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Federal Self-Employed Program

Are you self-employed, a foreign athlete, or do you specialize in the culture and arts industry? You may be eligible for the Federal Self-Employed Visa that opens you to Canadian permanent residency.

Contact our expert immigration lawyers to learn more about this program’s requirements and application process. You can reach out to us today on 0333 305 9375 for immediate guidance.


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    What is the Federal Self-Employed Program?

    The Federal Self-Employed Program is designed to encourage self-employed individuals to immigrate to Canada. The program provides a pathway to permanent residency for self-employed individuals who can demonstrate that they have the skills and experience to succeed in Canada.

    To be eligible for the program, applicants must have at least two years of relevant work experience and must intend to be self-employed in Canada. There is also a need to accrue a minimum of 35 points on the scale created to decide if your work is going to have a significant contribution to Canada’s economy.

    Applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they have the financial resources to support themselves and their families. Immigration officers often consider your education, experience, age, English language skill and adaptability in your self-employed visa application.

    If approved, applicants will receive a permanent resident visa and will be able to live and work in Canada as self-employed individuals. The Federal Self-Employed Program is an excellent opportunity for those who can provide their own employment to immigrate to Canada.

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    Eligibility Criteria to Migrate to Canada Under the Self-Employed Scheme?

    To qualify to migrate to Canada as a self-employed person, you must:

    • Meet Canada’s immigration definition of a self-employed person.
    • Accrue a minimum of 35 points in the Canada immigration point system.
    • Have the intention to become a self-employed person in athletics or arts.
    • Possess a minimum of two years of relevant experience.

    For you to be considered self-employed, you need to possess experience working for yourself. For the experience to be relevant, it must be a minimum of two years of being self-employed in a window of five years leading up to the submission of the visa application for the federal self-employed program. Remember that you will receive more points for more years of relevant work experience.

    If you are applying as a specialist in arts, you must possess the below experiences:

    • A minimum of two different one-year periods of active participation in cultural activities and events at a world-class level.
    • A minimum of two different one-year periods of active engagement in cultural activities as a self-employed.

    Applicants can also instead possess a combination of one year of experience in both.

    For those applying via the athlete route, there is a need to possess the following experience:

    • A minimum of two different one-year periods of active participation in athletics at a world-class level.
    • A minimum of two different one-year periods of being a self-employed in athletics.

    Applicants who possess a combination of both are also able to apply for this program.

    To be classified as world-class in athletics or cultural activities means that one is internationally known or is performing at the highest level of the field.

    The Canadian Immigration Point System for Federal Self-Employed Program

    To select the candidates eligible for the federal self-employed program and other immigration programs and visa, Canada immigration makes use of a point system. The point system for everyone that wants to migrate to Canada is rated out of 100. The self-employed visa has a pass mark of 35. This score can change; therefore, you must check with the Government of Canada to find the latest published information.

    The different categories in which you will receive points when applying for the Canadian self-employed visa are:

    • Experience (35 points maximum)
    • Education (25 points maximum)
    • English or/and French language skills (24 points maximum)
    • Age (10 points maximum)
    • Adaptability (6 points maximum)

    Therefore, the more level of experience you possess, the higher your educational background, and the better your English or French proficiency, the higher you are going to score in the point-based system. For the age, 10 points which is the highest point that can be received in this category, are given to candidates whose ages fall between 21 and 49. It is through the completion of university degrees and apprenticeships that adaptability points are earned. You will need to present official documents like language tests and diplomas to prove your abilities in the different assessment categories.


    Applying for the Federal Self-Employed Program

    You can submit your application for the federal self-employed program online. To start your application process, you must complete the Generic application form for Canada and submit it. After submission, you need to print the form out and then sign it.

    The next step is to begin to gather the different required documents. If by chance, you do not include any of the required information or one of them is missing, your application will not be processed and will be returned to you. To ensure that you do not experience this, you should reach out to us to ensure that all your forms are completed correctly.

    Next, you must pay the different application fees like biometrics, the right to permanent residence, and visa processing fees. You might need to pay some additional fees for taking a test, translating documents or for police certificates. All these fees can be paid online.

    Applications for the federal self-employed program usually take about 36 months or less to be processed. There are, however, situations where the processing of the visa might take longer than expected. Some examples include:

    • Immigration officers running extra background checks.
    • Applicants with criminal records.
    • Immigration officers require more time to have the information provided by an applicant verified.
    • Applicants that are processing the adoption of a child or getting a divorce.

    Also, if you forget to include documents or information that are required, you will need to have your visa application corrected and resubmitted. This can also cause significant delays.

    Required Documents for The Federal Self-Employed Program

    When you are applying for the federal self-employed program, there are a variety of documents that you will need to submit to show that you meet the selection criteria and requirements. The documents required for the federal self-employed program include:

    • Results of your language proficiency test: (this can be either French or English or even both). The test results must be two years old or less and must be from a designated testing agency.
    • A proof of educational qualifications: This can be documents like your diploma certificate, university degree certificate or transcripts, or even your master’s degree certificate or transcript.
    • Travel documents: this should include copies of your international passport and any other travel document.
    • Proof of relevant experience: You must present evidence of your participation in athletics or cultural activities at a level that is world-class or evidence of your self-employment.
    • Police certificates: There is also a need for you to present valid police certificates from all the countries you have spent more than 6 months in at a time since you were 18.
    • Proof of adaptability: Depending on your situation, you might have to include proof of work in Canada, a study in Canada, educational qualifications of your common-law partner or spouse or existing family ties to a permanent resident or citizen of Canada.
    • Photographs: there is a need for you to submit two recent photographs for all the members of your family even if they are not joining you.
    • Identity documents: you need to present documents like your national identity card, birth certificate and any death, divorce, or marriage certificates.
    • You will also need to provide extra information about your partner or children if you are bringing them with you.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your FSEP application.

    Is There a Net Worth Requirement for the Self-Employed Program?

    The Self-Employed Persons Program is designed to attract foreign nationals who are self-employed in a specific occupation. To be eligible, individuals must have the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada. They must also have relevant experience in their field of expertise and meet the eligibility requirements for their occupation.

    There is no minimum net worth requirement for the Self-Employed Program. However, applicants must prove that they have enough money to support themselves and their families after they arrive in Canada.

    Program officials will also consider whether the applicant genuinely intends to create their own job and become self-employed in Canada. Factors that will be considered include the applicant’s business plan, their financial resources and the feasibility of their venture.

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    How Can IAS Help?

    It is always easy to leave out some vital information or make mistakes when you are making the application on your own. If you’re looking to come to Canada as a self-employed person, we can help- don’t go through the immigration process alone. Our lawyers have the expert knowledge and experience needed to get your application approved.

    Any slight mistake or error can lead to a delay or even rejection of your application. Our immigration experts will ensure your application

    Is ready to go and will be there with you every step. Even if your visa application is rejected, our expert lawyers will help you see why it was rejected and proffer other options.

    Contact us today at 0333 305 9375 for immediate help and assistance. We can also assist you in person, via or online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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