Is a job offer necessary to come to Canada?

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A description of a few of the immigration options available to Canadians without a job offer.

A Job offer is not necessary to immigrate to Canada. Based on your employment or school background, you may qualify for a variety of immigration programs.

More than 100 different economic immigration routes exist to Canada. Programs for immigration under the family and refugee classes, which do not take into account employment offers or other aspects of human capital, are not included.

Here is a breakdown of some of the immigration options available to anyone moving to Canada who does not already have a job lined up there.

Express Entry

The Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program all use Express Entry as their application management system. Although each of these programs has a work experience requirement, eligibility is not contingent on having a job offer from Canada.

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which assigns points for elements including job experience, education, age, and proficiency in an official language among others, is used to evaluate candidates who are qualified for at least one of these programs.

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Every two weeks or so, Admission, Refugees, and, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) sends invitations to the Express Entry applicants with the best scores to apply for immigration to Canada. After delaying draws to clear a backlog brought on by the pandemic, IRCC will issue an application invitation to FSWP and CEC applicants once more in July 2022.

Express Entry served as the primary immigration scheme up to 2022. The Provincial Nominee Program is a significant alternative route (PNP). The PNP enables the provinces and territories of Canada to design their own immigration schemes. There are several of these programs that don't need employment offers.

The PNP alternatives are summarised here, sorted from most to least populous provinces.

Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream

The province of Ontario receives nearly one-third of all immigrants to Canada each year. Ontario's employment options, high income, and diversified population attract many who want to move there. Ontario submits nominations for around 8,000 potential immigrants each year.

You can apply for the Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream if you want to relocate to Ontario but do not yet have a work offer. This stream enables the province to recommend people for Express Entry who are qualified and satisfy the necessary language, job experience, and other criteria.

Therefore, a job offer is not necessary, but in order to be evaluated and asked to apply in this stream, you must have an active Express Entry profile and satisfy standards established by Ontario, such as having work experience in selected vocations or sectors.

BC Skills Immigration International Post-Graduate

You can obtain permanent residency in Canada even if you don't have a job offer if you have a graduate degree in science from an accredited British Columbia college.

BC science graduates may be qualified to apply under the International Post-Graduate Skills Immigration category.

The following master's or Ph.D. degrees in the natural, applied, or health sciences are open to applicants for immigration under this category:

  • Agriculture;
  • The biomedical and biological sciences;
  • Support services and computer and information sciences;
  • Engineering;
  • Technology in engineering;
  • Clinical sciences and allied health professions;
  • Statistics and mathematics;
  • The preservation and study of natural resources; or
  • Physical Sciences.

You must submit your application to the BC PNP within three years of the date shown on your official transcript in order to be eligible for this category.

You must be able to show that you intend to reside and work in British Columbia in order to qualify under this stream. You can accomplish this, for instance, by providing documentation of your past or present residency in the province. You can also give BC documentation of your employment, education, or familial ties. Another option is to provide details of any actions you have made to establish yourself permanently, such as locating employment or housing or getting involved in the community.

The federal Express Entry system is not a requirement for those applying under this stream.

Alberta Express Entry

There is no requirement for employment offers for the Alberta Express Entry Stream. Candidates must register for Express Entry and express their desire to settle permanently in Alberta in order to be notified of interest from Alberta under this stream. The Alberta Express Entry Stream's general qualifying requirements are shown below.

  • Be in possession of a current Express Entry profile in the IRCC Express Entry system;
  • People have shown interest in moving to Alberta;
  • Engage in activity that promotes Alberta's economic growth; and
  • Should have at least 300 CRS points.

Your chances of obtaining a Notice of Interest from Alberta may be higher if you:

  • have a job offer in Alberta or work experience there;
  • are a graduate of a Canadian post-secondary school; or
  • are one of the following,
  • have a parent, child, or sibling who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and resides in Alberta.

Saskatchewan Express Entry and Occupations in Demand

There are two provincial nomination streams among Saskatchewan's several immigration programs that don't demand employment offers.

The first is the Saskatchewan Express Entry-linked stream, for which you must submit an application and maintain an active profile in the federal Express Entry program.

The Saskatchewan Occupation In-Demand stream is the second. This stream aims to satisfy the labor market's demand for skilled people. A candidate must have at least one year of experience in one of the occupations on Saskatchewan's Occupations In-Demand list in order to be considered.

Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities

There are several immigration routes available in Nova Scotia that can accommodate different applicant characteristics. Those who want to migrate to the province but do not yet have a work offer might choose one of these courses, the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities stream.

You must meet the following requirements in order to be nominated through this stream:

  • You must have a valid express entry profile number
  • You declared your intention to relocate to Nova Scotia in your Express Entry profile;
  • Possess an interesting letter from Nova Scotia;
  • satisfy the requirements in force at the time you receive the Nova Scotia Letter of Interest (these requirements vary from one round of invitation to another);
  • possess the necessary supporting documentation to prove your work experience;
  • fulfill the work experience criteria for the Express Entry stream for which you are eligible;
  • have documentation proving your immigration status in the nation where you are presently residing; and
  • Be able to demonstrate that you have the resources to care for your family and yourself.

Conclusion

You can obtain permanent residence status before starting your job hunt through programs that don't need a job offer, which may make it simpler for Canadian businesses to recruit you.

These are only a handful of the non-job offer Canadian immigration schemes available to employees and graduates.

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