How to improve your Express Entry CRS score

Express Entry CRS score

A CRS or Comprehensive Rating System score is the most important factor in receiving an invitation to (ITA). This invite will allow you to apply for Canadian permanent residence via the Express Entry program.

Simply put, the candidates with the highest scores on the CRS are more likely to be granted an ITA. You can make adjustments to your score if you don't feel confident about your CRS score.

Canadian government studies about the economic outcomes of immigrants have shaped the CRS. This research is taken into consideration and the CRS aims to be used to predict a candidate's success in Canada's labor market.

CRS components

A candidate can score up to 1,200 points in CRS. This includes 600 points under core and spousal and skill transferability components and 600 points under additional points components.

No matter their relationship status, Express Entry candidates can only receive 600 points for the first four components. The only difference is that points will be distributed and broken down differently. We will assume that the candidate is not married to an accompanying spouse for this article.

A candidate may be eligible for additional points if they have a province nomination (600), arranged employment (50 to 200 points), Canadian postsecondary education credentials (15-30 points), French language proficiency (15 points), or a sibling living in Canada (15).

To reflect any changes in circumstances, candidates in the Express Entry pool will need to update their profile. Some updates are automatic, such as when you turn 50 or when your language test results expire. Your score could increase if you provide a valid job opportunity, a higher score on your language tests or a credential assessment for education acquired abroad.

Check your score first

Check your unofficial score before applying for Express Entry. Remember that only IRCC can provide you with your final score after you have submitted your supporting documents to the Express Entry system. Online calculators (including IRCCs) will only give you your final score. It is important to be careful as some online CRS calculators can be inaccurate.

You can still get an idea of your personal profile's position in the Express entry system. Knowing this information will help you decide if and how to improve it.

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being invited to apply to the ITA.

Get started early

The system's most important factor is age. You will receive 110 CRS points if you apply between the ages of 20 and 29. The number of points for your age slowly decreases to 45 points, after which it is zero points. Important to remember that the system will automatically start deducting points once you reach 30. It is a good idea to apply early to maximize your score.

Improve your language score

Language proficiency is another important factor. The four skills that are used to evaluate candidates are reading, writing, listening, speaking, and speaking. Each ability receives a distinct Canadian Language Benchmark. To gain points, you need to have a CLB 4, and each level between CLB 6 & CLB 9 has a significant jump. For example, if you increase your score to CLB 7, that's 8 points more per ability. To be eligible for Express Entry, candidates in the FSWP need to have CLB 7 or higher in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and writing.

You can score up to 6 points for each skill in French if you can add French proficiency. For the same point increase, if French is your first language you will need to score NCLC 7 on all four French skills and CLB 4 on all four English skills. An NCLC 7 or CLB 5 can give you up to 50 more points

Include your foreign work experience

Your CRS score does not include foreign work experience. More work experience combined with a high CLB is a better combination. Candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will have at least one year of work experience and a CLB below 7.

However, you can still increase your CRS score by having more than one year of work experience in your skilled occupation. A combination of one year's foreign work experience and a CLB 7 is worth 13 points. You can earn an additional 25-50 points if you have at least two years of foreign work experience.

If you have work experience in Canada, the same rules apply. A combination of one year of Canadian work experience and one year of foreign skill work experience can earn you an additional 13 points. If you have more than two years, it could add up to 50 CRS points.

Get Canadian work experience

Depending on the years of experience, Canadian work experience can award candidates up to 80 points. 40 points are awarded for just one year of experience in a skilled job in Canada.

A Post-Graduation Working Permit is one of the best ways to gain work experience. PGWP holders who have completed an education program in Canada can work in Canada for up to three years depending on how long they were there. This experience can be used towards a higher score in the CRS.

You can also get another credential

If the benefits outweigh the risks, you may be able to get an additional educational credential.

You get 112 points if you have earned a certificate, diploma, or degree in a program lasting three years or more. If you take a one-year additional program and earn another diploma, certificate, or degree, your score can be increased to 119 points.

Are you related to a Canadian sibling?

You may be eligible to receive an additional 15 points if you have a Canadian sibling.

PNP Advantage

Some provinces will search their Express Entry pool to find candidates that may be eligible for their Province Nominee Programs. They are searching for skilled immigrants who can contribute to the provincial labor force.

Your CRS can be increased by 600 points by obtaining a provincial nomination. This is the greatest possible increase for any single factor. You are more likely to be nominated by your provincial government for an ITA.


Low CRS doesn't mean you won't get an ITA. Every draw has a different minimum CRS score. The July 6 2018 All-Program Express Entry draws were resumed. Each time, ITAs were issued to over 1000 candidates. However, the scores varied. While you wait for the IRCC invitation to you, it's worth submitting your profile as soon as possible and working to improve your score. You almost always have the ability to influence your score.

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