For those looking to immigrate to Canada without a job offer, there are numerous options available, depending on your personal background.
The first, and most popular option is the Federal Skilled Worker program which uses the Express Entry System. This program is designed for those who have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in any country in the world and can score high enough on the Federal Skilled Worker points system. The points system looks at age, completed education, language abilities in English and French, full-time paid work experience and previous work or study experience in Canada, or if you have any direct relatives living in Canada.
IMMIGRATE TO CANADA AS A TRADESPERSON
The second option is for those who work in trades. The Federal Skilled Trades program would require applicants to physically travel to Canada to write a Canadian Red Seal examination before they would be eligible to apply without a job offer. This program also uses the Express Entry System and would require applicants to be proficient in English or French.
THE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE CLASS
The third option, which also uses the Express Entry system is for those who have previously worked in Canada in a skilled occupation for one year or longer on a full-time paid basis in the past three years and are proficient in English or French.
IMMIGRATE TO CANADA AS AN ENTREPRENEUR
For those who have an entrepreneurial background and are looking to start a business in Canada or purchase an existing business in Canada, there is a large variety of programs available depending on the type of business you want to open or purchase. Some programs require you to have a substantial personal net worth and invest a minimum of $200,000 or more into a business, while others have no financial requirements and focus more on your business plan and whether or not you have the finances available to support your business plan. With most of these options you would first be issued with a temporary work permit, and then if your business was successful, you would be able to transition to permanent residency.
For those with a net worth of $2,000,000 or higher and or willing to invest $1,200,000 over a five-year period, Quebec offers an Investor program which leads to permanent residency. This program is currently closed and will be re-opening in July of 2020. At that time, new requirements or restrictions may be implemented.
STUDY IN CANADA
For those who are interested in studying in Canada, completing a qualification can lead to permanent residency. Depending on the school that you study at in Canada, after graduation you can be eligible for an open work permit which would allow you to gain valuable Canadian work experience. This would then allow you to apply under the Canadian Experience Class, or other programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker program, depending on whether you also have international work experience.
THE COMPREHENSIVE RANKING SYSTEM
For those who are eligible to apply through one of the programs that use the Express Entry system, they would be given a Comprehensive Ranking System score which is essentially your global ranking against all of the other candidates worldwide who are trying to immigrate to Canada. The Comprehensive Ranking System score is based on your age, completed education, language abilities in English and French, full-time paid work experience, previous work or study experience in Canada, your spouse’s level of completed education, your spouse’s language abilities in English or French, your spouse’s previous work or study experience in Canada, whether you have a job offer or not and whether you have a sibling living in Canada who is a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen. As of the date of this article, there are more than 145,000 people in the Express Entry system. Every two weeks the Canadian government then selects an average of 3,500 people from the Express Entry system based on their Comprehensive Ranking System score. Those with the highest scores are selected. Those who are selected then get to apply for Permanent Residency.
For those in the Express Entry system with a low Comprehensive Ranking System score, they can try to increase it with a Provincial Nomination. While there are many different Provincial programs that exist, a large majority require applicants to have a job offer. Currently only Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia will select people without job offers. Each of those provinces has their own specific criteria on how they select people for provincial nominations. Note that Quebec is excluded from the Express Entry System as they use a separate immigration system.