Don’t Be Penalised for Age: How to Maximise CRS Points 

Published on: October 28th, 2022
Last updated: February 27th, 2023

Age is an important factor in immigration through Express Entry. After 30 years old, you begin to progressively lose points for age. Take a look at our strategies to maximize your Express Entry CRS score for applicants over 30 years old. 

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is a system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for Canadian permanent residency. Express Entry uses a point-based system, the CRS, to rank candidates’ profiles. The system manages three main programs:

Applying to immigration streams under Express Entry is a two-step process. The first step is the creation of an Express Entry profile, which outlines basic information about you including your work experience, education and language proficiency.

Your profile is assessed using a tool called the Comprehensive Ranking System, or CRS. The CRS score assigned to your profile determines your ranking in a pool of applicants. Roughly every two weeks, the Canadian government conducts a draw, where they select the top-ranking profiles in the pool to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to the federal government for permanent residence.

CRS Points Based on Age

Applicants are able to get a maximum of 110 points when applying without a spouse or common-law partner for the age category. If applying as a couple, the maximum is adjusted to 100 points. Canada prefers younger immigrants, and as a result, those in their 20s receive the most points under this factor. Those over 45  years old or older, do not receive any points for age. However, being outside the target age range does not mean you are cannot be competitive. Read on for some options for increasing your CRS score and making sure you can claim your best score.

Age Points- No Spouse or Common-law Partner

Under 18 years old0 points
18 years old99 points
19 years old105 points
20 to 29 years old110 points
30 years old105 points
31 years old 99 points
32 years old94 points
33 years old88 points
34 years old83 points
35 years old77 points
36 years old72 points
37 years old66 points
38 years old61 points
39 years old55 points
40 years old50 points
41 years old39 points
42 years old28 points
43 years old17 points
44 years old6 points
45+ years of age0 points

Age Points- With Spouse or Common-law Partner

Under 18 years old0 points
18 years old90 points
19 years old95 points
20 to 29 years old100 points
30 years old95 points
31 years old 90 points
32 years old85 points
33 years old80 points
34 years old75 points
35 years old70 points
36 years old65 points
37 years old60 points
38 years old55 points
39 years old50 points
40 years old45 points
41 years old35 points
42 years old25 points
43 years old15 points
44 years old5 points
45+ years of age0 points

6 Ways to Increase Your CRS Score if You Are Losing Points for Age

1. Receive a PNP Nomination

The Provincial Nomination Program, also known as PNP, is a tool for individual regions across Canada created to meet the demands of localized labour markets.

Receiving an invitation grants the nominee an additional 600 CRS points – the single largest distribution of CRS points an applicant can receive from any one category. With over 80 streams available to Express Entry candidates, receiving a nomination almost guarantees an invite for Permanent Residence.

2. Receive a Job Offer

Having a job offer is not necessary for immigration under Express Entry, however, it can score you additional points. Applicants can receive anywhere from 50-200 points added to an applicant’s CRS score for a job offer.

3. Work Experience

Work experience can improve an applicant’s CRS score in a couple of ways. Adding additional work experience can increase an applicant’s CRS score. In addition, doing a better job of articulating such work experience can be a strong way to gain additional points. The variance in points depends on what kind of occupation you are offered.

4.  Educational Credentials

Depending on where an applicant received their education (outside or inside Canada), the CRS point allotment can vary from 200-250 points. Obtaining an additional degree, or building upon an existing one can add a lot of value.

5.  Improving Language Skills

Being proficient in one of the two official languages is important because an applicant can earn between 128 – 136 points in this category. CRS points received through language can be broken down into four categories: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Each category adds to the overall score, so depending on how knowledgeable an applicant is in each category, they will receive points accordingly.

Also, the language category is helpful for maximizing CRS scores because of its ability to accumulate points across multiple sections. For example, language can count for points within the following four larger categories: human capital factors, spousal factors, skills transferability and “additional factors”. This means that depending on your education, and language skills, you could gain additional CRS points increasing your score by as much as 50 points.

6. Evaluating Who Should Be the Principal Applicant

Sometimes changing who is the principal applicant can help you gain more points. It’s important to evaluate who has a higher CRS score and choose the principal applicant accordingly. If unsure which applicant would have a higher CRS score, use our free CRS calculator to assess your potential CRS score.

Being over 30 is not a hindrance. Instead, it gives you the opportunity to identify strengths and highlight individual experiences. Canada recognizes the value of an applicant’s maturity and knowledge. Although improving your CRS score can be a challenge, it is well worth the effort.

Interested in learning more about your options to enter the Express Entry pool? Complete our free online assessment form today!

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