Self-employed immigration to Canada is a scheme available for all foreigners with a desire to permanently move to Canada. The programme is in place for individuals with salient skills and experience in culture, farming, business or athletics. It’s a scheme reserved for individuals who are willing and able to support themselves and their dependents through self-employed income.
In Canada today, the entrepreneur and investor category of permanent residency is closed. However, the self-employed immigration option remains open for any individual willing to set up a business in Canada. This scheme automatically gives you permanent citizenship status in Canada. Nevertheless, this is only achievable if you’re able to convince an immigration officer of sufficient experience and ability to establish a business.
Your business immigration visa eligibility depends majorly on your genuine potential to be gainfully self-employed in Canada. Luckily, if you meet the Federal Self-Employed immigration Persons Program selection criteria, then you’re good to go.
In this article, we will show you how you can qualify for this immigration programme. We will show you all of the due process and requirements that you must go through to become a permanent citizen of Canada via self-employed immigration.
Related article: What the Best Immigration Consultants in Canada Offer?
What is self-employed immigration?
Self-employed immigration is moving permanently to a foreign country while working for yourself rather than an employer. Usually, tax authorities will view you as self-employed if you choose to be recognized as such. Also, it means that you must generate income and be able to file a tax return under legislation in the relevant jurisdiction.
Naturally, the crucial concern for determining if you’re taxable is not about if you’re trading but based on your profitability. In other words, the activity of self-employment is likely to be ignored if no profit is present. This is why, sometimes, authorities generally ignore enthusiast or hobby-based economic activity.
As a self-employed person, you’re expected to find your work rather than being provided with work by an employer. You’re not supposed to be earning income from a profession, a trade or business that they operate. Instead, you’re expected to be a stand-alone establishment.
To be able to apply successfully, you must have at least two (2) to three (3) years of experience in the last five years – before the application date. Mostly, by participation at a world-class level in cultural activities, athletics, or farm management experience. You’re also expected to have a vast knowledge of different business networks and others.
Furthermore, you’re expected to demonstrate sufficient financial stability, which is somewhat less than that of an entrepreneur to qualify. These should enable you to be self-employed and make a substantial addition to economic activities in Canada. Also, it means you can meet the initial settlement requirements for yourself and any accompanying dependents.
All you need to know about the self-employed immigration process
The self-employed immigration scheme in Canada offers you a chance to permanently move to Canada permanently as a business owner.
If you’re keen to enjoy this scheme, you must:
- Be willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.
- Have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics; and
- You must ensure to meet the eligibility requirements and also the general requirements
To qualify as self-employed personnel, you must:
- Meet the selection criteria,
- Intend to become self-employed in Canada, and
- Have two (2) years of relevant experience.
The following are additional requirements you must possess to be qualified for the scheme.
You must have the financial means to:
- Cater to the work you were selected for.
- Settle in Canada – with your dependents if applicable.
You will also be mandated to pass:
- Criminal and security checks and
- A medical examination.
What does relevant experience entail?
Qualified self-employed persons must have relevant experience of at least one of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups:
- Professional occupations in art and culture; or
- Technical occupations in art, culture, recreation, and sport.
Your experience will be deemed relevant if you have, for at least two years:
- Participated in cultural or athletic activities at a world-class level; or
- Been a self-employed person in either the artistic or athletic industries.
Self-employed immigration in Canada – Creative and Cultural Workers
Cultural activities include occupations within Canada’s creative and cultural industries. For example:
- The core creative industries include literature, music, performing arts, visual arts, etc.
- The core cultural industries include film, photography, museums, galleries, etc.
- The broader cultural industries include heritage services, publishing, and print, TV, and radio, etc.
- The related industries include advertising, design, fashion, architecture, etc.
Self-employed immigration in Canada – Sports and Recreation Workers
Relevant occupations in the athletics industry include:
- Sports officials and referees, and
- Recreational sports and fitness program leaders and instructors.
How to Apply for Self-employed Immigration in Canada
To apply for this scheme, you’ll have to obtain and complete the application package. You can get the package on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website or contact an immigration consultant in Toronto for help.
This package includes a document and instructional guide checklist aimed at helping you in filling out the forms correctly. Ensure you include all of the fees, documents, information, and signatures requested from you.
If your application is missing any required information, it will be returned to you without further processing. If not, you will pay for your application fees.
In most cases, these fees include:
- Application processing fees for yourself and anyone you have added.
- The Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF).
- Biometrics – The collection of fingerprints and digital photos.
- Potential third-party fees. For instance; police certificates, medical examination, document translation, etc.
Finally, you will submit your application. Also, you must send your application to the address provided by your agency. It is suggested that you review your application to ensure that you have:
- Answered all questions accurately,
- Signed everywhere applicable,
- Paid all of the required fees,
- Include all of the supporting documents.
Ramifications for Misrepresentation
It is essential to take note that if you are caught omitting or embellishing any details, you will face the consequences. In other words, if you misrepresent yourself by providing false information or leaving out crucial details:
- Your application may be refused,
- You may be found inadmissible, and
- You could be denied immigration to Canada for up to five (5) years.
The Selection Process
The selection grid is designed to determine whether you will be able to contribute to the economy once settled in Canada. The maximum score is 100 points. You will need to score a minimum of 35 selection points to pass.
Your application will be reviewed and graded using a point system that assesses the following:
A maximum of 10 selection points will be awarded based on your age at the time your application is received. Some examples include the following:
- If you are 15-years-old, younger or 54-years-old and above, you’ll not be granted any selection points for age.
- If you are between the ages of 20 and 50, you will be awarded ten (10) selection points.
You may earn up to 25 selection points based on your level and duration of the study. Some examples include the following:
- You will be awarded only five (5) selection points if you have only earned a high school diploma.
- You will earn 25 selection points if you possess a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. and 17+ years of full-time study.
You may be awarded up to 35 selection points based on the amount of experience you have gained over the past five years. Some examples include the following:
- If you have five (5) years of relevant experience, you will be awarded 35 selection points.
- If you only have two years of related experience, you will be awarded 20 selection points.
English and French are the official languages in Canada. You can choose to complete either an English or French proficiency test. You may also opt to do both tests to increase your chance of approval. You’ll earn up to 24 points based on your ability to:
You may receive up to 6 selection points for flexibility based on factors that will ease your integration into Canada. Some examples include the following:
- Five (5) selection points will be awarded if you have worked or studied in Canada.
- Five (5) selection points will be awarded if you have a relative living in Canada that is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Eligibility Requirements for Self-employed Immigration
As mentioned earlier, to permanently move to Canada as a self-employed person, you must:
- be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada,
- have relevant experience,
- meet medical, security and other conditions, and
- meet the program’s selection criteria.
Your experience is appropriate if you have:
- been a self-employed person in cultural activities or athletics, or
- taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level.
Relevant experience for a self-employed person means at least two (2) years of experience. It must be within this time, starting five (5) years before the day you apply and ending on the day your agent will decide on your application. You’re eligible for more points if you have 3, 4, or 5 years of experience.
Furthermore, your level of experience at a minimum must be:
- Two (2) one-year periods being self-employed in athletics, or
- Two (2) one-year periods participating at a world-class level in athletics, or
- A combination of two years participating in each of the two terms described above.
For cultural activities
- Two one-year periods being self-employed in cultural activities, or
- Two one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities, or
- A combination of two years participating in each of the terms described above.
Your selection criteria assessment will include your:
- language abilities
Medical, security checks and other requirements
You and your family members must have a medical exam and get police certificates. You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada.
Also, you need to give your biometrics. In most cases, you now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Find out where biometrics fits in the application process.
Get the application package
The application package includes a guide and a document checklist. Use the guide to help you fill out the forms correctly. Otherwise, you can hire the services of an immigration consultant to help you fill the guide.
- Gather all the supporting information listed in the document checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything
- Fill out the Generic Application Form for Canada on your computer.
- When you’re done, ensure you validate your application form. Print the validated application form, including the barcode page(s).
- Also, ensure you append your signature and date on the form where you appropriate. Include all the pages of the application form, including the barcode page(s), with your application.
Include all the forms, information, documents, signatures, language test results and fees that are asked for. If any information is missing, your application will be incomplete, and it will be returned to you without processing it.
All of your answers must be complete and true. If it is found that you gave out false information about yourself,
- your application may be outrightly refused
- you may be found inadmissible and
- you and your dependents may be barred for up to five years from applying for entry to Canada for any reason
Payment of Application Fees
In most cases, your fees will include:
- Third-party fees
- Biometrics fees
- The Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)
- Processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application.
You have to pay all of the application fees online.
In most cases, you must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise, you may experience delays in processing. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.
After you pay the biometrics fee with a completed application, you’ll receive a letter confirming that you now give your biometrics. This letter will also direct you to a collection point near you. You must show this letter when you give your biometrics.
If you’re between 15 and 80 years old, you need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for every application for permanent residence you submit. Even if you gave your biometrics in the past, and they’re still valid.
- Get this done as soon as you get a letter from your agency that tells you to give biometrics.
- You must pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise, you may experience delays.
- You only have 30 days to do this from the date of the letter.
For proper proceedings, you may need to give biometrics with your application. This processing time includes the time you need to give your biometrics.
You must give your biometrics in person. Make sure to book an appointment if this service is offered. However, you can find a collection point around you for accessible transit.
Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:
- Medical exams.
- Police certificates.
- Language testing.
Your agent can help you understand which fees apply to you and show you how to pay them.
You must have a medical exam before you can immigrate to Canada. Your family members must also have one if they are coming with you.
However, be aware that your application may be forfeited if your health:
- would cause too much demand on health or social services in Canada, or
- is a danger to Canada’s public health or safety.
You’ll receive a letter on how to get the medical exam once your application form has been sent to the visa office.
If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are not allowed to come to Canada.
To move to Canada, you and any of your family members – 18 years of age and above must provide police certificates to the agencies if requested.
Submit your application
To make sure you have a complete application, you must:
- Answer all questions
- Sign your application and all forms
- Pay your processing fees and attach a copy of the receipt to your application
- Include all the supporting documents
How Your Self-employed Immigration Application to Canada is Assessed
After you apply, your application form will undergo verification to confirm that you have:
- Filled out your application forms correctly and signed them.
- Paid your processing fee and biometrics fee and
- Included all the required documents.
If you forget to follow due process, your application will not be processed and will be sent back to you.
Avoid delays by informing the agency about any changes to your personal information. Also, you can always contact the agency if you need to report essential changes in your application, such as:
- Births or deaths in your family
- Marriages or divorces.
- Changes in address, telephone number, email or other contact information, and so on if possible.
- A new educational credential.
- Updates in the language test results.
- Changes to your job or job offer.
Your application will be delayed if:
- There is a need to do more background checks.
- There are criminal or security problems.
- The visa office has to contact other visa offices in Canada or abroad to verify your information, or
- Your family situation isn’t clear – reasons could include divorce or adoption that isn’t yet complete or child custody issues that haven’t been resolved.
The decision on your application
A decision is made on your request based on:
- Whether you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Canada.
- Whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the program.
- the results of your medical exam, and
- the information on your police certificate(s)
The office that processes your application will contact you if you need to send more documents or go to an interview. If your application is approved, we’ll ask you to send your passport to the visa office so we can issue your permanent resident visa.
Confirmation of Permanent Residence
If your application is approved, a permanent resident visa will be issued to you. This visa includes your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and your entry visa.
Your COPR will have information about who you are as well as your photograph. Please check to make sure it is correct. It should be the same as the information on your passport. If there’s a mistake on your COPR, contact your visa office. You must have your COPR and your visa with you when you arrive in Canada.
Prepare to arrive
When you arrive in Canada, you will be greeted by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
When you arrive, you must have:
- A valid passport and travel documents.
Your passport must be a regular, private passport. You cannot immigrate to Canada with a diplomatic, government service or public affairs passport.
- UA valid permanent resident visa and your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).
The officer will make sure you’re entering Canada before or on the expiry date shown on your visa (this document cannot be extended).
- Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada
The officer will ask you a few questions to make sure you still meet the eligibility requirements to immigrate to Canada. These questions will be like the ones you answered when you applied.
You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information, or if you don’t convince the officer that you meet the conditions to enter Canada.
If you meet the requirements, the officer will allow you to enter Canada as a permanent resident.
They will also confirm your Canadian mailing address and have your permanent resident card mailed to you there. If you change your address within 180 days of arriving in Canada, you must notify the government using an online tool.
Disclosure of funds
If you arrive in Canada with more than CAD10,000, you must tell this to the CBSA officer. If you don’t tell them, you could be fined, and your funds could be seized.
These funds could be in the form of:
- Securities that belong to you – stocks, bonds, debentures and treasury bills.
- Bankers’ drafts
- Travellers’ cheques.
- money orders
Self-employed immigration is better in comparison to other streams of business immigration with high demands for immigration. In other streams of business immigration, you’ll be required to invest a sum of your funds into a private organization or government as evidence supporting your claim. However, for self-employed immigration, you’ll only be asked to provide proof of your experience within your industry.
Also, you may be asked to provide evidence supporting your claims to being successfully self-employed as a backup to your proof of experience. With this instruction, you can easily get self-employed entry to Canada for the rest of your lifetime.
The application process for self-employed immigration to Canada can be a complicated one. Let us make things easier for you. Contact us today! Let us help you apply for self-employed immigration into Canada!