The Self-Employed Persons Program is one of the business immigration programs, however, it is aimed exclusively at certain categories of self-employed foreigners. Unlike the Start-Up Visa program or the Owner/Operator immigration path, the Self-Employed Persons Program only targets professional artists and professional athletes.
In the past, Canada has also accepted Self Employed Farmers who were wishing to acquire and operate a farm in Canada under this program, but as of March 10, 2018, applications for this category of self-employed are no longer accepted.
Potential Self-Employed Immigrants do not need a permanent employer and can provide themselves with work in Canada through their professional activities. These immigrants can make a valuable contribution to both the economy and Canadian society through their talents.
List of occupations for immigration as self-employed artists or athletes under the Self-Employed Persons Program (SEPP).
It is important to note that self-employed activity should generate income and profit. Self-Employed candidates must work in their business for at least 2 years over the past 5 years.
What is required to apply for the Self-Employed Persons Program?
- Have 2 years of experience in sports or cultural activities
- Score at least 35 points out of 100
- Show that you have the financial resources needed to support yourself and your family for the first 6-12 months.
- Prepare a business plan confirming the ability to provide yourself with your professional activities.
SEPP Evaluation Criteria
In all Canadian immigration programs, potential applicants are rated on a rating scale. SEPP has a significantly lower passing score than other programs. This is what gives potential candidates with a background in cultural and professional sports a better chance of immigrating to Canada with minimal skills and basic experience. The minimum passing score for self-employed persons is 35 points out of 100 possible. These points are distributed as follows:
- Education – maximum of 25 points
- Work experience – maximum of 35 points
- Age – maximum of 10 points
- Knowledge of English and/or French – maximum of 24 points
- Adaptability – maximum of 6 points
It is quite easy to get a passing score in this program. Having a post-secondary education and two years of work experience will give a candidate 42-45 points in total, as well as a combination of age of 21-49 years, two years of work experience, and completed secondary education in total will give exactly 35 points. If you have five years of experience as a professional artist or sportsman in the last five years, this alone will give you 35 points.