Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

Immigration candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked against one another using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranking candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.

 

Curious what your CRS score might be? Canadim’s CRS score calculator lets you estimate your CRS score for Express Entry immigration to Canada.

Calculate My CRS Score

What is the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score?

In order to rank immigration candidates, the Canadian government developed a merit-based points system that assigns a score to each candidate in the Express Entry pool. This points system is called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and the score assigned to each candidate is called the CRS score. Express Entry manages three programs:

Any person who submits a profile to the Express Entry pool of candidates is assigned a CRS score out of 1200 points. Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government conducts an Express Entry draw, where they issue a round of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence to the highest-ranking candidates. Note that IRCC does not disclose information regarding the date of the draw, the number of ITAs that will be issued, or the minimum required CRS score in advance of each draw.

How can I increase my CRS score?

  1. RETAKE THE IELTS

Improving your IELTS score is the number one way to increase your points. On their own, good IELTS results can get you up to 160 points.

But if you have good IELTS and post-secondary education can get you an additional 50 points. Good IELTS and at least three years of work experience can get you another 50 points.

You need to score at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 to be eligible for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker program, which is at least 6.0 on each language ability on the IELTS. But if you can score CLB 9 in all language abilities, you could be looking at up to 260 Express Entry points for just your language ability.

You can also take the IELTS as many times as you want to. You can even update your Express Entry profile with new IELTS test results after you submit your profile to the pool.

Canadim provides all of our Express Entry clients access to free online IELTS tutorials to help prepare to take the test. There are a lot of free or paid materials available online to help you prepare.

Immigration Tip: Register to take your IELTS early. That way, if you don’t do as well as you hoped, you have time to retake them before you submit your profile. You can always update your profile, but if you wait until after you’re in the pool to improve your score, you could be missing out on draws.

  1. WORK EXPERIENCE

Since Express Entry manages applications to economic immigration streams, your work experience is a big part of calculating your Express Entry points.

That said, it’s not very easy to accumulate more years of work experience just to improve your Express Entry points.

Immigration Tip: If you’re not eligible for Express Entry, or if you are eligible but don’t have a competitive score, consider coming to Canada first as a student or temporary worker. Canadian experience can open up a lot more Canadian immigration options.

A lot of candidates don’t leverage the work experience that they do have as much as possible, though. Express Entry uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) matrix to assign points to all occupations. Choosing the right NOC code is one of the simplest ways to increase your score.

You’ll need to prove that whatever NOC codes you claim in your work experience are accurate if you receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence, so you should not misrepresent your experience.

That said, it’s worth it to spend some time finding exactly which NOC codes accurately reflect your career history while getting you as many Express Entry points as possible.

The NOC matrix can be confusing to sort through, so consulting an expert to figure out which NOC codes you can claim can be very helpful.

  1. SPOUSAL POINTS

It may not apply to some candidates, but if you have a spouse or common-law partner, you may be missing out on some points you can claim.

There are three possibilities here, and it’s worth looking into them all.

First, your spouse or partner may get you more points. By retaking a language test, or getting an educational credential assessment (ECA) for any post-secondary education they have, your spouse or partner could increase your Express Entry points.

Second, you may actually have a higher score as a single applicant. Since your profile is scored differently depending on whether or not you have an accompanying spouse or partner, depending on your spouse or partner’s profile, you may actually increase your score if you list them as non-accompanying. If you are granted permanent residence, you can still sponsor them to join you in Canada, but it does mean a period of separation.

Third, your spouse may actually be a stronger applicant. You should definitely run through the exercise of trying to calculate how many points your spouse would get if they were the principal applicant, with or without you accompanying them.

Immigration Tip: If you and your spouse or partner are both strong candidates, you can each submit a profile to the Express Entry pool and list each other as accompanying. That way you double your chances of success!

If you’ve done as well as possible on language tests, claimed as many points as possible for your work experience, maximized your spousal points, and still don’t have a competitive score, there are some more challenging ways you can improve it.

  1. JOB OFFER

An eligible job offer from a Canadian employer can get you between 50 to 200 additional points. Spend time on the Canada Job Bank, as well as private job boards and social networking sites to try to connect with Canadian employers in your field.

  1. PROVINCIAL NOMINATION

If you receive a nomination from a province, you get 600 additional points. Many provinces operate a nomination program aligned with Express Entry, but it’s usually up to the candidate to figure out which programs they might be eligible for and how to apply. Keep in mind that applying for a provincial nomination is usually a completely separate application process.

  1. STUDY

Going back to school is a pretty big investment to increase your score, but it can also have a big impact. A short program like a one-year post-secondary certificate could get you a lot of points. If you already have one post-secondary degree of three years or more, worth 120 points, and take a second one-year program, you can claim an additional 8 points for just education. If you already had CLB 9, and two years of Canadian work experience, you can claim an additional 50 points for skills transferability. That’s 58 total additional Express Entry points.

Canadian educational credentials are highly valued in Express Entry, and being an international student can open a lot of other doors to staying in Canada permanently that you might not otherwise be eligible for.

How can a Provincial Nominee Program increase my CRS score?

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) provide pathways to permanent residency for candidates with low CRS scores in the Express Entry pool. Receiving a nomination from a province could result in an additional 600 points toward one’s CRS score, essentially guaranteeing an invitation to apply for permanent residence (ITA).

Each province sets their own criteria for nominee programs; while many require some type of connection to the province to be eligible to apply, others look for candidates that fill labour market or demographic gaps. Candidates invited under a PNP are expected to settle in the province they are nominated under.

What CRS score is required for PNPs?

Each province sets their own eligibility requirements for Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Some of these programs use the Express Entry system to find their potential nominees. While many of these programs use their own points system, some provinces may use a candidate’s CRS score, among other factors, to decide whether they will be issued an invitation to apply for nomination.

Although these CRS scores may change from draw to draw, some provinces state the minimum CRS score required to be considered for nomination. For example, Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream does not send invitations to candidates with a CRS score lower than 400, and Alberta’s Express Entry stream will only consider candidates with a CRS score of at least 300.

 

Keep up to date on the latest PNP draw requirements using our Provincial Nominee Program Updates Tracker.

Do I get more CRS points if I apply with a spouse?

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points are awarded differently, depending on whether the applicant is married or single.

If a spouse or common law partner is listed as non-accompanying in an application or is already a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, the applicant will earn points as a single applicant.

If an applicant is married and has an accompanying spouse, the spouse should provide language results and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for all post-secondary education. This will enable a candidate to secure the maximum number of points when including a partner on their application.

CRS Score Breakdown Table

The tables below explain how many points Express Entry candidates may receive for each factor under the Comprehensive Ranking System.

Summary of maximum points per factor for Express Entry candidates

FactorsMaximum Points Available
A. Core / Human Capital Factors460 (with spouse)
500 (without spouse)
B. Spouse or Common-Law Factors40
C. Skill Transferability Factors100
D. Additional Points600
Maximum Total Points1200

A. Core / Human Capital Factors

FactorsPoints
With a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
Age100110
Level of education140150
Official languages proficiency150160
Canadian work experience7080
Maximum460500

B. Spouse or common-law partner factors

FactorsPoints
Level of education10
Official language proficiency20
Canadian Work Experience10
Maximum40
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors = Maximum 500 points (with OR without a spouse or common-law partner)

C. Skill transferability factors (maximum 100 points)

FactorPoints
Education
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a post-secondary degree50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree50
Maximum50
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
Maximum50
Certificate of qualification (for people in trade occupations)
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a certificate of qualification50
Maximum50
Maximum100
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Transferability factors = Maximum 600 points

D. Additional points (maximum 600 points)

FactorPoints
Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)15
French language skills30
Post-secondary education in Canada30
Arranged employment200
PN nomination600
Maximum600
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors + C. Transferability factors + D. Additional points = Grand total – Maximum 1,200 points

Points breakdown, section by section

A – Core / human capital factors

  • With a spouse or common-law partner: Maximum 460 points total for all factors.
  • Without a spouse or common-law partner: Maximum 500 points total for all factors.

Age Factors

AgeWith a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
17 years of age or less00
18 years of age9099
19 years of age95105
20 to 29 years of age100110
30 years of age95105
31 years of age9099
32 years of age8594
33 years of age8088
34 years of age7583
35 years of age7077
36 years of age6572
37 years of age6066
38 years of age5561
39 years of age5055
40 years of age4550
41 years of age3539
42 years of age2528
43 years of age1517
44 years of age56
45 years of age or more00
Maximum100110

Education Factors

Level of EducationWith a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
Less than secondary school (high school)00
Secondary diploma (high school graduation)2830
One-year degree, diploma or certificate from a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute8490
Two-year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute9198
Bachelor's degree OR a three or more year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute112120
Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years119128
Master's degree, OR professional degree needed to practice in a licensed profession (For “professional degree,” the degree program must have been in: medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, chiropractic medicine, or pharmacy.)126135
Doctoral level university degree (Ph.D.)140150
Maximum140150

 

First Official Language Factors

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per abilityWith a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
*Points are awarded for each language ability
Less than CLB 400
CLB 4 or 566
CLB 689
CLB 71617
CLB 82223
CLB 92931
CLB 10 or more3234
Maximum128136

Second Official Language Factors

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per abilityWith a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
*Points are awarded for each language ability
CLB 4 or less00
CLB 5 or 611
CLB 7 or 833
CLB 9 or more66
Maximum2224

Canadian Work Experience Factors

Canadian work experienceWith a spouse or common-law partnerWithout a spouse or common-law partner
None or less than a year00
1 year3540
2 years4653
3 years5664
4 years6372
5 years or more7080
Maximum7080

Subtotal: A – Core / human capital factors

  • With a spouse or common-law partner – Maximum 460 points
  • Without a spouse or common-law partner – Maximum 500 points

 

B – Spouse or common-law partner factors

Level of Education

Spouse’s or common-law partner’s level of educationWith spouse or common-law partnerWithout spouse or common-law partner
Less than secondary school (high school)0n/a
Secondary school (high school graduation)2n/a
One-year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute6n/a
Two-year program at a university, college, trade or technical in school, or other institute7n/a
Bachelor's degree OR a three or more year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute8n/a
Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years9n/a
Master's degree, or professional degree needed to practice in a licensed profession (For “professional degree”, the degree program must have been in: medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, chiropractic medicine, or pharmacy.)10n/a
Doctoral level university degree (PhD)10n/a
Maximum10Does Not Apply

Spouse or common-law partner’s official language abilities

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per ability (reading, writing, speaking and listening )With spouse or common-law PartnerWithout spouse or common-law partner
*Points are awarded for each language ability
CLB 4 or less0n/a
CLB 5 or 61n/a
CLB 7 or 83n/a
CLB 9 or more5n/a
Maximum20Does Not Apply

Spouse or Common-Law Partner’s Canadian Work Experience

Spouse's Canadian work experienceWith spouse or common-law partnerWithout spouse or common-law partner
None or less than a year0n/a
1 year5n/a
2 years7n/a
3 years8n/a
4 years9n/a
5 years or more10n/a
Maximum10Does Not Apply

Subtotal: A – Core / human capital + B – Spouse or common-law partner factors – Maximum 500 points

 

C – Skill Transferability factors (Maximum 100 points for this section)

Education and Language Proficiency

With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher) and a post-secondary degreePoints for CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, with one or more under CLB 9Points for CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
Secondary school (high school) credential or less00
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer1325
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer2550
Maximum2550

Education and Canadian Work Experience

With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degreePoints for education + 1 year of Canadian work experiencePoints for education + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
Secondary school (high school) credential or less00
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer1325
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer2550
Maximum2550

Foreign Work Experience – with CLB 7 or Higher

Years of experiencePoints for foreign work experience + CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 9Points for foreign work experience + CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
No foreign work experience00
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience1325
3 years or more of foreign work experience2550
Maximum2550

Canadian Work Experience and Foreign Work Experience

Years of experiencePoints for foreign work experience + 1 year of Canadian work experiencePoints for foreign work experience + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
No foreign work experience00
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience1325
3 years or more of foreign work experience2550
Maximum2550

Subtotal: A – Core / human capital + B – Spouse or common-law partner + C – Skill transferability factors – Maximum 600 points

 

D – Additional points (Maximum 600 points)

Additional Points

FactorPoints
Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)15
French language skills30
Post-secondary education in Canada30
Arranged employment200
PN nomination600
Maximum600
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors + C. Transferability factors + D. Additional points = Grand total – Maximum 1,200 points

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