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Federal Self-employed Persons Program (FSE)

Federal Self-employed Persons Program

  • P.S: Point System
Currently Paused
On April 30, 2024, the Federal Government temporarily paused Federal Self-employed Persons application intake until January 2027.

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Federal Self-employed Persons Program (FSE)

This program is for self-employed persons with relevant experience in cultural /artistic or athletic activities who want to immigrate to Canada permanently.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.



The following requirements must be met if you are applying to Federal Self-employed Persons program:

1- Self-employed Work Experience

In order to be qualified under this program, you must have relevant self-employed experience in a cultural or athletic activity.
Relevant experience consists of at least two (2) years of experience either self-employed in or participating at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics. Your experience must fall into one or more of the following:
NOC Code Occupation TEER
51100 Librarians 1
51101 Conservators and Curators 1
51102 Archivists 1
51110 Editors 1
51111 Authors and Writers (Except Technical) 1
51112 Technical Writers 1
51113 Journalists 1
51114 Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters 1
51120 Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations 1
51121 Conductors, Composers and Arrangers 1
51122 Musicians and Singers 1
52100 Library and Public Archive Technicians 2
52110 Film and Video Camera Operators 2
52111 Graphic Arts Technicians 2
52112 Broadcast technicians 2
52113 Audio and Video Recording Technicians 2
52114 Announcers and other Broadcasters 2
52119 Other Technical and Coordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts 2
52120 Graphic Designers and Illustrators 2
52121 Interior Designers and Interior Decorators 2
53100 Registrars, Restorers, Interpreters and Other Occupations Related to Museum and Art Galleries 3
53110 Photographers 3
53111 Motion Pictures, Broadcasting, Photography and Performing Arts Assistants and Operators 3
53120 Dancers 3
53121 Actors, Comedians and Circus Performers 3
53122 Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists 3
53123 Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers 3
53124 Artisans and Craftspersons 3
53125 Patternmakers – Textile, Leather and Fur Products 3
53200 Athletes 3
53201 Coaches 3
53202 Sports Officials and Referees 3
54100 Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness 4
55109 Other Performers 5
At a minimum, your 2-year experience must be self-employment in cultural activities, or participating at a world-class level in cultural activities / participating at a world class level in athletics, or a combination of the two.

2- Intention and Ability

In addition to relevant experience, you must have the intention and ability to establish a business that will, at a minimum, create an employment opportunity for yourself and that will make a significant contribution to cultural activities or athletics in Canada.
The following factors may be considered in assessing your experience, intent and ability to create your own employment in Canada:
  • Self-employed experience in cultural activities or athletics. This will capture those traditionally applying in this category. For example, music teachers, painters, illustrators, film makers, freelance journalists. Beyond that, the category is intended to capture those people who work behind the scenes, for example, choreographers, set designers, coaches and trainers.
  • Management experience in the world of arts and culture may also be a viable measure of self-employment; for example, theatrical or musical directors and impresarios.
  • A person's financial assets may also be a measure of intent and ability to establish economically in Canada.
  • You must show that you have been able to support yourself and your family through your talents and would be likely to continue to do so in Canada. This includes the ability to be self-supporting until the self-employment has been created.
  • Participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics intends to capture performers. This describes those who perform in the arts, and in the world of sport. “World class” 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.

3- Settlement Funds

You must show that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada based on 100% of Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) (➨Appendix 2). Please also note that you must also have enough net-worth for initial investment of your self-employed business in Canada. There is no minimum investment level for a self-employed person. The capital required depends on the nature of the work. You must have sufficient funds to create an employment opportunity for yourself and maintain yourself and your family members.

4- Ineligibility

You are not eligible to apply under the Federal Self-employed Persons Program if you are a refugee claimant in Canada, a failed refugee claimant, had a removal order, are prohibited from entering or being in Canada, do not have status in Canada or are living illegally in your country of residence.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.



If you meet all above minimum requirement, then find out if you score at least total of 35 points based on the following five (5) selection factors (➨

Selection Factor Maximum Points
Factor1: Education 25
Factor 2: Work Experience 35
Factor 3: Age 10
Factor 4: Language Ability 24
Factor 5: Adaptability 6

Factor 1: Education

You can get up to 25 points for your level of education.
Level of Education Points
Doctoral (PhD) level or Master’s degree and at least 17 years study 25
Two or more university degrees at the bachelor’s level and at least 15 years of study 22
Three-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 15 years of study 22
Two-years or more university degree at the bachelor’s level and at least 14 years of study 20
Two-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 14 years of study 20
One-year university degree at the bachelor’s level and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study 15
One-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 13 years of study 15
One-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 12 years of study 12
Secondary school/high school diploma 5

Factor 2: Work Experience

You can get up to 35 points for the number of years you’ve spent doing relevant self-employed experience as defined in the “Minimum Requirement” section above.
Relevant experience must have been obtained in the period that begins five (5) years before you sign your application and ends when a decision is made on your application.
Relevant Experience Points
5 or more years 35
4 years 30
3 years 25
2 year 20
Less than 2 years Not Eligible

Factor 3: Age

You’ll get points based on your age on the day you submit your application.
Age Points
16 or under 0
17 2
18 4
19 6
20 8
21-49 10
50 8
51 6
52 4
53 2
54 and over 0

Factor 4: Language Ability

To be awarded point for language, you must have taken an approved test results.
Test must be taken no more than two (2) years prior to the date your application is submitted.
To prove you language abilities you must take any of the following approved tests:
  • English: IELTS General or CELPIP General or PTE Core
  • French: TEF Canada or TCF Canada

To find out the equivalent CLB level for any of the above approved tests, see (➨Appendix 5).

Factor 5: Adaptability

You can get maximum of 6 points for any combination of the following factors:
Adaptability Points

Spouse/common-law partner’s level of education A master’s degree or PhD and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies: 5 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 one-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies: 3 points

3, 4 or 5
Yours or your spouse/common-law partner’s 1-year authorized full-time work in Canada 5
Yours or spouse/common-law partner’s 2 years full-time post-secondary study in Canada 5
Yours or your spouse/common-law partner’s relatives in Canada (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew) who are 18 years or older, living in Canada as permanent resident or citizen) 5
Your Total Score




Step 1: Apply for Permanent Residence

If you have the minimum requirements and have the minimum 35 points, you may submit a complete application for a permanent resident. You must submit your application using the IRCC Permanent Residence Portal (PR Portal) (➨ 

If your application is complete, you will receive a letter or an email confirming that your file has been received and accepted for processing. This letter is called the Acknowledge of Receipt (AOR) and will include your IRCC file number.

Once you have received your acknowledgement of receipt, you can create an online account and link your application to it. By creating an account, you will be able to receive email updates and a more detailed case status.

Step 2: Biometrics

During processing, you will be asked to submit your biometrics.
You and any member of your family between 14 and 79 years old need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for permanent residence application you submit, even if you gave your biometrics in the past, and they’re still valid. You will be contacted to give your biometrics and you will have 30 days from the date on the letter to do it.
If you apply for permanent residence and are in Canada, you may qualify for an exemption from having to give your biometrics.
In order to give biometrics you need to go to an official biometrics collection service point. You must give your biometrics in person.

Before you go, check the location’s website for its services and fees at (➨ Depending on the location, you may need to make an appointment.

Step 3: Medical and Background Checks

After the assessment of your application based on the eligibility criteria of the program is completed, a decision is being made on your application based on the results of your medical exam, police certificates and background checks.
You and your family (and all your dependents, accompanying or not) must pass medical, criminal and security checks to receive permanent residence. If you or any of your dependents are found medically or criminally inadmissible, your application will be refused.
Medical Checks:

Instructions on how to get the medical exam done will be sent to you upon completion of selection based on the program’s eligibility criteria. You and your dependents must go for the medical exam within 30 days of receiving these instructions. Only an approved panel physician (➨ can do a complete medical exam for immigration reasons.

Permanent Residence


Apply Online (PR Portal) 
Official Program Guide: 
IRCC Application Fees:  
Main applicant: $1810
Each child:$260
RPRF main applicant:$575
RPRF spouse:$575
(per person if applicable) 
Processing Time: 
Document Checklist: 
1-888-242-2100 (in Canada)
1-613-944-4000 (outside Canada)
Web Form: 
Visa Office: 
Once the exam is done, the physician will send the results to IRCC and will give you a document confirming that a medical exam is done.
Background Checks:
Background check is a required procedure to verify your criminal and/or security background to ensure you are admissible to Canada. Criminality and Security together are background checks.
Criminality check is performed by RCMP (Police Service of Canada), and Security by CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency).

Step 4: Landing in Canada

If your application is approved, you will be asked to pay your right of permanent residence fee if you haven't already done so. You will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) and if you are from a country that requires a visa you will also be issued a permanent resident visa.

You will only become a Permanent Resident of Canada when you cross a Canadian port of entry. This is referred to as ‘landing in Canada' (➨page).

You must land in Canada before the expiry date, which appears on your Canada Immigration Visa. Usually, the expiry date is one (1) year from the time medical examinations were completed. As this is not always the case, be sure to verify the expiry date as soon as the Canada Immigration Visa is received.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.







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