Immigration category for athletes, coaches, and artists

The Federal Self-Employed Persons class is geared towards applicants who intend and have the ability to become self-employed in Canada while making a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada. The main purpose of this immigration category is to attract talented athletes to represent Canada as a professional athlete, coach, or world-class artist. You must show that you intend to continue with your self-employment activities upon your arrival to Canada.

To qualify for this program, a successful candidate must satisfy the following basic requirements:

  1. Have relevant work experience (in the period beginning five years before the date of the application submission and ending on the day a decision is made on the application), which is defined as:
  • At least two-year experience of participation in cultural activities or athletics at a World-class level;
  • At least two-year experience of self-employment in cultural activities or athletics, or
  • At least two-year experience in managing a farm.
  1. Meet the selection criteria for self-employed people 
  2. Pass medical and security checks
  3. Demonstrate sufficient financial resources

In order to be eligible to apply under this category, you must have relevant experience and intend to be self-employed in one of these occupations:

Athletes, Sportsmen and Sportswomen (5251)

Coaches (NOC 5252)

Sports Officials and Referees (NOC 5253)

Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness (NOC 5254)

Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters (NOC 5125)

Graphic Designers and Illustrators (NOC 5241)

Photographers (NOC 5221)

Artisans and Crafts persons (NOC 5244)

Authors and Writers (NOC 5121)

Journalists (NOC 5123)

Musicians and Singers (NOC 5133)

Interior Designers (NOC 5242)

Dancers (NOC 5134)

Actors and Comedians (NOC 5135)

Editors (NOC 5122)

Librarians (NOC 5111)

Conservators and Curators (NOC 5112)

Archivists (NOC 5113)

Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations (NOC 5131)

Conductors, Composers and Arrangers (NOC 5132)

Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists (NOC 5136)

Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants (NOC 5211)

Film and Video Camera Operators (NOC 5222)

Graphic Arts Technicians (NOC 5223)

Broadcast Technicians (NOC 5224)

Audio and Video Recording Technicians (NOC 5225)

Other Technical and Co-ordinating Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts (NOC 5226)

Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries (NOC 5212)

Support Occupations in Motion Pictures, Broadcasting and the Performing Arts (NOC 5227)

Announcers and Other Broadcasters (NOC 5231)

Other Performers (NOC 5232)

Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers (NOC 5243)

Patternmakers – Textile, Leather and Fur Products (NOC 5245)

Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications (NOC 5124)

Once you meet the definition of a self-employed person, you will be assessed against the following five selection criteria:

English/French ability24

How can we help?

At Coastal Immigration Ltd., we have an experienced Federal Self-Employed Persons class specialist on our team. We have extensive experience assisting world-class athletes (including, but not limited to a professional snowboarder, skier, hockey player, tennis player, soccer coach, swimmer atd) and artists (including, but not limited to a photographer, journalist, composer, actor and graphic designer) from around the World obtain temporary work permits and permanent residency in Canada.

If you are a professional athlete or a world-class artist, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. We will provide you with a solution tailored to your specific situation.

Benefits of Canadian permanent residency

Professional athletes who are Canadian citizens or Permanent residents are eligible to be considered for support through the Athlete Assistance Program (APP). APP is a sport funding program managed by Sport Canada. It is intended to assist world-class athletes with their financial costs associated with preparing for and participating in international sport by providing living and training allowance. 

You must satisfy the following requirements to be eligible for the program:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • Adhere to your athlete/National Sport Organization agreement requirements;
  • Be available to represent Canada at major international events, such World Championships, World Cups, Olympic Games and Paralympic Games;
  • Meet the carding criteria as a member of the Canadian Team at international events or in domestic events or events sanctioned by the National Sport Organization for your sport;
  • Live and train in Canada (exceptions apply).

National Sport Organizations

The following National Sport Organizations are eligible to receive funding from Sport Canada:

Alpine SkiingArcheryAthletics         


Canoe and KayakCricketCross Country SkiingCurling, Cycling                                                    

Diving, Equestrian

FencingField HockeyFigure SkatingFootballFreestyle Skiing                                         

GoalballGolfGymnasticsIce Hockey           

Judo, KarateLacrosse, Lawn BowlsLuge                

RacquetballRingette, RowingRugby                            

Sailing, Shooting, SkeletonSnowboardSoccerSoftballSpeedskating

Squash, SwimmingSynchronized Swimming           

Table TennisTaekwondoTennis, Triathlon           

VolleyballWater PoloWeightliftingWater Ski and Wakeboard

Wheelchair BasketballWheelchair RugbyWrestling