Immigration Tales: ‘Not many people are aware of the ‘Self-Employed Persons Program’ to immigrate to Canada’

Canada is a land of immigrants. Its diversity speaks volumes of its policies and programs. Recently, it held a major draw inviting 5,956 immigration candidates. According to Mendicino,  Canada aims to bring in more than 400,000 new permanent residents each year over 2021-2023: 401,000 in 2021; 411,000 in 2022; and, 421,000 in 2023.  This is exciting for all of you who would like to relocate, or immigrate We spoke to a  celebrated independent filmmaker, Rakesh Patel (Name changed on request)  from India who immigrated in 2020 and revealed to us a ‘Program’ that is little known and perhaps discouraged by immigrant consultants.
When did you immigrate and why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?
I immigrated to Canada in the year 2020. My value aligned with Canadian values such as equality, respect for different cultures, safety and peace, nature, and being polite.
How did you start your process and what category did you apply?
I don’t have a university degree. You can say, I don’t have conventional education. I am a filmmaker and my portfolio is my education. Firstly I intended to apply for express entry and PNP but the door closed ton me after a rejection from the educational credential assessment. I was disappointed. 
But then I didn’t lose hope. I scanned the immigration site, from top to bottom, and that’s where I discovered this program, specifically created for artists and athleticians who are either working as self-employed or are world-class performers. The name of the program is the Self-Employed Persons Program. I instantly realized that that program was meant for me and I applied through that program.
What were your initial findings and how difficult or easy was the process?
This artist program is not famous in my country. In fact, the immigration consultant didn’t know about it. I was the one who educated them about the program. I would say, if all doors are closed for artists or athletes, consider this program. But consider it as your last resort because it is a highly risky program. In this program, the judging criteria is not concrete so most of the time visa officers become subjective about the application. So I had to study this program thoroughly before applying.
Tell us about the visa and who is applicable
Education, IELTS is NOT mandatory. You need to obtain 35 out of 100 points. The only thing that is required is that you should have been supporting yourself with your artistic skills and must have intent and ability to do so in Canada. You may be asked for an interview by the visa officer. Be ready for all kinds of questions. Since every artist and athlete has a different background, the judging process is on a case-to-case basis.
Why is there such less knowledge about this one?
There is less knowledge because the immigration consultants are not interested in this kind of application. It is difficult, time-consuming. Secondly, the market is not filled with artists and athletes. Therefore immigration consultants generally focus on visa types that bring them more money.
And what scope do you see of people from your background here:
Well, this is an amazing question. Every freelance artist is entrepreneurial. If there are no opportunities, we must create opportunity for ourselves. People with my background would not be happy doing a job. Sooner or later, they have to starts their own freelancing practices. Here, people are supportive and open-minded. You get lots of government grants. If you are good at what you are doing, then nothing can stop you here.
Here is a link to the program:

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