Do you need a job offer to immigrate through Federal Skilled Worker Program to Canada?

Updated: Jan 30

Getting a valid job offer that would qualify for immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker is quite challenging. For more information on what is a valid job offer, and what is exempt from LMIA, visit this website. To see what your employer has to undertake to get you a qualifying valid job offer, visit this website. It can be quite cumbersome. But, a valid job offer is not a strict requirement for this immigration program.

To immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Category, you have to score competitively in two separate systems:

1- Firstly, a minimum score of 67 within what’s called the Six Selection Factors

2- Secondly, a competitive score within the Comprehensive Ranking System of Express Entry

System 1: Six Selection Factors

The initial step is to get through the Six Selection Factors, which are listed at this website. You must score at least 67 out of 100.

Having a valid job offer is not a requirement in this step, as the job offer only accounts for 10 points.

If you score the minimum of 67 points, then you’re eligible to be entered into the pool of candidates competing with others in the next step – this is the Express Entry pool.

System 2: Comprehensive Ranking System

The second step is to score as high as you can under the Comprehensive Ranking System Criteria, which are listed on this website. There is no minimum score, but the higher your score, the more likely it is for you to receive an invitation to apply for Permanent Residency. You can increase your chances by updating your profile (e.g. if you score higher in the language test). You can use this tool to calculate your score under the Comprehensive Ranking System.

The Comprehensive Ranking System is out of 1200 points, of which 600 are called Core Points and the other 600 are called Additional Points.

The 600 Core Points do not relate to having a valid job offer, but a valid job offer adds an additional 200 points under the Additional Points.

It is reported that the cut-off threshold points as of Jan 22nd was 471 points, where 3400 people received invitation to apply. It is also reported that as of January 20th the number of candidates in the pool with scores of 450 and more is 20,236 people.

A candidate can practically stay in the Comprehensive Ranking System indefinitely (the profile has to be re-entered every 12 months). The candidate can also update their profile as their information changes, to improve their chances, especially if the minimum threshold decreases.

Canada’s recent news to increase immigration number through Express Entry by 30,000 by 2021 might bring down the minimum threshold. So, while a valid job offer is not required, it can make your application highly competitive.