Self-employed person: Selection criteria

To qualify as a self-employed immigrant, you must:

  • meet the definition of a self-employed person
  • get a minimum of 35 points after we grade you based on our five selection criteria and point system

Your score

Your maximum possible score is 100. The pass mark is currently 35 points, but it may change. Make sure you visit this site regularly if you’re thinking about immigrating to Canada as a self-employed immigrant.

We select candidates based on:

  • the documents that you give us
  • your score under each of the selection criteria
  • you meeting the definition of a self-employed person

As part of the immigration process, we may ask to interview you. During the interview, a visa officer will ask you to explain:

  • information that is unclear or inconsistent
  • shortcomings or gaps in the documents that you provide

If there’s a difference between your statement of your qualifications and the visa officer’s assessment, we’ll award points based on the officer’s decision.

Selection criteria Maximum points Your score
Education 25  
Experience 35  
Age 10  
Ability in English and/or French 24  
Adaptability 6  
TOTAL 100  

Points for education: maximum 25 points

Education Maximum
25 points
You have a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 25 points
You have two or more university degrees at the bachelor’s level and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 22 points
You have a three-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 22 points
You have a university degree of two years or more at the bachelor’s level and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 20 points
You have a two-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 20 points
You have a one-year university degree at the bachelor’s level and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 15 points
You have a one-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 15 points
You have a one-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 12 points
You completed high school. 5 points

Points for experience: maximum 35 points

Relevant experience must have been obtained in the period that begins five years before you sign your application and ends when a decision is made on your application.

Two years of relevant experience 20
Three years of relevant experience 25
Four years of relevant experience 30
Five years of relevant experience 35

Points for age: maximum 10 points

You will be awarded selection points based on your age at the time when the visa office receives 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+ 0

Points for language ability: maximum 24 points

Your proficiency in English or French is one of the 5 selection factors. You’ll be awarded up to 24 points for your basic, moderate or high proficiency in English and French. You’ll be given points based on your ability to:

  • listen
  • speak
  • read and
  • write

If you have some proficiency in both English and French, decide which language you’re more comfortable using. This is your first official language. The other is your second official language.

You must prove the level of language proficiency you claim on your application if you wish to have your official language proficiency considered in the assessment of your application for permanent residence.  

Designated language testing agencies

You can arrange to take a language test from any of the following designated agencies.

English

IELTS has 2 options for the reading and writing tests:

  • General Training
  • Academic

You must take the General Training option.

CELPIP has two tests:

  • CELPIP-General (CELPIP-G)
  • CELPIP-Academic (CELPIP-A)

You must take the CELPIP-G test.

French

You must submit results from the following TEF tests as proof of your French language proficiency:

  • compréhension écrite
  • compréhension orale
  • expression écrite
  • expression orale

You can use language test results for up to two years after the date you take your test, but the test results must be valid when you submit your application.

Description of each level of proficiency

Proficiency Level Ability
Speaking Listening Reading Writing
HIGH: You can communicate effectively in most social and work situations. Speaking: High Listening: High Reading: High Writing: High
MODERATE: You can communicate comfortably in familiar social and work situations. Speaking: Moderate Listening: Moderate Reading: Moderate Writing: Moderate
BASIC: You can communicate in predictable contexts and on familiar topics, but with some difficulty. Speaking: Basic Listening: Basic Reading: Basic Writing: Basic
NO: You do not meet the above criteria for basic proficiency. Does not meet Basic Level Does not meet Basic Level Does not meet Basic Level Does not meet Basic Level

Points for adaptability: maximum 6 points

A maximum of 6 points for adaptability can be earned by any combination of the following elements.

Adaptability Maximum 6
points
Spouse or common-law partner’s level of education
  • Secondary school (high school) diploma or less: 0 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
  • 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 master’s degree or PhD and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies: 5 points
3–5
Previous work in Canada
You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed a minimum of one year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit.

 

5
Previous study in Canada
You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed a program of full-time study of at least two years’ duration at a post-secondary institution in Canada. You must have done this after you were 17 years old and with a valid study permit.

There’s no need to have obtained a degree or diploma for these two years of study to earn these points.

 

5
Relatives in Canada
You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner, have a relative (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, child of a parent, sibling, child of a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or grandchild of a parent, niece or nephew) who is residing in Canada and is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

 

5
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