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What is a Self-Employed Visa? 

The Self-Employed Visa comes under the Business immigration visa category. This visa is designed to attract applicants who have an aptitude for cultural, artistic, or athletic fields of employment. The intending candidates must demonstrate that they have the necessary relevant experience in their artistic or athletic field of interest while living in your country of origin. 

This is to prove that the applicant has the ability to significantly contribute in his/her field through their skill set and experience in Canada. However, the Self-employed candidates who would prefer to live in Quebec should apply under the Quebec Self-Employed Program

To be eligible for this program, the applicants must have the relevant experience, intention, and ability to either:

  • make a significant contribution to the cultural or artistic or athletic areas of employment in Canada at an international level; or
  • Either purchase or manage a farm in Canada.
 Free Assessment Form

What are the qualifying activities for the Self-Employed Program?

The National Occupation Classification of Canada has issued a list of all the possible career options that fall under the two categories. 

1.Professional Occupations in Art and Culture


5111Librarians
5112Conservators and Curators
5113Archivists
5121Authors and Writers
5122Editors
5123Journalists
5124Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications
5125Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters
5131Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations
5132Conductors, Composers and Arrangers
5133Musicians and Singers
5134Dancers
5135Actors and Comedians
5136Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists


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

5211Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants
5212Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries
5221Photographers
5222Film and Video Camera Operators
5223Graphic Arts Technicians
5224Broadcast Technicians
5225Audio and Video Recording Technicians
5226Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts
5227Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts
5231Announcers and Other Broadcasters
5232Other Performers
5241Graphic Designers and Illustrators
5242Interior Designers
5243Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers
5244Artisans and Craftsperson
5245Patternmakers – Textile, Leather and Fur Products
5251Athletes
5252Coaches
5253Sports Officials and Referees
5254Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness

What are the benefits of applying through a Self-Employed Program?

  • As opposed to an Entrepreneur Visa program, there is no net-worth requirement for the Self-Employed. However, the applicant should be able to manage the sufficient funds required for the overall settlement and finance the immigration process.
  • Not having to maintain a net worth allows the candidate to have the liberty to set up his/her employment in Canada without the pressure of maintaining a profit margin to sustain.
  • Under the Self-Employed Program, there are multitudinous options to choose from.
  • An experience for just 2 years is needed in order to practice your choice of arts or athletics.
  • You can live and be employed anywhere in Canada.
  • The self-employed visa takes a relatively shorter time period to process than other entrepreneur programs.


Do I qualify for the Self-employed program? 

To qualify for the Self-Employed program, the applicant needs to accumulate points based on the following mentioned categories, to be eligible to give you a profile score and enhance your chances of being selected from the pool of candidates


Work ExperienceMinimum 2 years of experience in your choice of field (this can point up to 5 years)
EducationRelevant skills related qualifications in your field
AgeShould be ideally between 18-35
Language SkillsProficiency in Canada's official languages, i.e., English or French
AdaptabilityHow easily the candidate can assimilate into the Canadian society

How to apply for the Self-Employed visa Program?

Below is the step-by-step guide to applying under this category:

Step 1 – Documents accumulation

  • Once you checked for the eligibility requirements, the applicant must arrange the documents
  • The list of documents should be as per the Document Checklist (IMM5784)
  • Clear all the required medical exams to prove the medical fitness of the applicant and the dependent family members
  • Gather the Police Certificates from the native country to provide a background check


Step 2 – Apply for the application

  • The necessary application forms are: IMM 0008, IMM 0008DEP, IMM 5669, IMM 008 – Schedule 6A, IMM 5406, IMM 5476.
  • Fill in all the application forms with accurate details
  • Take a note to fill the undertaking questionnaire with appropriate information


Step 3 – Payment of application fees

  • the applicant must pay the processing fee, residency fee and other mentioned fees according to their official payment portal
  • Print out the receipt of the payment before


Step 4 – Submit the application

  • Arrange all the documents, duly filled application forms, and apply by mail
  • For Mode of Mail – Address (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Self-employed Class, Centralized Intake Office, P.O. Box 7200, Sydney, NS, B1P 0E9, Canada)
  • For Mode of Courier Service – Address (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Self-employed Class, Centralized Intake Office, 49 Dorchester Street, Sydney, NS, B1P 5Z2, Canada)


Step 5 – Application Review & Approval

  • After the submission of your application form, the immigration office will review your application
  • Upon review, if your application is suitable as per the Canadian norms, then you will receive the Canada PR under Canada self-employed visa.


What is the processing time and fee required? 

The average time required to process the application of a Self-employed Visa is 24 months. However, the entire processing time depends on how quickly IRCC is taking to do the same. It is important to note that some candidates might have to submit biometrics under this process.

Fees required:

  • Business Immigration Application ($1,575 CAD) and the Right of Permanent Residence Fee ($500 CAD)
  • Spouse/Partner Application Fee: $825 CAD
  • Spouse/Partner RPRF: $500 CAD
  • Dependents: additional $225 CAD per dependant. 

For further assistance on your Self-Employed Visa, get in touch with our immigration experts in Nationwide Visas to get specialized guidance on your Canadian PR and immigration.