Business Immigration


In order to be eligible for consideration in the self-employed category, the applicant must first meet the regulatory definition. If an applicant does not meet the regulatory definition of a self-employed person, section R100(2) requires the refusal of the application without further assessment.

Self-employed immigrants must have relevant experience within the five-year period immediately preceding the date of application.
Relevant experience in respect of a self-employed person, means

  • For at least two years in the period beginning five years before the date of application:
    • Self-employment in cultural activities or athletics; or
    • Participation, at the world-class level, in cultural activities or athletics; or
    • Farm management experience.
  • No immigration conditions are imposed on this class.
  • Self-employed immigrants must have the experience, intention and ability to:
    • establish a business that will, at a minimum, create an employment opportunity for themselves and that will make a significant contribution to cultural activities or athletics in Canada; or
    • purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

Please note that as of March 10, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will no longer be accepting new applications under the farm management stream of the program. Applications received before March 10, 2018, will continue to be processed and a decision rendered.

Additionally, in order to qualify, you will be assessed against five selection factors:

  • age,
  • education,
  • official languages,
  • experience, and
  • adaptability.

For each selection factor, a specific number of selection points are awarded. If you have a score lower than a total of 35 points, your application may be refused.
In assessing an applicant’s experience, intent and ability to create their own employment in Canada, the following will be considered:

  • Self-employed experience in cultural activities or athletics. This will capture those traditionally applying in this category. For example, music teachers, painters, illustrators, film makers, freelance journalists. Beyond that, the category is intended to capture those people who work behind the scenes, for example, choreographers, set designers, coaches and trainers.
  • Management experience in the world of arts and culture may also be a viable measure of self-employment; for example, theatrical or musical directors and impresarios.
  • A person’s financial assets may also be a measure of intent and ability to establish economically in Canada. There is no minimum investment level for a self-employed person. The capital required depends on the nature of the work. Applicants must have sufficient funds to create an employment opportunity for themselves and maintain themselves and their family members. The applicant must demonstrate that they have been able to support themselves and their family through their talents and would be likely to continue to do so in Canada. This includes the ability to be self-supporting until the self-employment has been created.
  • Participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics intends to capture performers. This describes those who perform in the arts, and in the world of sport. “World class” identifies persons who are known internationally. It also identifies persons who may not be known internationally but perform at the highest levels in their discipline.
  • It is important, when determining an applicant’s intent and ability to purchase and manage a farm, to be aware that farming is a highly skilled and capital-intensive industry.

For further information or questions regarding Business Class requirements, please feel free to contact our office. If you would like to know whether you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada in the Self-employed category, we invite you to complete our online assessment questionnaire: On-line Assessment Questionnaire.

Last updated: 18.03.2018