Many newcomers enter Canada through the Self-Employed Persons Program of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Individuals in this program are part of the "business class" of immigrants and expected to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada. The program includes people with experience managing farms and an interest in either purchasing or managing one in Canada.
Note: The “business class” of immigrants includes investor, entrepreneur, and self-employment streams. Immigration requirements and restrictions are different for each stream.
Self-employment is an attractive option for many Canadians. Individuals can set their own hours and be their own "boss." Generally, self-employed people aren't required to produce a business plan or make a large capital investment. Responsibility for paying income and other taxes and making Canada Pension Plan contributions rests with the self-employed person.
A disadvantage of self-employment is that individuals may not be eligible for some of the benefits available to people who work for companies and organizations. An advantage of self-employment is that people can work from home or move from one workplace to another, so the overhead costs of operating the business are reduced.
Running a home business also has tax advantages. A number of expenses are considered eligible deductions, including the cost of using an automobile, heating and lighting the house, cleaning materials, purchasing office equipment, telephone services, and an Internet connection.
The following occupations are often performed by self-employed people.
- Computer and software consultants
- Doctors, dentists, lawyers
- Architects and accountants
- Real estate agents
- Artists, illustrators, designers
- Music teachers, coaches
- Writers, journalists and editors
- Operators of home daycares
- Personal trainers
For More Information
Canada Business – Services for Entrepreneurs
Information about starting a business, grants and finances, taxes and GST, regulations, licences and permits, hiring and managing staff, marketing and sales and other business topics.
SEDI: Start A Business
Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI) is a non-profit organization that helps self-employed people start new businesses. Includes an online workbook entitled Exploring Self-Employment and other resource materials for self-employed individuals.
A federal program that provides financial assistance to help people create jobs for themselves by starting a business.
Ontario Ministry of Labour — Podcast Archive
A series of podcasts on employment standards and health and safety. A wide variety of topics is covered, including deductions from wages, overtime, filing an employment standards claim, heat stress, farming safety, infection prevention, etc.
KIP “Call Kingston Home” Movie — Real Estate Agent
This video profiles a local real estate agent discussing what makes Kingston special and why she chose it as the home for her and her family. She talks about taking an intensive English-language program at Queen’s University and studying real estate at St. Lawrence college, local community groups, and what it means to her to call Kingston home. This Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) video is in Spanish with English subtitles.
KIP Business Network
A Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) program for aspiring, new, and established entrepreneurs who have immigrated to Canada. The network meets once a month, and is an opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurs and business people to network and share experiences and insights. This group is also available on Facebook