Can I Immigrate to Canada Without a Degree?

Can I immigrate to Canada without a degree? Yes, you can immigrate to Canada without a degree, but your work background must be specialized.

However, your work experience must be specialized, and you must have job offers in Canada. 

This means that employers will only hire you because they know you have the skills they need and have at least two years of experience in that area.

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Canada welcomes people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds. Still, you will need to be accepted into the Canadian immigration system to reside and work in Canada legally. 

Canada’s immigration system provides points-based evaluations of candidates, so if you have completed a formal study in Canada at some point, you may be eligible to receive extra points during your assessment. 

Can I Immigrate to Canada Without a Degree?

Immigrating to Canada is not impossible. Immigrants do it all the time, and it’s no small feat. 

And, if you have the will and resources, you, too, can make a move. There are three criteria for moving to Canada: 

  1. You must be 18 or older; 
  2. You must plan on staying in your new home country for at least one year; 
  3. Have enough money saved up for your transition period – health care, finding housing and buying furniture, etc. 
  4. You may also need an employer willing to sponsor your work visa or permanent residence application if this is an option for you under Canadian law. 

This generally only applies in skilled labor shortage areas such as the tech industry, so please research further before applying.

The Best Program to Migrate to Canada Without a Degree

Here is the best way to migrate to Canada, even if you don’t have a college or university diploma. 

The Provincial Nominee Program can help people who live in provinces with low population growth by connecting qualified applicants with that province’s immigration program. 

You must be eligible under one of the Express Entry program categories and pass an assessment based on criteria including language proficiency, education, and work experience. 

It takes approximately six months before someone enters the Express Entry pool. 

In contrast, it may take ten years or more for someone in China or India to get approved under traditional channels.

Their scores would need to be very high for them not to be considered riskier cases for permanent residence in Canada.

Pros of Migrating to Canada Without a Degree

The main advantage of migrating to Canada without a degree is saving time, money, and effort. 

You won’t have to worry about having a high enough GPA, getting scholarships, or taking the TOEFL exam (assuming your native language is English). 

It’s also easier to be accepted into programs that don’t require degrees, like ESL or trade school. 

Most importantly, it will save you years of student debt which could amount to $100K in loans. 

In addition, if you’re not working while studying at university, there are several ways to make money.

Cons of Migrating to Canada Without a Degree

One of the disadvantages of migrating to Canada without a degree is that you won’t be eligible for any public assistance.

In other words, if you don’t have a job or an independent source of income, you will be unable to live in Canada and take advantage of all this country offers. 

You will not qualify for unemployment benefits or welfare payments, making it difficult to arrive in the country.

There are many ways to find employment in Canada, but they may not always be high-paying jobs, and they may not be long-term either. 

If you are planning on working with your hands, expect it to be hard work with lower wages and limited hours, so unless this is what you want, it might be better just to come to the country as a student.

Why You Don’t Need a Degree to Live in Canada

A common misconception about immigration to Canada is that you need a college education. 

You’ll only need post-secondary education, which can be anything from a trade certificate like an electrician’s apprenticeship or an apprenticeship for being a plumber or carpenter. 

You also don’t have to have completed it, as long as you prove that you are taking your first year of post-secondary studies in Canada. 

You also don’t need any degrees or certificates if your spouse is Canadian and they meet the requirements for sponsorship.

Work Permits for Jobs That Don’t Require Degrees

While many Canadian companies require education for their employees, several positions are open, even if you don’t have a degree. 

Some of these jobs include cleaning services and cashiering. If you decide to pursue one of these careers, it’s important to ensure that your credential from your home country will be accepted. 

In many cases, this will mean having an evaluation done by ECQ–Educational Credentials Assessment Qualifications Association. 

If you have your credentials assessed and find out that they won’t be accepted in Canada or by the company you’re looking at, then the next step is going through immigration. 

This process can take up to six months, so start as soon as possible.

Jobs Where Education Isn’t Required

Most careers in Canada don’t require a college or university education, but some will provide specific educational requirements. 

For example, if you want to work as a physician or nurse, several post-secondary programs will be required for your license.

There are also job opportunities in this country that require technical training and skills but don’t necessarily need a higher education background. 

For example, if you want to work as an electrician, you could enter employment after completing your apprenticeship and certification.


Can I immigrate to Canada without a degree? The answer is that it’s possible, but it depends on where you’re coming from.

The most popular way is with the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which considers your skills and education. 

If you don’t have formal Canadian education, there are other ways of getting in, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Some programs allow you to apply with any two years of experience working in your industry, even if you only have an associate’s degree, like Alberta Opportunity Stream.

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