If you are wondering how to move to Canada without a job, then you are in the right place!
While a job offer from a Canadian employer can increase your odds of moving to Canada and can expedite the process, it is not always a requirement for those wanting to move to Canada. The following programs do not require a job offer in order to qualify to apply for Canadian permanent residence:
Express Entry without a job offer
The most popular way to move to Canada without a job offer is by using the Express Entry system. For those who have never worked in Canada, the Federal Skilled Worker program is the program that many immigrants use. The Federal Skilled Worker program allows individuals from around the world to apply for Canadian permanent residency based on a variety of factors which include:
- the applicant’s age
- their education
- their work experience
- their English or French language skills.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program does not require a job offer in order to be eligible, nor does it require any Canadian work experience, thus making it the easiest Canadian immigration option for prospective immigrants from around the world.
For those who have at least one year of skilled Canadian Work Experience, the Canadian Experience Class is the most popular program to attain your Canadian permanent residency.
Individuals who are in the trades industry, and have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in a qualifying trade, will first need to come to Canada to “challenge” the trades test in order for them to obtain a Canadian Red Seal certificate. Once they have obtained the certificate they can enter the Express Entry pool through the Federal Skilled Trades program.
Those wishing to apply through the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class must create an Express Entry profile and enter the Express Entry Pool of applicants. Once applicants enter the Express Entry pool, they are given a score based on their:
- work experience (foreign and/or Canadian)
- language abilities in English and/or French
- connections they have to Canada
If the applicant’s score is high enough, they will be invited to apply for Permanent Residence. If an applicant’s score is not high enough, then they will need to increase it, or they will not be invited to apply for permanent residence.
If you are considering immigrating to Canada through one of these programs that uses the Express Entry system, you need to remember that not everyone who qualifies for Express Entry will be chosen to apply for permanent residence due to its points and ranking nature. You need to renew your Express Entry profile every 12 months.
International Experience Canada (IEC)
The second most popular way to move to Canada without a job is the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. International Experience Canada (IEC)’s Working Holiday category does not require a job offer and allows applicants to work anywhere in Canada for any employer for a specific period of time. Permits may be issued from six months up to two years.
This program targets younger applicants from specific countries that have agreements in place with Canada and who are typically between the ages of 18 and 35. After working in Canada for a full twelve months, applicants may then be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class. The Canadian Experience Class does not require a job offer but it does require applicants to have at least one year of continuous full-time (or an equal amount in part-time), paid work experience in Canada within the last three years in an eligible occupation.
Have a listen to our podcast on how to immigrate to Canada without a job offer
Study in Canada
One of the most popular ways to move to Canada without a job over the past few years has been to first study in Canada. This option has increased in popularity as the required score for Express Entry applicants has increased. That was due to the fact that Express Entry draws were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Studying in Canada can allow accompanying spouses to obtain an open work permit. This will benefit the application as if the spouse works in a skilled occupation in Canada for the equivalent of one year full-time then it will allow them to apply through the Canadian Experience Class OR depending on their job, if the employer is happy with them then they can sign off on a letter to support them applying for Permanent Residency through a Provincial Nominee Program.
If the program the student is accepted into is eligible, they can apply for a post-graduate work permit once they have completed the program. This would then allow them to work in Canada for 8 months or more after graduation. The time of the post-graduate work permit is based on the duration of your program of study.
If the student then works in Canada for the equivalent of one year full-time then it will allow them to apply through the Canadian Experience Class OR depending on their job, if the employer is happy with them then they can sign off on a letter to support them applying for Permanent Residency through a Provincial Nominee Program. In most cases, students can be accompanied by their spouses and dependent children.
Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs)
Provincial programs are run by each province/territory individually and are tailored to their specific needs. These programs were created to allow the provinces to bring in new immigrants to fit their needs. For applicants in the Express Entry system, a provincial nomination can add 600 points to their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
Each province has more than one program, and each program has different requirements. While some may require a job offer, others do not. Instead, they may look at applicants who have previously worked or studied in that province, have work experience in an in-demand occupation, are bilingual in French and English, or have a connection to the province.
The Family Class
The Canadian Family Class allows you to sponsor certain family members to Canada once you have become a permanent resident of Canada, or if you are a Canadian citizen.
This program is limited to certain immediate family members which includes spouses, dependent children, parents, and grandparents. The program does not allow you to sponsor siblings or other relatives to Canada unless they meet certain criteria. Those individuals being sponsored do not need a job offer in Canada.
Start-Up Visa Program
If you have a viable business idea and are able to secure support from a designated organization, you may be able to apply for permanent residency through the Start-Up Visa Program without needing a job offer.
This program requires you to meet minimum language skills, have enough money to support you and your family upon arrival in Canada, and have enough voting rights in your business. Designated Organizations include designated venture capital funds, designated angel investor groups, and designated business incubators.
Self-Employed Persons Program
For those individuals who intend to be self-employed in Canada, and who have enough experience either being self-employed in cultural activities or athletics, or have enough experience in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level may be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada without a job offer. This program looks at a variety of factors which include age, education, work experience in cultural activities or athletics, English or French language skills, and adaptability.
There are various programs available for those seeking to open a business in Canada; depending on your age, education, work experience, net worth and entrepreneurial history.
There are several provincial programs in place which will allow applicants to apply for Canadian permanent residence based on their entrepreneurial experience. Each program has its own requirements which can include the amount of personal net worth that you require, years of experience and liquid funds available to invest to open a business in Canada.
These programs do not require a job offer from a Canadian employer, as you will be entering Canada to open your own business.