Chinese Doctors and Canadian Immigration

There are three types of people who can be “business immigrants” under Canadian immigration law: investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed persons.  According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website:

The Self-Employed Persons Program seeks to attract applicants who have the intention and ability to become self-employed in Canada. Self-employed persons are required to have either:

  • relevant experience that will make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada or
  • experience in farm management and the intention and ability to purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

Would someone who has practiced Chinese medicine and intends to practice Chinese medicine in Canada have the relevant experience under the program?

No. In Ding v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 764, Justice Beaudry noted that cultural activities are meant to be those as ordinarily understood to be part of the arts. To support this conclusion, he notes the examples provided for in OP8 11.3, which include music, teachers, painters, illustrators, film makers, freelance journalists, choreographers, and set designers.

Thus, the Court ruled that there is no basis on which to conclude that experience in a Chinese therapeutic massage clinic and training center falls within the meaning of cultural activities.