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Self Employed Program

The Self-Employed Program of Canada presents a remarkable opportunity for foreign nationals possessing the skills to establish themselves independently in the Canadian job market. Specifically targeting individuals who can make significant contributions in the realms of athletics, culture, or the arts, this program is an ideal pathway for those poised to enhance Canada’s vibrant employment landscape. Notably, this program does not stipulate a minimum net worth or investment requirement, making it an accessible option for many. Prospective applicants, however, must demonstrate their ability to financially sustain themselves and their dependents upon settling in Canada. It’s also vital that they possess the financial resources to support the employment activities for which they are selected. 

The Self-Employed program underscores Canada’s commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a diverse and dynamic job market. Canada’s cultural, artistic, or athletic tapestry appeals to those who dream of a prosperous career and want to make a meaningful contribution. As this program has no financial barriers of entry, it opens its doors wide to a world of potential, where talent and determination are the driving forces of success.

Program Requirements?


Minimum two years of experience in last 5 years, either as self-employed or participating at a world class level in art, culture, recreation, or sport activities 


No minimum education requirements


Ideally between 18 to 50 years


No language requirements 

Points under selection criteria

Must score a minimum of 35 points out of a 100

Medical & Security

Applicants and accompanying family members must undergo medical exams, and provide police certificates 


Must show sufficient funds to demonstrate that you can support yourself and your family to settle in Canada

Eligible professional occupations in art and culture

Musicians and Singers – Performers who compose or perform music, either solo or as part of a group or orchestra.

Authors and Writers – Individuals who create written content, such as books, scripts, plays, essays, or articles.

Visual Artists – Artists who work in mediums such as painting, sculpting, photography, or digital art.

Performing Artists – This includes actors, comedians, dancers, and other performers who entertain through live performances.

Directors and Choreographers – Professionals who oversee and direct the creative aspects of film, theater, dance, or television productions.

Technical Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting, and the Performing Arts – Includes roles such as camera operators, sound technicians, and lighting technicians.

Graphic Designers and Illustrators – Individuals who create visual concepts by hand or using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers.

Craftspeople – Artisans who create handmade objects, such as pottery, textiles, glassware, and other functional or decorative items.

Curators, Conservators, and Archivists – Professionals who manage and oversee collections of artworks, artifacts, or historical items.

Art Instructors and Teachers – Individuals who teach art in various settings, including schools, workshops, and community programs.

Broadcasters and Journalists – Media professionals who research, write, and present news and information.

Photographers – Professionals who capture images to tell a story or record events.

Film and Video Camera Operators – Individuals who operate motion picture cameras to record scenes for television, film, or video productions.

Editors (Film, Video, and Publications) – Professionals who review and change text, audio, and video content.

Fashion Designers – Designers who create original clothing, accessories, and footwear.

Theatre, Fashion, Exhibition and Other Creative Designers – Professionals who conceptualize and realize creative designs for various artistic domains.

Eligible technical occupations in art,culture,recreation, and sport

Artisans and Craftsperson – Professionals skilled in creating hand-made objects, such as jewelry, pottery, and textiles, often with cultural or artistic significance.

Technical Support Personnel in Motion Pictures and Broadcasting – This includes roles such as camera operators, sound technicians, broadcast technicians, and other technical staff involved in film, television, radio, and live performances.

Conservators and Restorers – Specialists who preserve and restore artworks, artifacts, manuscripts, and other culturally significant items.

Set Designers and Scenographers – Professionals who design and create sets for productions in film, television, and theater.

Costume Designers and Wardrobe Specialists – Individuals responsible for designing, creating, and managing costumes and wardrobes for film, television, and theater productions.

Lighting and Sound Technicians – Professionals who manage lighting and sound for live performances, broadcasts, and recordings.

Photographic and Film Processors – Specialists in developing and processing photographic and film materials.

Broadcast Technicians – Technical staff responsible for setting up, operating, and maintaining equipment used to transmit television or radio broadcasts.

Coaches and Sports Officials – Professionals who train athletes and ensure sports games are conducted according to rules and regulations.

Fitness Instructors – Trained individuals who lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular workouts, strength training, and stretching.

Recreation, Sports, and Fitness Program and Service Directors – Professionals who plan, organize, and oversee recreational, sports, and fitness programs and operations.

Athletic Therapists and Sports Physiotherapists – Specialists who provide therapeutic care to athletes and individuals engaged in physical activities to prevent or treat injuries.

Graphic Arts Technicians – Individuals who assist in the development of graphic designs and layouts and operate various printing equipment.

Recording Engineers and Sound Mixers – Professionals who record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions.

Selection Criteria

Candidates are assessed against the points assessment under various factors (education, experience, age, language & adaptability). The pass mark is 35 points out of 100.

Education (maximum 25 points)

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is required for a foreign education to claim points under this factor. 

Master’s Degree or Ph.D. and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


Two or more university degrees at the bachelor’s level and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


Three-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


University degree of two years or more at the bachelor’s level and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


Two-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


One-year university degree at the bachelor’s level and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


One-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


One-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study


High School (Higher Secondary)


Experience (maximum 35 points)

Relevant experience must have been obtained in the period that begins five years before an applicant sign his/her application and ends when a decision is made on the application.

2 Years


3 Years


4 Years


5 Years or More


Age (maximum 10 points)

Applicant will be awarded points for this factor at the time when the visa office receives the application.



17 Years


18 Years


19 Years


20 Years


21-49 Years


50 Years


51 Years


52 Years


53 Years


54+ Years



Language (maximum 24 points)

Proficiency Level



You can communicate effectively in most social and work situations


You can communicate comfortably in familiar social and work situations


You can communicate in predictable contexts and on familiar topics, but with some difficulty


You do not meet the above criteria for basic proficiency

Adaptability (maximum 6 points)

Spouse or common-law partner’s level of education

  • Secondary school (high school) diploma or less: 0 points
  • A one-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies: 3 points
  • A two or three-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies: 4 points
  • A master’s degree or PhD and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies: 5 points


Previous work in Canada

Applicant or the accompanying spouse or common-law partner has completed a minimum of one year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit.


Previous study in Canada

Applicant or the accompanying spouse or common-law partner has completed a program of full-time study of at least two years’ duration at a post-secondary institution in Canada. Applicant must have done this after 17 years of age and with a valid study permit.


Relatives in Canada

Applicant or the accompanying spouse or common-law partner has a relative (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, child of a parent, sibling, child of a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or grandchild of a parent, niece, or nephew) who is residing in Canada and is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.


How Can X Can Help?

Documentation Mastery: Can X expertly navigate self-employed documentation challenges, ensuring a thorough and compliant presentation of your professional history?

Customized Application Strategy: Leveraging in-depth knowledge of the Self-Employed Program, Can X crafts bespoke applications, aligning your unique profile with program requirements for optimal success.

Regulatory Compliance: Our team maintains a pulse on program changes, providing you with insightful guidance and ensuring your application adheres to the latest standards and expectations.

Robust Representation: Can X offers comprehensive legal support throughout your application process, addressing inquiries and audits with professional diligence.

Proven Expertise: With a track record of success, Can X be synonymous with expertise and reliability in navigating the complexities of the Canadian Self-Employed Program.

End-to-End Support: From initial consultation to your establishment in Canada, Can X deliver holistic support, making your transition to self-employment in Canada as seamless as possible.

At Can X, we understand that transitioning to self-employment in Canada is a significant step. Our mission is to provide you with seamless, efficient, and effective solutions. This will maximize your chances of success and making your dream of contributing to the Canadian job market a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs ) for Self-Employed Program

It’s a program for foreign nationals skilled in athletics, culture, or the arts to establish themselves in the Canadian job market. It has no minimum net worth or investment requirements.

Individuals with significant contributions to athletics, culture, or the arts and the ability to be financially self-sufficient in Canada are eligible.

A minimum of 2 years’ experience in the last 5 years in art, culture, recreation, or sport activities is required.

No, there are no minimum education requirements for applicants. However, you get points for your education. 

Eligible professions include musicians, authors, visual artists, performing artists, directors, choreographers, technical support occupations, graphic designers, illustrators, craftspeople, curators, conservators, archivists, art instructors, teachers, broadcasters, journalists, photographers, film and video camera operators, editors, fashion designers, and creative designers.

Eligible technical roles include artisans, craftsperson, technical support personnel, conservators, restorers, set designers, scenographers, costume designers, wardrobe specialists, lighting and sound technicians, photographic and film processors, broadcast technicians, coaches, sports officials, fitness instructors, program and service directors, athletic therapists, sports physiotherapists, graphic arts technicians, and recording engineers.

Points can be gained through a spouse’s education level, previous work, or study in Canada, or having relatives in Canada.

Having relatives in Canada can contribute up to 5 adaptability points to your application.

No, the program does not require a minimum net worth or investment, making it accessible to many.

Yes, family members can accompany the applicant provided they meet the necessary requirements.