Immigration to Canada under the Federal Self-employed Program

Canada welcomes tens of thousands of immigrants every year. A large group of those people immigrate to Canada under the Federal programs. These programs target the individuals who want to live in any province or territory of Canada, but Quebec. Some of these immigrants are self-employed people. The Federal Government of Canada currently accepts two groups of self-employed applicants.

Main criteria for Self-employed immigration

Self-employed MusicianIn order to succeed under each category, a person needs to meet the following criteria (sections 88(1) and 100 to 105 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations):

  1. At least two years of acceptable self-employment or international activity in the qualifying period
  2. The ability and intent to establish their self-employment business in Canada
  3. The ability to contribute to the Canadian economy because of their future business activities in our country
  4. Collecting enough number of points from the selection grid

The qualifying period begins five years prior to submitting the application to the immigration authorities and ends when an officer makes a decision about the case. For example, if you submit your application on June 1, 2019, and the officer makes a decision on your case on October 5, 2020, the qualifying period is from June 1, 2014, to October 5, 2020. It is impossible to predict the date an officer makes a decision on the case. Consequently, you need to submit your documents only when you have accumulated at least two years of acceptable work experience.

Selection points for Self-employed immigration

The selection points do not play an important role in this method of immigration. You only need 35 points out of 100 points to succeed. However, almost all refusals refer to the first three criteria (i.e. experience, ability and intent, and significant contribution). Here is a brief breakdown of the selections points:

  • Education – up to 25 points
  • Experience – up to 35 points
  • Age – up to 10 points
  • Ability in English and/or French languages – up to 24 points
  • Adaptability (education or work in Canada, educated spouse or common-law partner, or having a qualifying family member in Canada) – up to 6 points

Learn more about Self-employed immigration

To know more about this method of immigration, read the following articles. I will add more to this list in the future.

This is not an easy method of application. It targets professionals, only. If you do not qualify for any other stream of immigration to Canada, you may not replace them with this option. In other words, this method is not for someone who knows how to play the piano or how to play basketball. It is for professional pianists and basketball players. I have represented several applicants in this group since 2011. Take my words and apply only if you meet the requirements.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada


    This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches the official immigration consulting courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al who holds a Masters degree from Yorkville University is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented hundreds of applicants from more than 30 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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