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Express Entry System: How to improve your CRS score

Express Entry immigration system which was launched by the Government of Canada in 2015 is one of the most popular ways to immigrate to Canada. The candidates who receive invitations to apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency, are those who have the highest Comprehensive Ranking System scores based on their profile.

According to the 2021 Express Entry draw report, the Express Entry system has had continued growth in the last few years but only 72% of all Express Entry applicants were deemed eligible. The report also stated that almost two-thirds of Express Entry applicants did not claim any additional points (69%). Those who were successful in entering the draw pool in 2021 had managed to score within the 450 – 499 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score range. Therefore, if you have an active Express Entry profile for a long time and still waiting to receive an invitation in each upcoming draw then you need to improve your CRS Score and with boost your chances of moving to Canada. Throughout this article, we will let you know the various ways to improve your CRS Score.

What is Comprehensive Ranking System?

Comprehensive Ranking System is a ranking score that will help you to check your eligibility to Canada PR through Express Entry Program. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) uses this tool to evaluate how you will rank in the Express Entry draw pool amongst other candidates. Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is awarded to every candidate, based on a various factors like age, level of education, language proficiency, work expertise, etc. You will be given points in various categories and your points will then be totaled to give you your CRS score.

Breakdown of CRS Score

To become a permanent resident of Canada through the Express Entry system, you will need to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from IRCC. You will be able to apply through one of three Canada immigration programs:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • The Federal Skilled Trade Program
  • The Canada Experience Class

Each program has its own criterion that needs to be fulfilled to qualify.

It is important to note that the Federal Skilled worker program requires a score of at least 67 out of a maximum 100 points in order to qualify. It is scored differently to CRS, and it assesses whether you are eligible to apply through this program. Once this is decided your marks will be prepared as per CRS. The higher CRS score you get, the more will be your chances of being selected to receive an ITAs for Canadian permanent residency. To qualify for ITA, you need to score equal to or more than the CRS cut-off score, which is released every two weeks after the Express Entry draw. Higher the average of the cut-off scores in the draw pool, higher will be the CRS cut-off score.Therefore, you need to ensure that you have the highest possible score.

How are CRS points calculated?

When you apply through Canada’s Express Entry system, you will be assigned a CRS score out of 1200 points. There are two main categories where you can score CRS points:

Core points = 600 points

Additional points = 600 points

Core CRS points

Core CRS points are awarded for skills and experience factors, spouse or common-law partner factors like language skills and education, and education and work experience.

Additional CRS Points

Additional CRS points are awarded for Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates, a valid job offer, a nomination from a province or territory, a brother or sister living in Canada, and good French language skills


These categories are divided into 4 subsections:

Section A- Core/Human capital

CriteriaMaximum Points With SpouseMaximum Points Without Spouse
Language Skills (English/French)150160
Canadian Work Experience7080

Section B- Spouse or Common-Law Partner

CriteriaMaximum Points
Language Skills (English/French)20
Canadian Work Experience70

Section C- Skills transferability

EducationMaximum Points
Language Skills (English/French) + Education50
Canadian Work Experience + Education50
Foreign Work ExperienceMaximum Points
Language Skills (English/French) + Foreign Work Experience50
Foreign Work Experience + Canadian Work Experience50
Certificate of Qualification (Trades)Maximum Points
Language Skills (English/French) + Education Certificate50

Section D- Additional Points

CriteriaMaximum Points
Brother and Sister Living in Canada15
French Language Skills30
Post-Secondary Canadian Education30
Arranged Employment200
Provincial Nomination600

Ways to Increase your CRS Score

The Express Entry draw is conducted at regular intervals, so there is always a chance for you to improve your CRS score before you apply for a subsequent Express Entry draw.

  1. Boost your Language Test Scores

If you score well in language tests such as the IELTS, your CRS score will improve. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your CRS score. If you score a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 9, you’ll get up to 136 direct points added to your CRS ranking. If you already have a fluency in one language you will get another 22 points for a second language skill if you’re applying with your partner and 24 extra points if you’re applying alone. You can also achieve more points if you have a high level of proficiency (CLB7 or higher) and a post-secondary degree under skill transferability factors.

Increase Work Experience

If you have fewer than three years of full-time work experience but you continue to work, you can gain more skills transferability points. In fact, you’ll be able to claim more CRS points for Canadian work experience, so try to gain experience of five years or above.

Get a Provincial Nomination

If you receive an invitation, you will receive 600 additional points for your Express Entry profile. Since the maximum CRS score is 1200, then by just having a Provincial Nomination, you have already reached halfway. On average, the cut-off score overall draws in 2020 has been 551 CRS points. You can also get 100 points just by being 20-29 years old with a three-year qualification.

Get a Job Offer in Canada

If you receive a work offer from an employer in Canada, you can easily add up to 200 points to your CRS ranking. You need to get a full-time continuous paid employment offer for at least one year and you will have to get it in written form from your employer.

Being in Canada you can meet an employer face-to-face but if you are applying from abroad, you can simply use online job platforms such as Workopolis, Indeed, and Workbc or the Government website, Job Bank Canada.

Having a relative in Canada

Having a brother, sister or any other relative can boost your chances of increasing your CRS score. Just by having a sibling through blood, adoption, marriage or common-law partnership, you will be able to claim an extra 15 points. You just need to provide documents supporting the proof of your relationship, for example, a marriage certificate.

Using a CRS calculator

To know about the various ways about boosting your CRS score, you need to use a CRS calculator. As we mentioned above, the Canadian government has a great CRS tool that is free for everyone to use. It will help you a great deal in knowing quickly about the ways to increase CRS score. Some immigration companies offer free evaluation while some have developed their own CRS calculator to give a more accurate result.

Stay updated with Express Entry Immigration notifications

Being updated with the latest news and updates regarding Express Entry Immigration, can help you a great deal in improving your score and thereby your chances of immigration.

Applying with your spouse

If you are planning to come to Canada with your spouse or common-law partner, you should both know that the spouse or partner’s language skills are worth up to 20 points, while education level and Canadian work experience are worth up to 10 points each. That’s a total of 40 points available based on your spouse or partner’s factors.

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