How To Increase CRS Score in Express Entry Canada

How To Increase CRS Score in Express Entry Canada

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points-based system used by the Canadian government to evaluate and rank candidates in the Express Entry immigration system. It is a part of the selection process for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Candidates in the Express Entry pool are assigned points based on various factors such as age, education, language proficiency in English and French, work experience, and other additional criteria. The CRS is designed to assess the candidates’ potential to integrate successfully into the Canadian labor market and society.

The maximum CRS score a candidate can achieve is 1,200 points, with points distributed across different factors. The Comprehensive Ranking System is used to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool, and those with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada through regular draws held by the government. Achieving a high CRS score increases an individual’s chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Core CRS points for Express Entry

The express Entry system in Canada uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to allocate points to candidates based on various factors. The core CRS points are distributed among several key factors, with a maximum score of 600 points. The breakdown is as follows:

  1. Human Capital Factors (Maximum 500 points):
    • Age
    • Level of Education
    • Official Language Proficiency (English\French)
    • Canadian Work Experience
  2. Skill Transferability Factors (Maximum 100 points):
    • Education and Foreign Work Experience
    • Education and Canadian Work Experience
    • Language Proficiency and Canadian Work Experience
  3. Additional Points (Maximum 600 points):
    • Provincial Nomination (if applicable)
    • Job Offer (if applicable)
    • Canadian Education Credential (if applicable)
    • French Language Proficiency (if applicable)
    • Sibling in Canada (if applicable)

Caculate your CRS score and lear more about CRS Points Grid here.

Candidates can receive additional points for factors such as a provincial nomination, a valid job offer, or having a sibling in Canada. The maximum total CRS score, including core points and additional points, is 1,200. However, the core CRS points, which are the points allocated based on human capital and skill transferability factors, have a maximum of 600.

Here’s a simplified table outlining the points allocation in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for Express Entry in Canada:

FactorMaximum Points
Core CRS Points600
Level of Education150
Official Language Proficiency (English/French)136
Canadian Work Experience80
Skill Transferability Factors100
Additional Points600
Provincial Nomination600
Job Offer (valid LMIA or PNP nomination)200
Canadian Education Credential30
French Language Proficiency30
Sibling in Canada (PR or citizen)15
Total Maximum CRS Score1,200

1. Express Entry Profile

Ensuring an accurate representation in your Express Entry profile is crucial. Not only can it lead to additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, but there are also significant consequences for misrepresentation.

It’s essential to note that the qualifications necessary for entry into the Express Entry pool may differ from those that optimize your CRS score. Candidates often concentrate too much on one aspect, overlooking opportunities for points in other areas. For instance, a highly educated individual might solely rely on their education, missing potential points in various categories.

Emphasizing strengths in one area should prompt candidates to assess and enhance other factors. Deliberately evaluate each factor, asking: How can I enhance my score here? Even modest improvements in multiple areas can result in a substantial overall increase in the pursuit of an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Hire an Employment Professional

Consider engaging an employment professional to enhance your digital resume, access a vast employer database across Canada, and receive valuable tips to boost your chances. Standing out in the applicant pool is crucial, and maximizing your opportunities requires strategic insights.

2. Enhance Language & Retake IELTS Test

Enhancing language skills in the Express Entry system boosts a candidate’s score, with reaching Canadian Benchmark Level 9 or higher earning an extra 100 points on top of the 260 available. Continuous language improvement, through lessons and test retakes, is encouraged while in the Express Entry pool. Bilingual candidates should assess proficiency in both English and French for maximum points.

Language proficiency is a key CRS factor, contributing up to 310 points when combined with other factors, and reaching 320 points if the applicant is married or in a common-law relationship. Improving language abilities beyond minimal requirements, such as CLB 7 for the Federal Skilled Worker program, can result in additional points, with the potential to reach CLB 10 for maximum scoring.

Retake IELTS Test

Enhancing your IELTS score is the primary method to boost points, with strong results alone yielding up to 160 points. Combining good IELTS with post-secondary education adds 50 points, and with at least three years of work experience, you gain an additional 50 points. Achieving CLB 7, or 6.0 on each IELTS language ability, is the minimum for Express Entry eligibility. However, scoring CLB 9 in all language abilities can earn up to 260 points. You can retake the IELTS multiple times and update your Express Entry profile with new results.

3. Education level

Education contributes up to 200 CRS points for those studying exclusively outside of Canada and up to 250 points for those with a Canadian post-secondary credential. Enhance your education score by acquiring additional credentials, such as completing another degree, or obtaining extra Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) for existing degrees.

An ECA is mandatory to earn CRS points for education obtained outside of Canada. Only the principal applicant requires one ECA to enter the pool for Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates educated abroad. Candidates in the Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class can enter the Express Entry pool without needing an ECA.

The CRS allocates points based on your education level, with higher levels earning more points. Enhance your education score by pursuing additional education or taking courses. Obtain a degree or diploma from a recognized institution to maximize your points.

Educational LevelCRS points earned
Secondary school0
Post-secondary program credential of one or more years + first language CLB 7 or more in all abilities (at least one ability needs to be less than CLB 9)13
Post-secondary program credential of one or more years + first language CLB 9 or more in all abilities25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials (one at least 3 years) +

CLB 7 or more in all abilities for first language (at least one ability needs to be less than CLB 9)

Two or more post-secondary program credentials (one at least 3 years) + CLB 9 or more in all abilities for first language50

4. Work Experience

Some candidates with seemingly unskilled job titles may, in reality, have performed skilled duties according to Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC). Evaluating your duties against the NOC’s listings can help determine whether your work is considered skilled or unskilled, potentially resulting in additional points and improve your crs score.

After identifying the appropriate NOC for your work experience, the next step involves calculating the time spent on each job. Points are awarded for full-time or equivalent part-time work experience. For Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates, a minimum of one year of continuous, skilled work experience is required to enter the pool. However, even non-continuous work experience can contribute to CRS points.

Points Awarded for Canadian Education Under Express Entry

Level AttainedPoints awarded
High school0
One or two-year post-secondary15
Three-year post-secondary, master’s, professional degree, or doctorate30

If you don’t qualify for Express Entry or have a less competitive score, exploring Canada as a student or temporary worker is a viable option. Acquiring Canadian experience can broaden your opportunities for various immigration pathways in Canada.

5. Get A Job Offer

Obtaining a job offer, which offers up to 200 points, one of the best ways to increase CRS Score, significantly enhances the likelihood of receiving an ITA. Conducting an in-depth job search linked to a visit to Canada is the most effective approach.

Visiting the country not only provides insight into Canadian life but also substantially increases the chances of securing a job by enabling face-to-face meetings with employers or participation in Canadian employment fairs. While obtaining a job offer from overseas is possible, enhancing your chances is advisable through a visit to Canada during the preparation for a potentially life-changing move.

6. Provincial Nominee Programs

Getting a provincial nomination is a fantastic way to boost your score by 600 points and move up in the candidate pool. It’s especially good for well-prepared candidates who can find an employer sponsor. Each province has different jobs they prioritize, and these can change, so candidates need to keep their applications updated and be aware of the latest news.

Some provinces update their websites when categories open or close, so paying attention to this can be the key to getting those 600 points and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) or spending another six months waiting. If you’ve visited a province before, you might get extra points, so that’s worth considering too.

7.  Get Spouse or Partner Points

When applying as a couple in the Express Entry system, it’s not always straightforward to determine the more qualified applicant. While one spouse may have a degree, the other with qualifications and experience in trades could potentially score higher. This is particularly important considering Canada’s labor market needs. Pay attention to provincial programs that outline in-demand job categories, as they may influence qualification priorities. Age is another significant factor, prompting a thorough assessment to identify the best principal applicant.

  • Additional Points Potential: Your spouse or partner may contribute more points by retaking a language test or obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for their post-secondary education.
  • Impact on Single Applicant Score: Your overall score as a single applicant might be higher since scores vary based on whether you have an accompanying spouse or partner. Listing them as non-accompanying could increase your score.
  • Assessing Stronger Applicant Status: Evaluate whether your spouse could be a stronger applicant by calculating their potential points as the principal applicant, either with or without your accompanying them. Consider the most advantageous scenario for your overall Express Entry score.

Note: If both you and your spouse are strong candidates, consider submitting individual profiles to the Express Entry system, listing each other as accompanying. This approach doubles your chances of success. However, if you’ve already maximized language test scores, claimed all available points for work experience, and optimized spousal points without achieving a competitive score, there are more advanced strategies to explore for score improvement.

How to calculate your CRS score covering the CRS score calculator

To assess your eligibility for Express Entry, utilize the official Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) calculator. Input information like age, education, language proficiency, and Canadian work experience to obtain a detailed score breakdown. Review the results to identify potential areas for improvement, such as retaking language tests. Stay informed about updates to the Express Entry system to ensure an accurate understanding of your eligibility and standing within the candidate pool


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