resources for determining purchase prices in the province of intended destination.
- It is intended that the Self-Employed Persons Class enrich Canadian culture and sports. In other words, when applicants meet the test of experience and there is a reasonable expectation they will be self-employed, the test of significant contribution becomes relative. For example, a music teacher destined to a small town can be considered significant at the local level. Likewise, a freelance journalist who contributes to a Canadian publication will meet the test.
- It is the intent of the Regulations that any farmer meeting the experience requirement, regardless of field of activity, is eligible for consideration in the Self-Employed Persons Class. The basic selection requirement to be met by applicants is that they intend to purchase a farm, have the financial resources to do so and have the intention and ability to manage the farm to be purchased.
- In the end, the definition of “significant contribution” is left to the discretion of the officer, but is not intended to bar qualified self-employed persons who are applying in good faith. Its inclusion in the definition is intended to bar frivolous applications.
To qualify for the Start-up Visa Program, you must meet all 4 eligibility requirements, as well as the admissibility requirements to enter Canada.