CIC News > Latest News > Immigrating to Canada as a “Business Immigrant” under the “Self-Employed” category

Immigrating to Canada as a “Business Immigrant” under the “Self-Employed” category

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Farmers wanting to immigrate to Canada can do so under Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Business Immigration Program under the Self-Employed category. This category is open only to individuals with prior self-employed experience as farmers, athletes (at an international level), or artisans.

To qualify under the Self-Employed category, an applicant must demonstrate an intention and ability to establish or purchase a business in Canada that will keep him or her employed and makes a “significant” contribution to the economy or the cultural or artistic life of Canada.

Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed business will generate sufficient revenues to support the applicant and his or her dependents. Farmers, artisans, sports personalities, actors, artists, etc. are examples of applicants who may qualify.

Assessment in this category is based upon:

  • Business ability and experience (when applying under the economic contribution component of the Self-Employed description)
  • Artistic qualifications (when applying under the artistic/cultural component of the Self-Employed description)
  • Net worth (sufficient to establish/purchase the proposed business)


The stated goal of Canada’s Business Immigration Program is to promote economic development and employment by attracting people with venture capital, business acumen and entrepreneurial skills. The Canadian Business Immigration Program also seeks to develop new commercial opportunities and to improve access to growing foreign markets by welcoming people who are familiar with those markets and their special requirements and customs.