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Canada's Self-Employed Persons Program allows eligible self-employed foreign nationals with relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics to establish themselves in Canada as permanent residents.

Candidates for the Self-Employed Persons Program must have the experience, intention and ability to make a "significant contribution" to Canada's cultural life or sports in Canada.

Interested candidates must meet both the eligibility requirements and achieve at minimum a passing mark under the program's selection criteria in order to be considered for immigration as a self-employed person.

There is no regulated minimum net worth requirement for the Self-Employed Persons Program. However, self-employed applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to settle in Canada along with their dependents and finance the work for which their selection is based.

Eligibility Requirements for the Self-Employed Persons Program

A foreign national must first meet the Government of Canada's definition of a self-employed person in order to be considered eligible for assessment.

A self-employed person is defined as someone with relevant self-employed experience in a cultural or athletic activity.

Relevant experience consists of at least two years of experience either self-employed in or participating at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Under the Self-Employed Persons Program, eligible occupations within Canada’s artistic, cultural and athletic fields include:

Professional Occupations in Art and Culture

Technical and Skilled Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Self-Employed Persons Program: Selection Criteria

Applications from interested candidates are assessed against the points assessment for self-employed business immigration to Canada. The pass mark for the self-employed persons program is 35 points out of 100. 

Factor 1: Experience

Relevant experience must have been obtained within the five-year period before an application is signed and ends when a decision is made on an application. Applicants may obtain up to 35 points under the experience factor.

Factor 2: Age

Applicants will be awarded selection points based on their age at the time of application.

Factor 3: Education

Self-employed applicants can be awarded up to 25 points under the education factor.

Factor 4: Language Ability 

Self-employed persons may be awarded up to 24 points depending on their proficiency in English or French.

Factor 5: Adaptability

Self-employed individuals may obtain up to six (6) points for adaptability based on the following:

Individuals interested in immigrating to Quebec should note that the province has a separate selection system for self-employed persons.

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