Earlier this year I applied for permanent residency in Canada through the Federal skilled worker program. This program allows you to apply for residency without a job offer in place, but relies on your education, skills and experience. From the Canadian Immigration FSW site:
Canada encourages applications for permanent residence from people with skilled work experience and education that will contribute to the Canadian economy.
As you would expect, the application process is complicated and long. To give you an idea, it took me around three months of toil to get everything together in order