Self-Employed Immigration Canada

You can immigrate to Canada as as self-employed person under the Canadian Experience Class.


Working with an immigration consultant can help you to apply for permanent residence as a self-employed person. This page identifies ways that your experiences in cultural activities such as writing, music and painting and your experience in various roles in athletics can be used to immigrate to Canada. View answers to some common question on immigrating to Canada as a self-employed person.

How do you immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person?

To immigrate to Canada as a self-employed immigrant (who runs their own business), you must have at least 2 years experience in the 5 years before the date of your application for a permanent resident visa.

Being a self-employed person means that you have relevant experience, you intend (and have the ability) to be self-employed in Canada, and you are likely to have a “significant” impact on our economy.

What types of experience make you a self-employed?

As a self-employed immigrant, you should have experience in either cultural activities or athletics. This class is a useful path to immigration for people who can make a significant contribution to Canadian society but may not qualify under other programs.

You are a professional artist or technician?

Cultural activities deal mainly with your experiences as, namely: an author, writer, musician, painter, sculptor, performing artist, visual artist, technical support, creative designer. Find a list of jobs related to cultural activities and the duties you should have performed.

To qualify as a “cultural activity,” you need to meet 1 of the following:

  • You were self-employed for at least two one-year periods in a cultural activity;
  • You have experience performing at a world-class level in a cultural activity covering at least two one-year periods; or
  • You have a bit of both requirements

Your immigration consultant can help you to determine if you qualify as a self-employed immigrant based on under specific cultural activities.

You compete in athletics at very high level:

The following jobs show that you have experience in athletics at a very high level: coach, athlete, sports official, referee, program leader or being an instructor for recreation, sport and fitness.

Coaches have experience as a coach or scout in the following: baseball, basketball, bobsled, cycling, figure skating, football, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, luge, skiing, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water-polo. See a complete list of coaching and scouting experiences.

Athletes have experience in the following: archer, automobile racing, badminton, baseball, billiard, boxing, chess, curler, cyclist, figure skating, football, golf, judoka, race driver, hockey, jockey, skiing, soccer, swimming, table tennis, track and field, video gamer or gambling, wrestling. Find a list of all experiences in athletics that deal with immigration as a self-employed person.

Sports officials who intend to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person, have experience as the following: curling judge, figure skating judge, harness racing judge, horseshoe inspector, racetrack timer, scorekeeper, sports judge, sports official, track and field judge, or umpire. View a list of jobs that relate to being self-employed as a sports official.

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness, have experience working as follows: activities leader seniors, arts and crafts instructor, aerobics instructor, beach lifeguard, camp counsellor, chess instructor, day camp leader, fitness appraiser, fitness instructor, gymnastics teacher, judo instructor, karate teacher, martial arts instructor, personal trainer, playground worker, professional golf instructor, sports instructor, recreation program leader, riding instructor, ski instructor, swimming instructor, weight lifting instructor. See the full list of jobs related to being a program leader or teacher in recreation, sports and fitness.

Your immigration consultant will review your application as a self-employed immigrant based on your participation in athletics at a high level.

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