Conditions for immigrating to Québec as a self-employed worker

To be eligible for the Self-Employed Worker Program, you must honour the following conditions. 

Conditions to be honoured 

Settle in Québec to work here
You must practise your profession in Québec, alone or with others, with or without paid help.

You cannot practise your profession in the following sectors:  

  • Payday loans, cashing cheques or pledge loans; 
  • Production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services related to the sex industry, such as nude or erotic dancing, escort services or erotic massage; 
  • Real estate trading, leasing, brokerage or development.  

Have the required work experience 

  • You must have at least two years of work experience in your profession, in your own name, in the five years preceding the date of submission of your application; 
  • To be considered, your work experience must not have been acquired in an ineligible sector. 

Be in the process of obtaining or have obtained authorization to practise your profession if it is regulated in Québec 

If you wish to practise a profession that is regulated in Québec, you must fulfil one of the following conditions:  

  • Have authorization to practise this profession in Québec; 
  • Have training or a diploma that is partially or fully recognized by the authority that regulates your profession in Québec.  Your proof of recognition must be dated no more than five years from the date of submission of your application.  

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Find the code for your profession from the National Occupational Classification (NOC) This hyperlink will open in a new window.. Use the five-digit code from the 2021 NOC.  
  • Verify if your profession is on the Liste des professions réglementées (list of regulated professions) of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (Ministère). 
  • If your profession is on the Liste des professions réglementées, find out the conditions for practising this profession in Québec and the steps to take to be able to practise it in Québec. You can consult the Qualifications Québec site This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only) or directly contact the regulatory body for your profession in Québec. 
  • Obtain authorization to practise or partial or full recognition of your diploma or training.  

General notice

You do not need to take steps with the regulatory body if your profession does not require authorization in Québec or you plan to practise in a context in which authorization is not required, even if your profession is on the Liste des professions réglementées (PDF 184 Kb).

If you have already started your professional project in Québec, you can apply to the Self-Employed Worker Program. Nonetheless, you will still need to meet all the conditions of the program.

Have a minimum net worth

  • You must have a net worth of at least CDN$100,000. This amount  excludes donations received in the six months preceding the date of submission of your application. You can share this net worth with your spouse or de facto spouse accompanying you to Québec.  
  • You must demonstrate the legal origin and accumulation of your net worth. You must also demonstrate the legal origin and accumulation of the net worth of your spouse or de facto spouse included on the application, even if their assets are not required to attain the minimum net worth required under the program.  

Hold a secondary school diploma 

You must hold a diploma obtained before the date of submission of your application and corresponding, minimally, in Québec, to a secondary school diploma.  

Have a minimum knowledge of French 

You must have a knowledge of spoken French corresponding minimally to level 7 according to the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français (PDF 4.94 Mb).

To support the demonstration of your knowledge of French, even if French is your mother tongue, you must present one of the following items: 

  • Attestations of test results or French evaluation diplomas accepted by the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration;
  • One of the high school diplomas accepted by the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration, even if French is your mother tongue

The French assessment tests and diplomas accepted by the Ministère are:

Your results must be less than two years old at the time of application.

General notice

Only the results issued by the providers of these tests (France Éducation international and the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France) are recognized by the Ministère.

The electronic versions of the above tests are also accepted. You must take these tests at a centre accredited by the organization that provides them.

If you have one of the secondary school diplomas accepted by the Ministère, you could obtain level 9 (advanced) according to the Échelle québécoise or its equivalent for the two oral competencies and the two written competencies.  

The following secondary school diplomas are accepted by the Ministère: 

  • General, vocational and technological baccalaureates issued by the French Ministry of Education; 
  • The Certificat  d’enseignement secondaire supérieur (CESS) issued by the Government of the French Community of Belgium; 
  • The Certificat de maturité issued on completion of studies at a school in a French-speaking canton of Switzerland. 

The person responsible for reviewing your application may call you for an interview to verify the level of French you declared on your application for permanent selection.  

Make a start-up deposit

You must make a start-up deposit with a financial institution with an establishment in Québec. The amount of the deposit depends on the area where you plan to practise your profession:

  • Outside the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), the start-up deposit is CDN$25,000.
  • On the territory of the CMM, the start-up deposit is CDN$50,000.

You will need to make the deposit after you receive the letter that confirms the opening of your file.

Capacity for financial self-sufficiency 

You must sign a financial self-sufficiency contract, in which you commit for three months as of the date of obtaining permanent resident status to meeting your essential needs, those of the members of your family accompanying you and those of dependent children who are Canadian citizens, if applicable.  

Please consult the schedules in effect (PDF 140 Kb) for the total amount that applies to your situation.  

Obtain an attestation of learning about democratic values and Québec values

When your file is opened, you will receive a request to obtain an attestation of learning about democratic values and Québec values.

You must obtain your attestation within a maximum of 60 days after receiving this request.

Members of your family that are accompanying you will also need to obtain it, including your spouse aged 16 years or older and your dependent children aged 18 years or older.

You will not receive this request if you and your family have already received your attestation.


Last update: December 28, 2023


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