Self-Employed Visa Canada: Eligibility, Fees & More


The Self-Employed persons program has been paused till January 2027 due to high application backlog.

The Self-Employed Visa Canada is a pathway that falls under business immigration for individuals with relevant experience in cultural and athletic activities. You can apply for this visa under the Self-Employed Program. 

Individuals who want to establish themselves in Canada without investing a large sum of money into another business or government may find this a beneficial opportunity. 

Self-employed Visa Canada Requirements

To immigrate as a self-employed person, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Must have relevant work experience
  • Must meet the program’s selection criteria
  • Be ready and able for self-employment in Canada
  • Fulfill the medical, security, and other conditions

Relevant Experience Criteria:

  • Participation in cultural activities or athletics (at a global scale)
  • Prior self-employment in cultural activities or athletics

Selection Criteria for Self-Employed Visa Canada

Candidates interested in a self-employed person visa in Canada are evaluated based on various factors like experience, education, age, adaptability, and language proficiency. 

It is a points-based assessment, with a passing mark of 35 points out of 100. Here are the factors that are considered for a self-employed visa calculator in Canada.

Factors for SelectionMax. Points
Language Abilities (English or French)24
Passing Mark35


You need relevant work experience within the previous five years of applying until a decision is reached on your application.


Education LevelMinimum Years of StudyPoints
Ph.D. or Master’s Degree1725
Two or more university degrees (bachelor’s level)1522
Three-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship1522
University degree of two years or more (bachelor’s level)1420
Two-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship1420
One-year university degree (bachelor’s level)1315
One-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship1315
One-year diploma, trade certificate, or apprenticeship1212
Completed high school5


Selection points depend on your age when the visa office receives your application for awarding points.

16 or under0


Adaptability CriteriaPoints
Spouse/Common-law Partner’s Education Level
Secondary school diploma or less: 0 points
One-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or degree with at least 12 years of studies: 3 points
Two or three-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or degree with at least 14 years of studies: 4 points
Master’s degree or Ph.D. with at least 17 years of studies: 5 points
3-5 points
Previous Work in Canada
Minimum 1 year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit completed by either you or your spouse accompanying you
5 points
Previous Study in Canada
Completed at least 2 years of full-time study at a post-secondary institution in Canada after the age of 17 with a valid study permit. 
No degree or diploma is required for these two years of study to earn points
5 points
Relatives in Canada
You or your spouse/common-law partner have a relative (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, etc.) residing in Canada as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
5 points

Language Ability:

Level of Language ProficiencyReadingWritingSpeakingListening
Basic BasicBasicBasicBasic
NoDoes not meet the basic levelDoes not meet the basic levelDoes not meet the basic levelDoes not meet the basic level
  • A high level indicates that an individual can proficiently communicate in social and work situations.
  • Moderate means you can easily communicate with familiar social and work situations.
  • A basic level indicates that you can handle familiar situations well but face difficulties in more complex and unfamiliar situations.

Self-employed Visa Canada fees

According to IRCC, the following is the fee structure to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person.


Self-Employed Visa Processing Time in Canada

According to IRCC, the processing time of a self-employed person is about 57 months. This processing time covers the time required for providing your biometric information. 

Self-employed Visa Occupation List in Canada

1. Skilled and Technical Occupations in Culture, Art, Sport, and Recreation

NOC CodeOccupations
53100Museums and Art Galleries
52110Film and Video Camera Operators
53124Artisans and Craftsperson
53125Patternmakers – Textile, Leather, and Fur Products
53202Sports Officials and Referees
54100Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness
51101Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants
53123Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit, and Other Creative Designers
52121Interior Designers
51120Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Performing Arts and the Broadcasting
52120Graphic Designers and Illustrators
52112Broadcast Technicians
52111Graphic Arts Technicians
52114Announcers and Other Broadcasters
52113Audio and Video Recording Technicians

2. Professional Occupation in Culture and Art

NOC CodeOccupations
53121Actors and Comedians
51120Producers, Directors, Choreographers, and Related Occupations
53122Painters, Sculptors, and Other Visual Artists
51122Musicians and Singers
51121Conductors, Composers, and Arrangers
51111Authors and Writers
51120Producers, Directors, Choreographers, and Related Occupations
10022Public Relations and Communications
51114Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters

How TCWW Assists You

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Our experienced immigration experts can accurately assess your case and suggest the best pathway that meets your needs. Hence, we will assist you with the best NOC codes and Canadian provinces according to your needs if you choose our services.

So, contact TCWW today to learn more about successfully immigrating to Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Self-Employed visa in Canada?

Ans: It is a visa for individuals who plan to be self-employed in cultural and athletic activities.

2. Who is eligible for self-employed visa?

Ans: An individual who possesses relevant experience in cultural and athletic activities may be able to immigrate as a self-employed person.

3. What is the processing time for a self-employed person?

Ans: According to IRCC, the processing time for a self-employed person is around 56 months.

4. Is there a minimum investment required for a self-employed person?

Ans: No, there is no minimum investment requirement, but you must show sufficient proof of funds to support your initial stay in Canada. 

5. Is there an age limit for applicants?

Ans: Though there is no specific age, however, the older you get the less point you will acquire. People older than 53 do not get points.