Canadian Immigration for Self-Employed – Your Complete Guide for 2022

Being self-employed might be tricky while immigrating. Having found a job is a must in the evaluation of you application. In this article, we extend on this issue as well as come up with some suggestions.

7 Jul 2022, 6:24 pm


min read

self employed immigration to canada

Choosing to immigrate to Canada while you are self-employed can feel tricky since being employed or having a job offer in hand can play such a crucial role in the evaluation of your application.

If you are interested in immigrating to Canada while being a self-employed person, keep reading to gain a better understanding of the process and how you need to proceed.

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Self-Employed?

Let’s have a closer look at how immigration to Canada works for self-employed candidates.

Step 1: Get Help from an RCIC (optional)

self employed immigration to canada

RCICs are experienced and knowledgeable and will know the best way to optimize your skills, qualifications, and experiences and outline the best immigration plan for you so you can get the maximum CRS score possible in your case.

If you’re thinking about embarking on immigration, you obviously want it to be done efficiently and as quickly as possible so you can begin your life in Canada. The best way of navigating all this is to get professional help from an RCIC consultant.

There are many RCICs out there, so we have done our own research. You may check out our top Recommended Canadian Immigration Consultants list . It was built based on extensive research, customer testimonials, and other vetting methods. 

Step 2: Choose a Program

self employed immigration to canada

Look into the Self-Employed Persons Program. This is the self-employed program for immigration to Canada. In order to be eligible for this program, you need to meet certain requirements. 

Also keep in mind, this program is valid for any province across Canada, except Quebec. The province of Quebec has its own, separate immigration processes and regulations.

Step 3: Go though the Eligibility Requirements

self employed immigration to canada

Surprisingly, the eligibility criteria for a self-employed applicant to immigrate to Canada is not overly complicated. You need to check them to make sure you meet it perfectly.

In order to qualify, the candidate must show two years of relevant work experience and demonstrate they intend to become self-employed while residing in Canada.

The federal government uses a selection grid to determine whether the candidate has the necessary qualifications to contribute towards Canada’s economic growth. A score of 35 or higher out of 100, must be attained on the grid.

The five selection criteria and the maximum number of points achievable are as follows:

  • Education (25 points)
  • Experience (35 points)
  • Age (10 points)
  • Proficiency in English, French or both (24 points)
  • Adaptability (6 points)

The applicant must also meet the basic immigration conditions such as passing medical, security and background checks and other conditions. For example, anyone with a criminal record for a dangerous offense will not be granted admission into the country, even if they meet all the other requirements.

Step 4: Apply!

self employed immigration to canada

Download the application package online and complete all the documents.

In most cases you will need to submit supporting documents, language tests, certificates etc.

It is crucial that you review everything multiple times to ensure your application is complete and filled in correctly. The smallest mistake can result in extremely long delays, be refused, found inadmissible or banned completely for a period of five years.

Step 5: Pay your Fees

self employed immigration to canada

Prior to submitting your application, you will be required to pay several fees. 

These include:

  • Processing fees;
  • The Right of Permanent Residence Fee;
  • Biometrics; 
  • Relevant third-party fees.

Step 6: Submit your Application 

self employed immigration to canada

Once your fees have all been paid, you are ready to send in your application to the address listed on the instruction guide. Make sure to make copies of your entire application package for your own records.

Step 7: Go for Your Biometrics

self employed immigration to canada

Sometime after submitting your application, you will receive a letter explaining how to give your biometrics and where you need to go.

This has to be done in person. You will be given 30 days from when you receive the letter, to submit your biometrics.

Step 8: Wait: Your Application is being Evaluated

self employed immigration to canada

Over the next year, your application will go through a review phase. Unfortunately, the processing time is quite long at approximately 34 months.

Once a decision has been made, you will be notified via letter and you will be asked to send your passport to the visa office so your permanent resident visa can be issued.

Step 9: Arrive in Canada

self employed immigration to canada

With your approval and documents and passport in hand, you are ready to arrive in Canada and complete your landing.

The final hurdle to cross is meeting with a Canada Border Services Agent upon your arrival at the airport. They will review all your paperwork and determine whether you will be allowed to enter Canada or not. When everything is in order, you will not be refused.

Wondering if there are other immigration paths for self-employed?

As you can see the process is not complicated but it can be time-consuming. Thankfully, there are a few other pathways for self-employed applicants, which are more efficient such as the Start-Up Visa, Business Visa, Investor Visa or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Each province’s PNP offers at least one Entrepreneur stream based on their labour market needs. For example, in Alberta, farmers can apply under the Self-Employed Farmer Stream  

Regardless of which program you choose, the application process will be similar to the one described above, however, some programs will yield quicker results.

Check out if you are eligible for immigration to Canada within a few minutes:

Where to Find Help with Immigration?

The best thing you can do as a self-employed candidate looking to immigrate to Canada is consulting with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). 

They are experts in all things immigration and are in the best position to advise you on what path you should follow, based on your circumstances and goals.

The process of immigrating to Canada permanently as a self-employed person is not difficult, but it can get complicated. Wouldn’t you rather come to Canada within six months instead of waiting two years?

An RCIC will be able to help you come to Canada in the quickest and most efficient manner.

If you are a freelancer and you’ve always dreamed of moving to Canada, now is the time to act.

Get started on the Road to Permanent Residence
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Grace was born in Birmingham, England, and moved to Canada with her family when she was five. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2015 and since then she has been working as a recruitment consultant for 10+ companies. In her spare time, Grace writes about her professional experience with winning job offers for immigrants. She also shares tips about employment that could be useful for both immigrants and local job seekers.

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