Immigrate To Canada As An Athlete

athlete in a track race getting ready for a race.

Ever considered immigrating to Canada? One of the fastest route to immigrate to Canada is as a self-employed.
Talented self-employed athletes or coaches are lured to immigrate to Canada through the Federal Self-Employed Persons Immigration Program. The athlete or coach is expected to contribute meaningfully to the development of athletic endeavours in the country. If your application is approved, you may receive permanent residency status in Canada.

Athletes or coaches who renege on their obligation of pursuing self-employment upon landing Canada will be guilty of Misrepresentation. Misrepresentation is a serious offense, which could mar your re-entry into Canada in the future.

When a foreign national athlete wishes to represent Canada sports team, a work permit must be obtained first. However there will be no need for LMIA report, which is an onerous process while seeking work permit in Canada.

Who Qualifies As A Self Employed Athlete

Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) under subsection 88(1) defines a Self-Employed Athlete as an individual who is self-employed in athletics with relevant work experience and genuine intention and ability to make significant artistic or athletic contributions to the Canadian economy.

To qualify as a Self-Employed athlete, applicants must satisfy the requirements of work experience, intention and ability to continue as a self-employed athlete and making a significant contribution to the economic development of Canada.

Work Experience

A minimum of two years of work experience is considered relevant by the IRPR (Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations).

  • Two-year experience as a self-employed athletics
  • Two-year experience in participation of world-class athletic sporting activities

For instance, if you submit your application on Jan 15 2019, you need to prove that within the past five years, you have had at least two years relevant work experience from Jan 15, 2014, till an immigration officer concludes with your application.

If you are a renowned athlete with relevant experience, personal income is no longer a major factor, but personal income as a self-employed athlete is crucial.

Intention To Continue Activities As A Self-Employed Athlete

The immigration officer takes into cognizance several factors in determining whether an applicant is qualified or has satisfied the basic requirements.

The applicant needs to prove to the immigration officer that they will continue their activities as a self-employed athlete in Canada.

The applicant’s financial strength to cater to their financial responsibilities, relevant experience, possible ties to any Canadian athletic community, if any exist and their proposed business plan in Canada will be factored by the immigration officer.

Applicants who abuse this obligation to seek future employment without proper legal backing commits misrepresentation and risk deportation and will further mar their chances of re-entering Canada.

Activities Considered As Athletics

Activities which fall under the following NOC categories is considered Athletic activities, with its four unique digit code.

  • 5251 Athletes
  • 5252 Coaches
  • 5253 Sports officials and referees
  • 5254 Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

Source Government of Canada

Immigration to Canada as a self-employed athlete is easy when you don’t pose a security or health risk. Applicants must acquire at-least 35 points from the following categories to be able to receive permanent residence status.

  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Age
  • Language proficiency
  • Adaptability.

Note: This immigration process is for individuals who satisfy the eligibility requirements of self-employed persons.

The immigration authorities will deal severely with violators, who fail to abide by the rules and regulations. Be honest when dealing with Canadian immigration officials, they will love you for it.

To be able to avoid hurdles and increase the chances of your application receiving approval, it is advisable to employ the services of an immigration expert, who can argue and present your case to the immigration officers in a professional way.


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