Contrary to what many people may think, it is possible to immigrate to Canada without first securing a job.
Unlike many other countries in the world, Canada provides opportunities for foreigners to immigrate without first landing a job offer.
Because the Canadian immigration system is highly versatile and dynamic, there are several immigration avenues available to those who have not yet found a job that would help them immigrate to Canada.
While the most common and coveted immigration route in Canada is known as the Express Entry system, there is an equally promising route called the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Express Entry is based on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) in which points are accumulated based on human capital factors. While in most cases Express Entry candidates do not require a job offer, having one will result in a much higher number of points, and therefore a better chance of being invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Canada’s PNP, on the other hand, was introduced to ensure a more balanced distribution of the benefits of immigration throughout the country. The program gives participating provinces and territories the opportunity to nominate a set number of economic immigrants for permanent residence each year. PNPs are quite different from one province to another, with each province determining its own set of nomination requirements.
In order to immigrate to Canada through a PNP, you must first be nominated by the province or territory.
Nine Canadian provinces and two territories participate in the PNP, including Ontario. The province receives one-third of all newcomers to Canada each year. People choose to settle in Ontario because of its employment opportunities, high wages, and diverse population.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is one of the most active PNPs in the country. Some 8,000 invitations to apply are sent out through multiple streams each year.
If you wish to settle in Ontario and do not have an offer of employment, you may submit an application under the Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream. This stream is designed for foreign skilled workers who would like to work and permanently settle in Ontario. It allows the province to search for and nominate eligible candidates who have submitted a profile using the federal Express Entry pool and who meet the language, work experience, and several other criteria necessary to enter the provincial labour market.
A job offer is therefore not required, but you must have an active Express Entry profile and meet requirements set by Ontario such as having work experience in targeted occupations or sectors to be considered and invited to apply in this stream.
If you apply to be nominated by Ontario and receive a Notification of Interest, you will receive a message through your Express Entry account inviting you to submit an online application to the OINP.
If your application is successful, you will receive a Nomination Approval Letter. You will be asked to accept or refuse the nomination in the Express Entry system. If you accept, you will receive an additional 600 points towards your Express Entry CRS score, which effectively guarantees you will be invited to apply for permanent residency with the Government of Canada.
So far this year, the Human Capital Priorities Stream has been one of the most active Ontario PNP streams with 4,851 NOIs already issued to Express Entry candidates.
OINP Express Entry-Human Capital Priority Stream Requirements:
To be eligible for the OINP Express Entry-Human Capital Priority Stream you will need to:
• Have an active Express Entry profile;
• Meet the eligibility requirements for one of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC);
• Meet the stream’s work experience requirements;
• Have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degree or an equivalent foreign education credential;
• Demonstrate a language proficiency level of 7 or higher of the Canadian Language Benchmark;
• Intend to reside in Ontario;
• Have sufficient funds to cover settlement costs in Ontario.