A self-employed applicant must have self-employment experience in the fields of culture, athletics or farm management for more than two years within the last five years period from the date of application or decision of permanent resident visa.

The self-employment experience requirement does not apply to those who have participated in a World-Class level in cultural or athletics activities for more than two years within the last five years. "World-Class" level identifies persons who are known internationally. It also identifies persons who may not be known internationally but perform at the highest levels in their discipline.

In the case of farming, CIC expects to see a multi-skilled individual who is capable of dealing with modern farming issues: competence in technology, deep knowledge of farming techniques, deep knowledge of markets for grain or animal products, and skills in dealing with machinery and all aspects of the modern farm.  You must also show a history of supporting yourself and your family by farming.

The Self-Employed Persons Program is designed to attract foreign nationals who have the ability to employ themselves and make significant contributions to cultural activities, athletics (sports) or farming in Canada. Applicants must show the intention and ability to be self-employed in such a way that will create employment at least for yourself in Canada.

Applicants interested in the SEP must have relevant experience as well as the intention to make a significant contribution in specified economic activities:

    • Taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level;
    • Been self-employed in cultural activities or athletics; or
    • Experience in managing a farm.


    • Music teachers
    • Artists
    • Illustrators
    • Filmmakers
    • Freelancer
    • Journalists
    • Choreographers
    • Designers
    • Coaches/Trainers
    • Theatrical/Musical Directors
    • Impresarios
    • Farmers