Do you want to migrate to Canada as a self employed for PR? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to migrate to Canada as a self employed and get citizenship.

The Self-employed Persons Program is a program set up by the Canadian government in order to enable people who are self-employed to immigrate to Canada. The aim of every Canadian immigration program is to enable people who would develop the economy to come in and settle there.

The Canadian self-employed persons program majorly admits people on the basis that they would create their own employment and sustenance, and not depend on the government, or the country to take care of them. Their being able to employ one or two persons in their small business is an added bonus for the country.

Based on the criteria of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), to qualify for the Self-Employed Persons Program and migrate to Canada, the applicant must have either:

  • At least two years of experience of participation or self-employment in cultural activities or athletics.
  • Or, he or she must be able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.
  • Or, he or she must have at least two years of farm management experience.
  • Or, the intention and ability to be able to buy and manage a farm in the country.

How to Know If Your Experiences are Relevant to the Self-employed Persons Program

Instead of coming to the board, presenting your papers, paying some fees and undergoing all the stress, only at the end to be told that you are not qualified, there are simpler ways for you to determine whether your experience is relevant to what the self-employed person program in Canada needs.

If you have fulfilled some of these conditions, then know that you have a good chance of succeeding. So, your experience is relevant to the program if you have;

  • taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level or
  • been a self-employed person in cultural activities or athletics
  • You must have had at least two years’ experience
  • The experience must be during the period starting 5 years before the day you apply and ending on the day they make a decision on your application.

Note that you can be awarded more points if you have 3, 4, or 5 years of experience. If you are seeking immigration status based on your cultural activities, then you must have 2 one-year periods of being self-employed in cultural activities, or 2 one-year periods of participating at a world-class level in cultural activities, or a combination of the both.

How to Qualify to Gain Entrance into Canada as a Self-employed Person

Before you can gain entrance into Canada as a self-employed person, there are certain things you and your family or dependents need to do, and certain criteria you need to meet up with. They include;

  • You must complete and pass the medical exams
  • You must complete and pass the security risk assessments
  • You must certify that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family or dependents once you arrive in Canada. Failure to do this would deny you the visa.

How Citizenship and Immigration Canada Office Assess Applicants for the Self-employed Program

There are certain points by which you will be accessed by the Citizenship and Immigration office of Canada to ensure that you are fully qualified for the program. For each area you are assessed in, points are allocated, and you have to make sure that you get at least 35 points in all, or else your application would not be considered. The areas include;

  • Experience in the chosen field (maximum 35 points)
  • Education (maximum 25 points)
  • Age (maximum 10 points)
  • Potential to adapt (maximum 06 points)
  • Language proficiency in English and/or French (maximum 24 points)

As an evidence to your language efficiency, the board expects that you take some exams. They don’t just take your word for it. So, to proceed, you need to provide test results from any of these three language efficiency organizations;

  • The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • The Test devaluation de Français (TEF)

Applicants must aim to get a minimum of 35 out of 100 points in the Points Test if they want to immigrate to Canada under the self-employed persons program.

How to Apply for the Canada Immigration self-employed Program

Having certified that you are qualified to apply for the Canadian self-employed program, you now have to apply for it. Here are the steps on how yo can apply for the Canada self-employed program.

  1. Get the application package

The government body responsible for the program has a pre-arranged application package that contains guides and documents you need to fill. The guides provided alongside the document is to enable you fill them properly.

It is advised that you fill your forms online because of the processes you need to go through. When you are done filling the forms, you need to click the “Validate” button on the form. If there are any fields you still need to fill out, they will be outlined in red. When you are done, you can now print the validated form. Make sure that your printed form contains the barcode pages, if not, it is not complete.

Next, you have to sign the form and affix the date where asked to do so. You should also diligently attach all the supporting information listed in the document checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. Include all the forms, information, documents, signatures, language test results and fees that were asked for. If any information is missing, your application will be incomplete and it will be returned to you without processing.

A note of warning to sound here is that you must ensure that all the information you provide on your application are true. If it is discovered that you lied on any point, your application could be refused, you could be found inadmissible, and worse, you could be barred for five years from applying to come to Canada for any reason.

  1. Sort out your application fees

When you have sorted out your documents; that is when you properly filled and submitted them, the next step to look at now is the issue of your admission fees. Some of the fees you will be required to pay include; the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), biometrics fee and third-party fees. Note that these fees are usually paid online.

  • Biometrics fee: The biometrics fee is usually paid at the submission of your documents, and this fee would enable those processing your document to facilitate it. This is because the fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.

When you pay the biometrics fee with a complete application, a letter will be sent to you confirming that you need to give your biometrics and where you can go. You must show this letter when you give your biometrics. Note that you are expected to provide your biometrics by yourself. Nobody can do that for you. You may have to book an appointment to get served.

  • Third-party fees: Depending on your situation, you may be required to pay third-party fees that would cover things like; medical exams, police certificates, language testing. Note that not all fees apply to you, and the guide you were given earlier would enable you know which fees to pay and which not to bother with.
  1. Submit your application

Having properly filled your documents, paid your fees, and even completed your biometrics, now would be a good time to submit your application. But before you submit your application, you must ensure that you have answered all questions, signed your application and all other forms, attached copies of fees paid, and included all the supporting documents.

When that is done, you should now mail the complete application to the address in the instruction guide.

How your Application is Assessed by the Board

Once you have submitted your application, it is now left for the board to sort is out and verify that the information provided therein is correct. They will first note if your forms are correctly filled and signed; next, they would look out for the receipts for the payment of the various required fees, especially the processing fee and biometrics fee.

Note again that if you are between the ages of 14 and 79 years, you need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for every application for permanent residence you submit. This is regardless of the fact that you have submitted those information before.

A letter would be sent to you by the board to get your biometrics done. It is advisable to do that before 30 days, counting from the day of receipt of the letter.

The processing time for your application is usually 23 months, though it can be more or less depending on the issues on ground. While this time is passing, you are required to inform the board of any changes to your information. You are required to use the web form to give this information.

Some of the changes you are required to notify the board of include;

  • changes in address, telephone number, email or other contact information
  • births or deaths in your family
  • marriages or divorces
  • adoptions
  • changes to your job or job offer
  • a new educational credential
  • updated language test results

Typically, when the board receives your application, you will be notified of that.

Causes of Delays in your Application

Normally, it would take close to a year for your application to be processed, but there are factors that ensure that you application is delayed further. Security or criminal problems are one of the reasons why your application can be delayed. The board would need more time to do check on these issues to ensure that you are not culpable.

Another thing that can delay your self-employment application in Canada is if your family situation is not clear. This can happen because of a divorce or an adoption that isn’t yet complete or child custody issues that haven’t been resolved. The delay comes because the visa office has to contact other visa offices in Canada or abroad to verify the information you provided.

Yet another clear reason why your application can be delayed is the condition of your medical report. Note that you will be required to have a medical report as part of the forms you will submit. Note that the board will not approve your application if your health is a danger to Canada’s public health or safety or if your health condition will cause too much demand on health or social services in Canada.

Yet another reason you can be denied or delayed is if you have a criminal record. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security aren’t allowed to come to Canada. To immigrate to Canada, you and any family members that are 18 years of age and older must provide police certificates to the visa office if asked to do so.

How your Canadian Permanent Residence Status is Confirmed

After the board has certified that you can support yourself and your family in Canada, you meet the eligibility criteria, and your medical and police records are free, they may send you on an interview if they feel that it is necessary, or may tell you to send more documents.

If all is well, then your application will be approved. Once your application is approved, you will be asked to send your passport to the visa office so they can issue you with a permanent resident visa. This visa includes your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and your entry visa.

Your COPR will have information about who you are as well as your photograph. You need to make sure that the information on your COPR is same with that on your passport. If there’s a mistake on your COPR, contact your visa office. It is required that you have your COPR and your visa with you when you arrive in Canada.

  • Preparation for Arrival

When preparing to finally immigrate to Canada having gotten your resident visa through the self-employment program, you have to know that there are things that you are not allowed to come with, while they are documents you must come with.

When you arrive in Canada, you will be greeted by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). They are tasked with ensuring that you do not come in with the wrong things that can pose a danger to the country and her citizens.

Things you must have when coming into Canada include;

  • A valid passport and/or travel documents. Note that this passport must be a normal private passport. Other kinds of passport such as diplomatic, government service or public affairs passport, are not allowed.
  • A valid permanent resident visa and your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).  Note that you must come in before the expiry date written on your visa.
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada.

Do not be embarrassed when you are subjected to more questioning by the CBSA after you arrive. They want to make sure that you can still support yourself and your family, and you may have to provide further evidence to buttress that fact. Know that you can be sent back if you do not have sufficient facts to buttress this information.

  • Disclosure of Funds

You need to disclose the funds you have with you to the CBSA if you do not want to brew problems for yourself. If you arrive in Canada with more than CAN$10,000, you must tell this to the CBSA officer. If you don’t tell them, you could be fined, and your funds could be seized.

These funds being talked about can be cash, but they are not necessarily limited to cash form. These documents can take the form of:

  • cash
  • securities that belong to you (stocks, bonds, debentures and treasury bill)
  • bankers’ drafts
  • cheques
  • travellers’ cheques
  • money orders

Ejike Cynthia

Head of Research / Chief Editor at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Cynthia is a writer and editor with a quirky sense of humor. She has a background in journalism with years of experience in freelance writing, copy editing and business research. Cynthia has a B.sc in Mass Communication and a higher degree in Personnel Mgt.
Ejike Cynthia