Unlike other countries, Canada’s Express Entry application system and the three federal programs it covers does not restrict permanent residence to those with a Canadian job offer.
This means, at least in theory, you can move to Canada even if you don’t have a job in the country. Having a job offer can result in an additional 50-200 points to your CRS score. But, not having a job offer does not mean you are ineligible for permanent residence.
So, which option should you choose? Should you focus on gaining Canadian work experience through a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and then think about PR? Or, should you focus on direct permanent residence?
Analysis of Ottawa’s Economic Insight Series Data
The fifth study of the Ottawa’s Economic Insight Series covering data between 2000 and 2018 provides the answer.
As per the data, those applying for PR after first gaining Canadian work experience enjoy multiple advantages over direct immigrants.
Data shows that those with work experience are more likely to get and hold jobs in Canada during the first two-year period after immigration
Further, such immigrants are likely to earn 15 percent more than direct immigrants entering Canada without a job offer.
Another important insight is that this advantage was restricted those with high-wage job experience in Canada. This means having Canadian work experience was not such a big advantage for those who had medium or low-paying jobs in Canada before obtaining permanent residence.
Actionable Points for your Immigration Strategy
Direct PR may seem like an easy option but getting Canadian work experience first will help you find steady and high-paying jobs after becoming a permanent resident.
Canadian experience will open up additional options like the Canada Experience Class program and other PNP streams that require work experience in the province. Without experience, you will have fewer immigration options.
Try to find a high-paying job in Canada. A low-paying job does not help you as much in your Canadian PR strategy. So, try to improve your educational qualification and/or experience and focus on getting a high-paying work permit job in Canada.
If you are planning on studying in Canada, then focus on the two-step process and try to gain work experience through internships or the Post-Graduate Work Permit, or the standard TFWP work permit before returning home.
Adding Canadian work experience can prove very beneficial in the long run even if you don’t plan on immediately applying for permanent residence in the country.
Seek Professional Assistance
This analysis clearly suggests that your choice of immigration professional should focus on quality job-search assistance as well.
A bit of luck may help you land in Canada even without a job offer. However, you may lose out to others with Canadian work experience and struggle to find and hold high-paying jobs after moving to Canada.
So, don’t just focus on immigration alone. Instead, work with an experienced immigration attorney who can help you explore opportunities in the country. Get a work permit, learn more about living and working in Canada, and then apply for permanent residence.