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How to Calculate Your Express Entry Points

Express Entry points, called Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, are given to candidates based on the profile they submit into the Express Entry pool. Since candidates are ranked against each other based on their score, it’s important to understand how to calculate how many Express Entry points you have (and how you can get more!).

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The CRS is broken down into four main sections:

  1. Human Capital Factors
  2. Spouse or Common-Law Partner Factors
  3. Skill Transferability
  4. Additional points

Each section weighs specific credentials that, when combined, result in your CRS score.


The first two sections are closely related, since the maximum number of points that can be claimed for both sections combined is 500.

If you are unmarried, or your spouse or common-law partner will not be accompanying you to Canada and is not included in your Expression of Interest, you may claim up to 500 points for the Human Capital Factors.

If your spouse or partner will be accompanying you to Canada, you may claim up to 460 points for the Human Capital Factors and up to 40 points for your spouse’s credentials.

The Human Capital Factors include points for age, education, language, and Canadian experience. The maximum points awarded for each of these factors will vary slightly depending on whether or not you have a spouse or partner accompanying you. This chart outlines the maximum Express Entry points that can be awarded for each of these sections.

Express Entry prioritizes skilled workers early in their careers, so points for age begin decreasing slightly for each year after the age of 29. As there is nothing that can be done to change this, it’s important to focus on claiming as many points for your education and language as possible. In addition, if you have authorization to work in Canada, or you have worked in Canada in the past, you may be able to claim additional points for having one to five years of experience in Canada in a skilled occupation.

An accompanying spouse may then claim up to 40 points for his or her education, language, and Canadian experience.


The Skill Transferability section can contribute a maximum of 100 Express Entry points towards the CRS score by combining several different credentials in various ways. The key to understanding this section of the CRS is to break it down into three main factors:

  1. Education
  2. Foreign work experience
  3. Canadian certificate of qualification

Each of these factors can contribute a maximum of 50 points when combined with either:

  1. High language proficiency, or
  2. Canadian work experience

Up to a maximum total of 100 points. This means that even if you are eligible to receive points for all of these sections, you can only ever receive a maximum of 100 points under Skills Transferability.

When calculating combinations, your language proficiency plays a large role in how many points you can claim, as shown in the tables below.

With good/strong official languages proficiency and a post-secondary degree50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree50
Foreign work experience
With good/strong official languages proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark [CLB] level 7 or higher) and foreign work experience50
With Canadian work experience and foreign work experience50
Certificate of qualification (for people in trade occupations)
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a certificate of qualification50
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Transferability factors = Maximum 600 points

Notice that if you have less than Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 9 for even one section of the IELTS, you will only be able to claim a maximum of 25 points when combined with your highest level of education. The same principle applies for combining your language proficiency with your foreign work experience. However, obtaining a CLB 9 or higher on all four sections of the IELTS can help you reach the maximum 50 points for both sections.

As language and education contribute to both the Human Capital Factors and Skill Transferability, obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for more than one post-secondary credential and retaking the IELTS can be a great way to improve your CRS score as this information can be updated at any time even after your profile is submitted to the pool.

If you have not already maxed out the Skill Transferability points for education or foreign work experience, you can also get points for these sections depending on whether you have one or more years of skilled work in Canada.

Skill Transferability points for a certificate of qualification will only be awarded for a certificate in a Skilled Trades occupation. If you have a certificate of qualification on the list of eligible Skilled Trades occupations, you can receive 25 points if you have at least a CLB 5 on each section of the IELTS or 50 points if you have at least a CLB 7.


The final section of the CRS, which can contribute a maximum of 600 Express Entry points, gives an added boost to candidates that have French proficiency or a connection to Canada.

French and English are the official languages of Canada so if you are proficient in both languages, you should consider providing test results as this can increase your CRS score. The following chart outlines the maximum points that can be awarded for certain connections to Canada:

Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)15
French language skills30
Post-secondary education in Canada30
Arranged employment200
PN nomination600
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors + C. Transferability factors + D. Additional points = Grand total – Maximum 1,200 points

As the CRS is a points-based system, there are many ways to improve your score based on a combination of credentials. Every point you receive can make all the difference in your success and understanding the CRS can help you on your way to receive a much desired ITA!

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The Canadim Team!

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