Somewhat random, but since Immigration Canada’s website says in bold they only offer advice to people who have already applied for a visa, why not go for the next best expert on any topic: the Hivemind! (And yes, I also tried looking into immigration-specific forums, but they were similarly geared towards people already deep into the visa application process.)

I am a European (non-UK ie non-Commonwealth) citizen currently in the US on a student visa, and I dream of immigrating to Ontario. Everything I’ve read online points to this being quite simply impossible, but on my recent visit to Toronto I couldn’t help but notice that seemingly *everyone* there seemed like recent transplants, so now I’m just thoroughly confused. So, any stories of you or your uncle’s wife’s second cousin immigrating to Canada - and, preferably, any insight into exactly how they managed it?

Things I have going for me: an MA (and possibly a PhD by the time of immigration), top-notch English and basic French reading, some work experience (TAships, Communications internship, unpaid cultural heritage/CRM work, retail, short-term ESL teaching, translation work), young-ish, Canadian friends possibly willing to write a reference (but living in another province).

Things I have going against me: no degree in a field that I would actually want to work in/a generic Humanities degree, no specialized skills (IT, stats, highly desirable languages, etc), no substantial, specialized work experience, no job offer, no family in Canada.

I feel fairly confident of my overall ability to get a job - I have a lot of “soft skills” and have worked on a ton of unpaid projects in various roles - but not in the least confident of finding an employer willing to pay the ridiculous labor market impact evaluation fees and capable of proving I’m more qualified than any Canadian citizen.

Should I just bury my dreams deep, or is there something I’m missing when reading through the jargon on immigration websites?