Canada has a programme for foreign nationals who would like to be self-employed while in Canada. With two years of relevant experience within a 5 year period immediately prior to the time of application. A minimum score of 35 points under the selection grid is also required to apply under this program. The scoring is based on how much contribution a candidate can make on the economics of the nation.
The major attraction of this Self Employment program is the fact that it does not require any other immigration conditions. You just need to prove that you have enough financial back up to support yourself and your family. There is no minimum level requirement of one’s financial assets, but the candidate needs to have enough needed to start his business venture in Canada.
Candidate also needs to prove his ability and experience to begin and manage a business venture that will create an income opportunity for one’s self and if possible for others and make a significant contribution to Canada’s culture and sports. The longer the period in which the candidate has supported himself and his family with his talents and self-employment, the better his chances to be chosen.
Self-employment for Artists and Athletes
There are various categories under the self-employed category for which a candidate can apply. People with relevant experience and expertise in the fields of music, art, dance, films, coaching, athletics, sports, etc., can apply.
Those artists and athletes who have performed in the international level need prove their relevant experience requirement. Copies of news articles, web news pages and other documentations like certificates or official letters are important to prove the same. Even if the candidate is not internationally known, but has performed in the highest levels of the specific art or sport is exempted from proving the relevant experience in the field.
Self Employed Farmers
Apart from the fields of Arts and Sports, a candidate can apply under the Self Employment program as a farmer. The candidate needs to prove his experience and ability in farming. You also need to show tax and income records of your revenue from farming. Copies of land papers owned or leased by you, proof of animals owned and maintained by you, etc are important documental proofs of your farming experience.
Farmers are also expected to have enough knowledge of modern farming techniques and facilities. Being able to document your methods and proceeds and being able to handle other devices that increase one’s productivity in farming are added advantages when it comes to being selected under this category. If you have any kind of training for farming related skills and techniques, you should not forget to add copies of those certificates or papers.
Given below is the selection grid table that shows you how many points you can earn with your relevant experience and qualifications. You are expected to earn a minimum of 35 points out of a 100.
|Relevant Experience (within 5 years of application)||Maximum 35 Points|
|Five years’ relevant experience||35|
|Four years’ relevant experience||30|
|Three years’ relevant experience||25|
|Two years’ relevant experience||20|
|Age||Maximum 10 Points|
|21 to 49 years of age at the time of application||10|
|Deduct 2 points for each year of age over 49 or under 21|
|Education||Maximum 25 Points|
|(Doctorate OR Master’s Degree) + 17 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies||25|
|(3-year Trade Certificate OR LLB or Medical Degree)+ 15 years’ full-time or fulltime equivalent studies||22|
|(Bachelor’s Degree OR 2-year Trade Certificate) + 14 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies||20|
|(Bachelor’s Degree or 1-year Trade Certificate) + 13 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies||15|
|1 year post-secondary + 12 years’ full-time or full-time equivalent studies||12|
|Secondary school education||5|
|Official Languages||Maximum 24 Points|
|High Proficiency||16 First Language8 Second Language|
|Moderate Proficiency||8 First and Second Language|
|Basic Proficiency||2 First and Second Language|
|Adaptability||Maximum 6 Points|
|Spouse’s or common law partner’s education||3-5|
|Minimum one year’s full-time authorized work in Canada (applicant or spouse)||5|
|Minimum two years’ full-time post-secondary studies in Canada (applicant or spouse)||5|
|Family Member in Canada||5|
|TOTAL||Maximum of 100|
Visa Issuing Officer’s Discretionary Powers
If you have not got the minimum required 35 points out of the 100, you still may be able to apply for a visa under the self-employed program. Officers who issue the Visa have the authority to take discretionary decisions regardless of the minimum points scored by the candidate. If the issuing officer feels that the points do not clearly reflect the candidate’s ability to establish and contribute in the relevant field in Canada, then he can forgo the points requirement and issue a visa.
To be considered under the discretionary authority of a Visa issuing officer you need to request for the same. It is always wiser to make a written request for discretionary consideration even if you are expecting to get the minimum required 35 points. That is because it is always possible that the concerned officer may not be granting you the marks in the same way you have given it to yourself.
The written request can be made in a cover letter accompanying your application with the below statement mentioned in it: “In the event that I am not awarded 35 points, I request consideration pursuant to Regulation 109 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as I believe I can become economically established in Canada regardless of the points I receive”.
Provide the officers with as many proofs as possible as there are no concrete guidelines to interpret one’s ability to contribute in relevant fields. The more proof you provide the stronger your candidature and the better your chances of receiving a Permanent Residency visa.