Who is Eligible?
To be eligible, you must be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada. A self-employed person is defined as an immigrant admitted to Canada, because they have relevant work experience in working for himself or herself. The immigrant must intend and be able to become self-employed in Canada, in the field of arts and cultural activities or athletics.
You must have relevant experience in athletics or cultural activities. Your experience is relevant if you have:
• Taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level
• Been self-employed in either cultural activities or athletics
• Have two years experience in either cultural activities or athletics
• Your experience was a maximum of 5 years before the day you applied, and ends the day a decision is made on your application
• If you have 3, 4, 5 or more years of experience you will have a higher chance of being selected
For cultural activities, at a minimum, your experience must be:
• 2 one-year periods of being self-employed in cultural activities
• 2 one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities
• A combination of the above – a one-year period of being self-employed, and a one-year period of participating at a world-class level in cultural activities
For athletics, your experience must be a minimum of:
• 2 one-year periods of being self-employed in athletics
• 2 one-year periods participating at a world class level in athletics
• A mixture of the above
Selection Criteria: Points-based System
The Canadian Immigration authority will assess you on a range of selection criteria. The selection process for a self-employed person to come to Canada is based on a points system. The more years of experience you have, the more points you will have to begin with.
You will then be assessed on:
• Language abilities
The maximum possible score is 100, and the pass mark is at 35 points currently. This is subject to change – check the Canadian immigration site regularly to ensure that the selection criteria pass mark has not changed.
You may score a maximum of 25 points for education. The breakdown is as follows:
Master’s Degree or Ph. D and 17 years of full-time or equivalent study
Two or more university degrees at Bachelor’s level and 15 years of full-time or equivalent study
Three year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and 15 years of full-time or equivalent study
A university degree of two years or more at a bachelor’s level, and 14 years full-time or equivalent study
Two year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and 14 years of full-time study
One year university degree at bachelor’s level and 13 years full-time study
One year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 13 years full-time or equivalent study
One year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 12 years full-time or equivalent study
You completed high school
You may score a maximum of 35 points for experience.
You may score a maximum of 10 points for age. If you are 16 years old or below, you will score 0 points. If you are 54 years old or above, you will also score 0 points.
You may score a maximum of 24 points for your ability in French or English. You will be awarded points based on your ability to speak, listen, read and write in the target language. Depending on your proficiency – basic, moderate or high – you will be given more points. You should decide which language you are more proficient in and choose to be assessed on this language – this is your first official language. Your second official language is the other.
High proficiency is defined as being able to communicate effectively in most social and work situations. Moderate is being able to communicate in familiar social and work situations, basic is being able to communicate in predictable contexts on familiar topics, with some difficulty.
It is necessary to prove to level of language proficiency you have claimed on your application to gain points for your language abilities.
You can do so by arranging to take a language test from the following accredited agencies:
• IELTS (International English Language Testing System), General Training (not Academic)
• CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program), General CELPIP-G (not Academic, or CELPIP-A)
• TEF Canada (Test D’évaluation de français), all 4 results of compréhension écrite, compréhension orale, expression écrite, expression orale
• TEF Canada (Test de Connaisance du français), all 4 resoluts of compréhension de l’écrit, compréhension de l’oral, expression écrite, expression orale
It is possible to use language test results for two years after the date you sat the test, as long as the results are valid when you submit your application.
Points for adaptability can be awarded on a variety of criteria, at a maximum of 6 points. These include your spouse or common-in-law partners level of education:
High School diploma or less
One year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship or university degree and at least 12 years of full-time or equivalent study
Two or three year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 14 years full-time or equivalent study
Masters degree or Ph.D and at least 17 years full-time or equivalent study
If you and/or your spouse or partner has previously worked in Canada, for a minimum of one-year on a valid work permit, you may be given 5 points.If you and/or your spouse or partner has previously studied in Canada, in a full-time program for a minimum of 2 years, you may be awarded 5 points.
You did not need to have obtained a diploma or degree during this study, but it must have taken place after you were 17 years old and at a post-secondary school institution and with a valid study permit.
If you or your spouse or partner has relatives in Canada, you may be given 5 points. These relatives can be a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, child of a parent, sibling, child of a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or grandchild of a parent, niece or nephew. They must reside in Canada, be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
• To apply, download and complete the application form [Generic Application Form for Canada IMM 088]. Click ‘validate’ when you are finished, and any fields you have missed out will be outlined in red. Ensure you have completed all fields, and include all pages in your completed application, and have signed and dated where applicable.
• You may then gather the documents listed in the Documents Checklist in the application. Include everything that is required, or your application will be listed as incomplete and returned without processing.
• Then, you can pay your application fees and submit your application. Send your application to the centre listed in the instruction guide.
You must complete a medical exam and obtain police certificates. You must ensure that you pass the medical exam – you may be medically inadmissible for a number of reasons.
Your police certificates prove that you do not have a criminal record. It can either be a statement from your police or your current criminal record. You must also demonstrate that you have the money necessary to support yourself and your family in Canada.
In most cases, you will need to give your biometrics (photo) and fingerprints after applying. You must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application, and you will then receive a letter telling you where to go and give your biometrics. You can only do this in person, so be sure to book an appointment where this service is offered – this is called a collection point.
Candidates are selected based on their eligibility and score they achieve on the selection criteria. You may be interviewed as part of the selection process. The interview will usually be to explain any information that is unclear, inconsistent, or if there are gaps or problems in the documents you provided. If there is a discrepancy between your statement of qualifications and the visa officer’s assessment, points will be based on the interview’s decision.
All of your answers on your application must be complete and true. If the Canadian immigration authority discovers that you misrepresented yourself by giving untrue information, or deliberately omitting important information, your application can be refused. You may also be barred from Canada for 5 years.