What is the CRS? How to Maximize Your Score
April 5, 2023
Are you planning to immigrate to Canada? It's understandable, considering the plethora of incredible attributes life in Canada presents. If you want to make your way to Canada permanently, you are likely considering doing so via the Express Entry System. The Express Entry system remains Canada's most popular immigration program as it allows applicants to become permanent residents of Canada in as little as six months.
If this is the right direction, you must be familiar with the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS is the Canadian government's primary means of evaluating applicants to the Express Entry system. When you apply for the Express Entry system, you must create an Express Entry profile on the Canadian government website. When you create this profile, you include details like:
- Marital Status
- Work Experience
- Qualifications, and
- Connections to Canada.
What is the Comprehensive Ranking System?
The CRS is a points-based system the Canadian government uses to evaluate and select skilled workers who want to live and work in Canada through the Express Entry System. It is the primary tool used by the Canadian government to determine who is eligible for permanent residency. The CRS considers age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and job offers. During an Express Entry invitation round, candidates with the highest CRS scores receive an ITA for permanent residence. The higher your CRS score, the better your chances of receiving an ITA for permanent residency.
How is the CRS Scored?
The CRS is scored out of a maximum of 1,200 points. The following factors are taken into account when calculating your CRS score:
Core Human Capital Factors (Maximum 500 points)
|Criteria||Maximum Points With a Spouse or Common-law Partner||Maximum Points Without a Spouse or Common-law Partner|
|Canadian Work Experience||70||80|
Spouse or Common-law partner Factors (Maximum 40 points)
|Canadian Work Experience||10|
Skill Transferability Factors (Maximum 100 points)
|If you have a post-secondary degree and solid English or French language proficiency||50|
|If you have a post-secondary degree and Canadian work experience||50|
|Foreign Work Experience||Maximum Points|
|If You Have Foreign Work Experience and a CLB of 7 or higher||50|
|If You Have Both Foreign and Canadian Work Experience||50|
You can only score a maximum of 50 points for these categories.
|Certificate of Qualification for Trade Occupations||Maximum Points|
|With good/strong official languages proficiency and a certificate of qualification||50|
Additional Points (Maximum 600 points)
|A sibling who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident||15|
|French language abilities||50|
|Tertiary Education in Canada||30|
|Arranged employment in NOC TEER 0 Major group 00||200|
|Arranged employment in NOC TEER 1, 2, or 3, or TEER 0 outside of Major Group 00||50|
What is my CRS Score?
There are several significant options if you want to know or at least have a clear idea of your CRS score. The first of these is to use a CRS calculator. A CRS calculator is a tool that helps you estimate your CRS score based on your personal information. It considers age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and job offers. The CRS calculator is vital because it helps you determine your eligibility for permanent residency in Canada. It also lets you identify areas where you can improve your CRS score. Here is a fantastic CRS calculator to help you understand your starting point.
The other option is to get a full evaluation by an immigration professional like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). This evaluation will break down how you score in each CRS factor and give you a clear idea of where you would stand going into the next Express Entry draw.
On top of this, if your CRS score is not where you need it to be, they can advise you on how to improve it.
How to Improve Your CRS Score
Improving your CRS score is essential to increase your chances of receiving an ITA for permanent residency in Canada. Here are some tips and tricks to help you maximize your CRS score:
Improve Your Language Ability
Language ability is one of the most critical factors in the CRS calculation. Therefore, improving your language ability can significantly increase your CRS score. If you need to improve in English or French, consider taking language courses to improve your skills. You can also consider taking language tests like the following:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
- Test d'évaluation de français (TEF)
- Test de Connaissance du français (TCF)
If you want to learn more about getting the most out of your language tests, here's a full breakdown of the CLB and how to maximize your results.
Get a Job in Canada
Getting a job offer in Canada can significantly increase your CRS score. If you have the skills and qualifications that are in demand in Canada, consider applying for jobs in Canada. If you land a job, the job offer must meet specific criteria to be valid.
The job offer needs to be full-time continuous paid employment of one year. The job offer must also be in writing. Canada's job application process may be different from yours back home, so to help you with this process, here's a four-step guide to finding a job in Canada.
Improve Your Credentials
Improving your credentials can also increase your CRS score. Consider getting additional education or training to improve your skills and qualifications. You can also consider getting your foreign credentials assessed to determine their Canadian equivalency. One of the best ways to maximize points in this area is to gain a qualification from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI), preferably from within Canada. If you want to study in Canada to maximize your eligibility for permanent residency, you need to find the right school for you. Here's a directory of Canada's top DLI-approved colleges and top universities to help you find the right place.
Studying in Canada can improve your eligibility in multiple ways. If you stay in Canada for over a year and have the necessary credential, you may become eligible for the CEC. However, to study in Canada, you need a Canadian study permit. Here's a full breakdown of how to apply for a study permit to get you started.
Apply with Your Spouse
If your spouse or common-law partner also meets the eligibility requirements for permanent residency in Canada, you can apply together. This can significantly increase your CRS score, as your partner's education, language proficiency, and work experience can also be considered.
Get a Provincial Nomination
Provincial nominations are another way to increase your CRS score. You can get a provincial nomination if you have the skills and qualifications in demand in a particular Canadian province or territory. Each province has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) with multiple PNP streams in each to fit the many different types of applicants. Getting a provincial nomination can add up to 600 points to your CRS score.
However, there are 11 provinces with PNPs, and each PNP has multiple streams, so there are over 80 different PNP streams. If you want to know if one of them is right for you, you should seek out the help of an immigration professional like an RCIC. An RCIC will help you find the right stream and help you apply to that stream, ensuring you do everything you can to maximize your chances of getting a nomination.
On top of this, an RCIC can also discuss your CRS score with you and give you personalized advice and strategies to get your best possible CRS score.
What is a Good CRS Score?
At the time of writing good CRS score is generally anything above 450 points. However, the higher your CRS score, the better your chances of receiving an ITA for permanent residency in Canada.
What Minimum CRS Score is Required to Receive an ITA?
The minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA for permanent residency in Canada varies depending on the current needs of the Canadian government. In recent years, the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA has been around 440-470 points. However, this can change anytime, so aiming for the highest CRS score possible is essential. To give you a better idea, here are the CRS score requirements for every Express Entry draw since they reopened in 2021.
Maximize Your Chances of Making Canada Your New Home
Now that you know how the CRS works and some of the best ways to improve your score, it is time to begin your immigration process. If you want to ensure your immigration application has the best possible chance of success, we recommend you consult an RCIC. An RCIC can assist clients in completing and submitting all paperwork for immigration applications correctly and on time, meeting directly with Canadian immigration authorities and employers on their behalf, and creating a personalized immigration strategy that aligns with their needs. The RCIC's job is to educate their clients about Canadian immigration options and ensure that their application meets the requirements of the Canadian immigration authorities.