No Job Offer? No Worries! Provincial Nomination Programs and Why You Need to Look Into Them

By: Marcia Freese


You hold your breath as you plunge into the Express Entry (EE) pool and burst out in tears shortly thereafter when you realize that the magical Invitation To Apply (ITA)  likely won’t happen anytime soon. Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points need a serious boost; you’ve nailed the dreaded international English language test system (IELTS) CLB 9’s and are now stuck between the proverbial floor and carpet. 

A job offer will bump up your score by 50 points, but let’s face it – not all occupations are high in demand.

Let’s have a look at the different PNP streams where no job offer is required. Yes, you read correctly – no job offer is required!!

Getting a PNP without a job offer can be accomplished in two ways:

First way, you could be picked out of the EE pool & offered an NOI or ITA from a province without applying because you meet certain criteria.

Second, you have to apply separately to a province for a possible NOI or ITA from a province. If your application is successful and a province has nominated you, you’ll receive 600 points and thus a guaranteed ITA for PR.

It is important to note that for each of these scenarios the criteria defers per province.

Your occupation will play a large role in piquing interest from a province as every province has different labor demands. Not all provinces list their occupation needs and it’s often a hit and miss when sending an EOI to the different provinces. Some provinces will select on points only.

It is important to note that these programs change frequently. Requirements for these streams as well as the occupation needs changes as the provinces seem fit.

Tip: Always be sure to select all of the provinces when you create your EE profile. 

Scenario 1 – The province selecting you send you a NOI/ITA 

The following selection criteria apply to all of the provinces in this section:

  • You must have an EE profile
  • Proof of settlement funds. PR requires 6 months of settlements, we’ll assume the same is true for PNP’s

Additional criteria per province are listed separately below.

These provinces might send you an NOI/ ITA without needing a job offer:


Ontario generally selects eligible candidates with CRS scores just below the current trending ITA cut-off CRS scores. If you’re short a few points from the seemingly illusive ITA, this might be your lucky chance.

Currently, there are two streams where you could be selected and don’t need a job offer, namely the Human Capital Priorities and French-Speaking Skilled Worker streams.

Apart from language, both streams have the same requirements to be eligible:

  • Qualify under CEC or FSWP
  • CLB 7 on all four language requirements
  • Bachelors, Masters or Ph.D. degree and ECA if obtained outside of Canada
  • 1 year of paid full-time  NOC 0, A, or B work experience
    • FSWP – continuous in the past 5 years
    • CEC – cumulative in the past 3 years


Nova Scotia has shifted from the popular online Category B stream to selecting their candidates from the EE pool to meet certain labor demand shortages. During 2020 there were very few draws from the EE pool where no job offer is required. Occupations such as nurses, accountants, and mechanics were targeted in the past.  

Currently, the minimum requirements are as follow:

  • Qualify under FSWP
  • CLB 5 on all four language requirements
  • ECA assessed foreign diploma, certificate, or credential.
  • 1 year of paid full-time  NOC 0, A, or B work experience in the last 10 years


Candidates who can help support the government’s economic development and diversification priorities may be asked to submit an application. Candidates with CRS scores as low as 300 have been selected for an ITA in the past.

Eligibility requirements are:

  • Have a minimum CRS score of 300

Factors that could increase your chance of an ITA are: 

  • You are a graduate of a Canadian post-secondary institution
  • You have a parent, child, brother, and/or sister who is a permanent resident living in Alberta, or a Canadian citizen living in Alberta


New Brunswick will, on occasion, invite candidates directly from the federal Express Entry pool in response to provincial labor-market needs using their EE stream.

Requirements to be eligible for this stream are the following:

  • Must have an eligible connection to New Brunswick – family, studies in NB, etc

Scenario 2 – Apply for EOI without needing a job offer

This is a separate application from the EE pool. They each have their different scoring systems of which you need to have a minimum required score to be eligible. You are required to be PR ready, so having an EE profile is a good indication that you’ve done the legwork for IELTS, ECA & have the necessary proof of settlement funds. Provinces require a settlement plan as well. You will be required to convince the officer reviewing your file that you intend on settling in that province as part of your settlement plan.

You can apply for EOI to these provinces without needing a job offer:


Candidates can complete an EOI to NB if they met the minimum score of 67. If your profile is selected NB will issue you with an ITA. These are valid for 45 days, so be sure to have your completed application in before then, otherwise, you will need to start from scratch again. The same requirements apply as mentioned above. 


Scores selected for NOI/ ITA have varied from 68 – 80 during the 2020 year. Candidates are selected based on the needs of the province at the time and need to have the following:

  • CLB 5 in all four language requirements
  • 1-year post-secondary degree or diploma and ECA (if needed)
  • 60 points minimum requirement
  • Paid full-time  NOC 0, A, or B work experience as follow:
    • FSWP – 1 year in the past 10 years
    • CEC – 1 year in the past 3 years
    • FSTP – 2 years in the past 5 years


Manitoba selects internationally trained & experienced workers who have the skills needed in its labor market. 

Minimum requirements for the Skilled Worker Overseas Stream are as follow:

  • Minimum 6 months’ continuous work experience in one of the in-demand occupations list
  • CLB 7 in all four language requirements for regulated occupations
  • CLB 6 in all four language requirements for compulsory trades
  • CLB 5 in all four language requirements for all other NOC 0, A, or B occupations
  • 1-year post-secondary degree or diploma and ECA (if needed)
  • 60 points minimum requirement
  • Pass an exam or have your qualifications & skills assessed if the occupation requires licensing or certification
  • Demonstrate intent & ability to become economically established in Manitoba AND
    • Confirmed support from a Manitoba supporter who has resided in Manitoba for at least one year OR
    • Previous work experience in Manitoba within the past five years 

A Manitoba Supporter must be the applicant’s close relative or friend/distant relative, and must be:

  • Able to provide documents proving they reside and are established in Manitoba and have been living in the province continuously for at least one year (ex: a copy of Manitoba Health Card)
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident (ex: a copy of Permanent Resident Card)
  • Able to demonstrate sufficiently close ties to the applicant and to Manitoba
  • Able to demonstrate that any applications they previously supported resulted in successful, the permanent economic establishment in Manitoba
  • Able to support the applicant’s Settlement Plan

For a list of common immigration acronyms click here!

Did these points raise even more questions? Let’s help you get more answers – reach out to us to chat!

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