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Posted on November 05 2020

Can you move to Canada without a job in 2021?

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
migrate to canada

Canada is the place to migrate to. With a plan of welcoming over 1.4 million immigrants from  2021 to 2023 there is probably no better place for a migrant to head towards than Canada.

When people think of immigrating to another country, a common question that comes to their mind is – Should I migrate first and then look for a job? or Should I find a job in Canada first and then plan my Canada immigration?

Frankly speaking, you can migrate to Canada without a job offer. Yes, you read that right.

One popular option to migrate to Canada without a job offer is the Express Entry system. As you are aware, the Express Entry system is a point-based system that manages applicants seeking permanent residency for those who can fill jobs where there is a lack of available skilled Canadian workers. The Express Entry programs which allow you to immigrate without a job offer include:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Express Entry program has streamlined the immigration process and made it more transparent. Key details of the program are:

  • The program has no cap on applicants and is open throughout the year
  • The program is applicable to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Traders Program, and Canadian Experience Class Immigration Program
  • Applicants must submit an Expression of Interest to apply for this program
  • Their profile will be evaluated based on points and will be placed in the applicant pool
  • Applicants with the highest points are sent invitations to apply for PR
  • Annual Immigration Level determine the number of ITAs that can be issued

Immigration candidates who submit their profiles to the Express Entry pool are assigned a CRS score out of 1200 points. The Express Entry draw is conducted at regular intervals and those with high CRS scores are invited to apply for the PR visa. Your CRS score increases if you have a job offer in Canada.

The CRS score usually varies with every Express Entry draw. Your chances of being eligible for the draw improves if you have a high CRS score.

With the stipulation that an applicant have “at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before you apply”, the Canadian Experience Class has a somewhat limited appeal, generally speaking.

That leaves us with the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

It is through the PNP pathway that you can migrate to Canada in 2020 without a job offer.

PNP does not require a job offer from an employer in the province.

With the exception of Nunavut and Quebec, all the provinces and territories in Canada are part of the PNP.

While Nunavut does not have a provincial nomination system, Quebec has its own program for the induction of immigrants.

Image Source: CIC News

For 2021, the total admission target under PNP stands at  80,800.

Year Target Low range  High range
2021 80,800 64,000 81,500
2022 81,500 63,600 82,500
2023 83,000 65,000 84,000

Eligibility requirements for the PNP programs varies from province to province. There are various ‘streams’ that the provinces induct immigrants to.

By ‘streams’ is meant immigration programs that specifically target a particular group of people.

Program streams run by the territories and provinces might be aimed at specific groups, such as – business people, semi-skilled workers, students, or skilled workers.

Each of the immigration programs under PNP are unique and in keeping with the existing gap in the labor force of the province or territory concerned.

When you are successful in getting a provincial nomination, you will be awarded 600 additional points towards your total Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. For example, let us say that your profile is in the Express Entry Pool and you have a CRS of 400. With a provincial nomination, your CRS shoots up to 1000 (that is, 400 + 600).

With the 600 additional points, it is almost a guarantee that you will be sent an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for being provincially nominated for Canadian permanent residency in the next draw to be held.

“Arranged employment”, on the other hand, can only fetch you somewhere between 50 to 200 points towards your CRS score.

By “arranged employment” is meant a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

If you are applying under the FSWP, a job offer gets you the following –

Do keep in mind that a work permit – even if it is an open work permit – is NOT a job offer.

A provincial nomination, though inapplicable at the time of calculating your eligibility for Canada, can give your profile the often much-needed boost while in the Express Entry pool.

Another option that you can consider for moving to Canada without a job offer is the Quebec Skilled Workers Program (QSWP).

Through this program skilled workers can apply for the Quebec Selection Certificate or Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). It is not necessary for applicants to have a valid job offer in order to migrate to Quebec. However, those with a job offer are given higher priority.

 Th QSWP is also based on a points-based system like the Express Entry System.

The application process involves just two steps:

Step 1: Send in the completed application form along with the documents required. The Immigration authorities will then verify your documents.

Step 2: You will be issued a CSQ by the immigration authorities which allows you to migrate to and remain in Quebec for 3 months. You can apply for a PR Visa after this period.

With Canada’s immigration targets at 401,000 for 2021 and 411,000 for 2022 there is probably no better time to enter the Express Entry pool than now.

And with PNP target of 80,800 for 2021, PNP can prove to be your perfect pathway to Canada PR in 2021.



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