Self-employed Visa Canada Guide

Self-Employed Visa Canada Guide - how to apply and qualify

Self-employed persons can immigrate to Canada permanently through the Self-employed Persons Visa Program.

Self-employed Visa Canada Process

To apply for this program, you must:

  • Participate in cultural activities or athletics and have relevant experience
  • Make a significant contribution to Canada’s cultural or athletic life

How can I qualify to immigrate to Canada?

You must have two years of relevant work experience and demonstrate that you intend to become self-employed in Canada to qualify as a self-employed person.

A selection grid will also determine whether you can make an economic contribution to Canada if you score at least 35 points.

How do I become a self-employed person in Canada?

You must:

  • Meet the definition of a self-employed individual;
  • Obtain a medical examination; and
  • You must pass a criminal and security background check.

Read more: Montenegro Citizenship By Investment Program

Under the Self-Employed Persons Program, what does cultural activities mean?

Jobs in the cultural field are generally seen as part of Canada’s artistic and cultural fields. 

Examples include:

  • 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.

Net worth requirement for the self-employed visa

The minimum net worth requirement is not regulated. A visa officer will need to be convinced that you have the money to:

  • settle in Canada with your dependants and
  • finance the work on which your selection was based.

Language requirements

As a self-employed person, you are required to submit a French or English language test with your application after March 3, 2011. That way, we can assess your application based on your language proficiency.

How to apply

  • Get the application package
  • Pay the application fee
  • Submit your request

Get the application package

The application package includes a guide and a document checklist. The guide will help you complete the forms correctly.

Once you are done:

  • Click on the “Validate” button on the form. If some fields have not been completed, they will be marked in red.
  • Print the validated application form, including the barcoded pages. Ask about the form with a barcode.
  • Sign and date the form where indicated.
  • Include all pages of the form, including barcoded pages, with your application.
  • Print the other forms, sign and date them where indicated.
  • Gather all the supporting information listed in the Document Checklist so you don’t forget anything.

You must provide all required forms, information, documents, signatures, language test results and fees. If anything is missing from your application, we will return it to you without processing it.

All of your answers must be complete and true. If we discover that you have made a false declaration (i.e. you have given us false information or have not declared important details):

  • we may refuse your request;
  • you could be found inadmissible;
  • we could ban you for five years from applying to come to Canada, regardless of the reason for the application.

Pay the application fee

In most cases, the fees will include:

  • processing fees for you and anyone listed on your application;
  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF);
  • biometric data collection fees
  • fees paid to third parties

You must pay your fees online (will open in a new tab).

Fees for collecting biometric data

In most cases, you must pay a biometrics collection fee when you submit your application. Otherwise, you may experience delays. These fees include the cost of taking fingerprints and taking the digital photo.

After you pay the biometrics collection fee and submit your completed application, we will send you a letter confirming that you need to provide your biometrics and where to go. You must present this letter when providing your data.

The collection of biometric data must be done in person. Be sure to make an appointment if you can. Find a collection point near you.

Fees paid to third parties

Depending on your situation, you may have to pay fees to third parties for:

  • your medical examination;
  • your police certificates;
  • your language assessment.

Our instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you.

Submit your request

For your application to be complete, make sure you have:

  • answered all questions;
  • signed your application and all forms;
  • paid your processing fee and attached a copy of the payment receipt;
  • include all supporting documents.

Who Can Apply Self-employed Visa Canada


To immigrate as a self-employed person, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have relevant experience;
  • Have the intention and ability to create your own employment in Canada;
  • Fulfill the selection criteria established for the program;
  • Fulfill requirements for, among other things, medical screening and security screening.

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