Minimum Income Self-employed Immigration Canada

minimum income for self-employed immigration to CanadaAlejandro is a successful Mexican graphic designer. As a well-known local artist, Alejandro has delivered several projects to local customers in the past few years. However, he wants to move to Canada. In fact, Alejandro believes Canada could open many doors to his career and life. Therefore, he wonders what the minimum income for self-employed immigration to Canada is.

You could immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person in one of the following categories:

Of course, you need to meet the minimum requirements first. Regardless, the common question is how much minimum income one should show. This article answers this question.

Acceptable income for self-employed immigration to Canada

As a self-employed person, you must be self-sustained. Consequently, you need to show your income from your self-employed activities could cover you and your dependent family members’ expenses. Generally speaking,  family members include your spouse or common-law partner and your dependent children. Of course, a dependent child is a child who is under 22 and not married. Nonetheless, an older child could also be a dependent due to physical or mental disability.

The only acceptable source of income for self-employed immigration is the income from your self-employed activities. Here are some examples:

  • Sales of your goods or services
  • Bonuses you receive for completing the projects.
  • Presents or gifts you receive because of your self-employed activities
  • If you own a business, the dividends you receive from your own company related to the self-employed activities you claim

Of course, these are just some examples.

Excluded income

You may not consider income from sources other than your self-employment activities. Consequently, you must eliminate the following sources of income:

  • Your spouse or common-law parter’s income or salary
  • Income from a rental property
  • Financial support from parents or other family members
  • Wages you receive as an employee of an organization
  • Alimony you receive from your ex-spouse
  • Retirement salary
  • Gifts you receive from friends or family that are not related to your self-employed activities
  • Annuity from an insurance company
  • Dividends from publicly-traded corporations

This list is neither inclusive nor exclusive but gives you a good idea of what kind of income you could consider.

The minimum income for self-employed immigration to Canada

The minimum income is the amount that keeps you and your family self-sustained. In other words, if you consider all acceptable income and exclude the non-acceptable ones, can you sustain your life?

There is no doubt the cost of living is different around the globe. However, you could refer to some online tools such as to have a rough idea about the costs. For example, with the help of that website and at the time I was writing this article, I created the following table. Of course, the chart reflects monthly living costs for a single person and a family of four in these cities. All the figures are in Canadian dollars.

Country City One person/m Family of four/m
Mexico Mexico City $601 $2,186
Colombia Bogota $548 $1,879
Nigeria Abuja $805 $2,926
India Mumbai $505 $1,767
United States New York $1,812 $6,687
Pakistan Islamabad $465 $1,566
Philippines Manila $764 $2,588
United Arab Emirates Dubai $1,340 $4,659
Iran Tehran $620 $2,276
Canada Toronto $1,298 $4,751
Canada Vancouver $1,193 $4,402
Bangladesh Dhaka $584 $2,046


Please consider the following:

  • These figures are estimates and unofficial.
  • They could change at any point in time.
  • Do not trust one source only. Consult with multiple sources.
  • It is in your best interest that your income is way more than these figures.

Of course, the ultimate decision-maker is the officer. While the burden of proof is on you, the officer could reject your arguments at the end of the day. Therefore, make sure to present as many documents as you can.

How to verify income

Since self-employed people do not receive a regular salary, it is not easy to verify their income. However, you could consider the following tools to show you made the income you claim:

  • Personal or business financial statements by a chartered accountant
  • Detailed bank statements
  • Official notices of tax payments
  • Contracts and reference letters from customers
  • Copies of cheques you have received from your clients

Of course, this list is neither inclusive nor exclusive. Consequently, do your best to be as convincing and possible. Also, remember that misrepresentation could result in the refusal of the application and even inadmissibility to Canada.

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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. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

    The characters and places in the articles:
    All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

    Important Notes:
    For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have anywhere in this world. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.

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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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