In order to be able to enter the pool of candidates, you need to first qualify for one of the programs.
For Express Entry, a job offer is defined as a process under the PNP or LMIA.
Yes, although candidates with a job offer have better chances to be invited to apply for permanent residence; through out the year the scores for Express Entry change and people without a job offer may be called as well.
The general rule is that applications outside Canada take less time to process. This is one of the main reasons people decide to apply outland, however, other factors must be considered before making the decision. Every case is different.
Yes, if your partner is already in Canada without legal status, they can be sponsored for permanent residence in most cases. However, some exceptions may apply.