Self-Employed Visa

The Self Employed Visa falls within the Business Immigration visa category and aims to attract individuals with expertise in cultural, artistic, or athletic domains. Prospective candidates must showcase their relevant experience in their respective fields while residing in their home country, underscoring their capacity to make substantial contributions in Canada through their artistic or athletic skills.

For those preferring to settle in Quebec, the Quebec Self-Employed Program is the suitable route. To qualify for this program, applicants must possess pertinent experience, along with the intention and capability to accomplish one of the following:

  • Make noteworthy contributions to cultural, artistic, or athletic spheres on an international scale within Canada.
  • Acquire or manage a farm in the country.

By fulfilling these criteria, candidates can pave their way to securing this visa and embarking on a self-employed journey in Canada.

What activities meet the eligibility criteria for the Self-Employed Program?

The Canadian National Occupation Classification has compiled an exhaustive list encompassing potential professional avenues falling within these two groupings.

1. Art and cultural professions.

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

2. Technical and proficient roles within the realms of art, culture, recreation, and sports

5211Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants
5212Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries
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
5253Sports Officials and Referees
5254Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness

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

  • In contrast to Entrepreneur Visa schemes, the Self-Employed Program doesn’t impose a net-worth prerequisite. Nonetheless, candidates should possess ample funds to facilitate settlement and cover immigration expenses.
  • The absence of a net worth requirement provides individuals the flexibility to establish their Canadian ventures without the burden of maintaining a specific profit margin.
  • The Self-Employed Program presents a plethora of selection opportunities for candidates.
  • Merely 2 years of experience in the chosen artistic or athletic field are sufficient to qualify.
  • This program grants the freedom to reside and work anywhere across Canada.
  • Processing time for the self-employed visa is notably shorter than that of other entrepreneur programs.


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Am I eligible for the Self-Employed program?

To meet the requirements of the Self-Employed program, you must earn points in the specified categories outlined below. This will generate a profile score, increasing your probability of selection from the candidate pool.

Eligibility CriteriaRequirements
Work ExperienceA minimum of 2 years of experience in your selected field (up to 5 years can be credited).
EducationPossession of relevant qualifications and skills in your respective field.
AgeIdeally, ages between 18 and 35 are preferred.
Language SkillsProficiency in either of Canada’s official languages – English or French.
AdaptabilityAssessment of the candidate’s potential to integrate effectively into Canadian society.

Applying for the Self Visa Program: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1 – Gathering Required Documents

  • Assess eligibility and start preparing essential documents.
  • Ensure documents align with the Document Checklist (IMM5784).
  • Complete mandatory medical exams for the applicant and dependents.
  • Obtain Police Certificates for background verification.


Step 2 – Initiating the Application

  • Fill out the necessary application forms: IMM 0008, IMM 0008DEP, IMM 5669, IMM 008 – Schedule 6A, IMM 5406, IMM 5476.
  • Provide accurate details in all application forms.
  • Complete the undertaking questionnaire with precision.


Step 3 – Payment of Application Fees

  • The process required fees like processing and residency fees via the official payment portal.
  • Retain a printed receipt of the payment.


Step 4 – Application Submission

  • Compile all documents and filled forms, then submit via mail.
  • Mailing Address: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Self-employed Class, Centralized Intake Office, P.O. Box 7200, Sydney, NS, B1P 0E9, Canada.
  • Courier 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

  • The immigration office will review your application post-submission.
  • If your application aligns with Canadian standards, you may receive the Canada PR Visa through the Self-Employed Visa program.

Processing Time and Fees

The typical processing period for a Self-Employed Visa application is around 24 months, although the duration can vary depending on the pace of IRCC’s operations. It’s important to acknowledge that certain applicants may be required to submit biometrics during this procedure.


  • Business Immigration Application Fee: $1,625 CAD, along with the Right of Permanent Residence Fee: $515 CAD.
  • Spouse/Partner Application Fee: $850 CAD.
  • Spouse/Partner Right of Permanent Residence Fee: $515 CAD.
  • Dependents: Additional $230 CAD per dependent.

For personalized guidance on your Canadian PR and immigration process, reach out to our immigration experts at Izago Immigration.

How Izago Immigration Can Assist You

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