Immigration is a major step in one’s life, and for those seeking to call Canada home, the Express Entry system is often the pathway they choose. At the heart of this system is the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), a points-based assessment tool used to evaluate and rank Express Entry profiles. Understanding how the CRS works is key to increasing your chances of receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residency. This article provides an in-depth guide to the CRS, breaking down its different components, scoring methods, and the strategies you can employ to improve your score.
The CRS utilizes a set of criteria to award points to potential immigrants. The highest possible score is 1,200 points, which is divided into two main categories: Core points (up to 600 points) and Additional points (up to 600 points). Let’s delve into each category and see how points are awarded.
I. Core Points (Up to 600 Points)
The core points can be further divided into three sections:
A. Core/Human Capital Factors
Human capital factors are the backbone of the CRS scoring system, emphasizing personal skills, experience, and demographic factors. With a spouse or common-law partner, you can secure up to 460 points, and without a spouse or common-law partner, you can get up to 500 points. Here’s the breakdown:
- Age: Your age plays a significant role in your CRS score. Candidates under 30 years old can get the maximum points (100 points with a spouse/common-law partner and 110 points without). The points then gradually decrease as age increases, with no points awarded to those aged 45 or above.
- Level of Education: Points for education level range from 0 (for less than high school education) to 140 (with a spouse/common-law partner) or 150 (without a spouse/common-law partner) for a Doctoral degree (Ph.D.).
- Official Languages Proficiency: Proficiency in Canada’s official languages – English and French – can earn you up to 150 points with a spouse or common-law partner, or up to 160 points without. Points are awarded for each language ability: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
- Canadian Work Experience: Having work experience in Canada significantly adds to your CRS score. The points increase with the number of years of experience, peaking at 70 points (with a spouse/common-law partner) or 80 points (without) for five years or more of Canadian work experience.
B. Spouse or Common-Law Partner Factors
If you’re accompanied by a spouse or common-law partner, their education, language proficiency, and Canadian work experience can contribute up to 40 points to your total score.
C. Skills Transferability Factors
This section looks at the combination of your skills, and how well they could be transferred to the Canadian job market. These combinations can give you up to 100 points, based on factors such as language skills, education, Canadian and foreign work experience, and having a trade certificate qualification.
II. Additional Points (Up to 600 Points)
This part of the scoring system offers additional points for specific situations that might enhance your prospects in Canada’s economy or society. Here’s how these points are allocated:
- Canadian Degrees, Diplomas, or Certificates: If you completed a post-secondary education in Canada, you could gain up to 30 additional points.
- A Valid Job Offer: If you have a job offer in Canada, you could earn up to 200 points depending on the job’s classification.
- A Nomination from a Province or Territory: Securing a nomination from a Canadian province or territory
A Nomination from a Province or Territory: If you receive a nomination from a Canadian province or territory through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), you’ll receive 600 additional points. This is a significant boost and effectively guarantees that you’ll receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.
A Sibling in Canada: If you have a sibling (related by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption) who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is living in Canada, you could get 15 additional points. Your sibling must be at least 18 years old.
French Language Skills: Canada values bilingualism, and as such, if you demonstrate strong French language skills, you can earn additional points. If you score NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills, and you score CLB 4 or lower in English (or don’t take an English test), you get 25 additional points. If you score NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills and score CLB 5 or higher on all four English skills, you get 50 additional points.
Post-Secondary Education in Canada: You can earn more points if you completed a post-secondary program in Canada. You can earn up to 30 additional points, with the exact number depending on the length and level of the program.
Arranged Employment: This refers to having a valid job offer of continuous, full-time employment from a Canadian employer. Depending on the job’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code, you can earn either 50 or 200 additional points. Jobs with a 00 NOC code (executive level jobs) offer 200 points, while all other jobs offer 50 points.
Now that you understand how the CRS calculates scores, it’s time to discuss some strategies that can help you improve your CRS score:
- Improve Your Language Skills: Enhancing your proficiency in English and French can significantly boost your CRS score. You might consider investing in language courses or taking additional language tests.
- Increase Your Education: Higher levels of education translate into higher CRS scores. If it’s feasible, consider pursuing further education. This could be in your home country, or, for even more points, in Canada.
- Gain More Work Experience: The more work experience you have, the higher your score, especially if it’s Canadian work experience. If you’re eligible, consider getting a temporary work permit to gain experience in Canada.
- Secure a Provincial Nomination: The highest number of additional points comes from a provincial nomination. Research the various Provincial Nominee Programs to see if you might be eligible.
- Apply With Your Spouse: If your spouse has good language, education, or work experience, they could contribute significant points to your application.
Let us summarize the scoring system into several separate tables for clarity. The points structure for the Express Entry Program is divided into four main
- Core / human capital factors
- Spouse or common-law partner factors
- Skill Transferability factors
- Additional points
Let’s begin with the first section:
Table 1: Core / Human Capital Factors
|Factors||With a spouse or common-law partner (Max Points)||Without a spouse or common-law partner (Max Points)|
|Level of Education||140||150|
|Official Languages Proficiency||150||160|
|Canadian Work Experience||70||80|
Maximum total for all factors: With a spouse or common-law partner – 460 points; Without a spouse or common-law partner – 500 points.
Table 2: Spouse or Common-Law Partner Factors
|Level of Education||10|
|Official Language Proficiency||20|
|Canadian Work Experience||10|
Max points for all factors (if applicable) – 40 points
Table 3: Skill Transferability Factors
|Foreign Work Experience||50|
|Certificate of Qualification||50|
Max points for all factors – 100 points
Table 4: Additional Points
|Brother or sister living in Canada||15|
|French language skills||50|
|Post-secondary education in Canada||30|
|Arranged employment (Different categories)||200/50|
Max points for all factors – 600 points
Note: The above tables simplify the distribution of points but do not cover every age, education, language proficiency level, or work experience category. For a detailed point distribution across these categories, refer to the original text you provided.
Overall Scoring: The maximum possible score, considering all factors, is 1,200 points.
Keep in mind that having a spouse or common-law partner influences the distribution of points in the Core / Human Capital Factors. Also, note that the points under “Spouse or Common-Law Partner Factors” only apply when the candidate has a spouse or common-law partner.
By understanding the Comprehensive Ranking System and actively working to improve your score, you can increase your chances of success in the Express Entry system and take one step closer to calling Canada home.