Are you dreaming of calling Canada your new home? One of the most popular pathways to Canadian immigration is the Express Entry system. To improve your chances of success, it’s crucial to enhance your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
In this user-friendly guide, we’ll break down the steps to boost your CRS score and increase your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Improve Your CRS Score
There are two major ways to improve your CRS Score:
- Perfecting your Express Entry profile
- Proactively preparing for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) or Provincial Nomination.
Perfect Your Profile
Representing yourself accurately in your Express Entry profile is crucial. Not only can it earn you extra CRS points, but misrepresentation can lead to serious penalties.
Language proficiency is a valuable CRS factor, accounting for up to 310 points when combined with other factors (such as post-secondary education). If you’re married or in a common-law relationship, this can increase to 320 points.
Improving your language score beyond the minimum requirements can earn you more points. For instance, the Federal Skilled Worker program requires only CLB 7 (all abilities), but achieving higher scores, up to CLB 10, can be rewarded.
Language proficiency points are distributed across several CRS sections, including human capital factors, spousal factors, skill-transferability combinations, and additional factors.
Here’s how language combined with education can earn you up to 50 points:
- To obtain the full 50 points, you need a CLB of 9 or higher in all four language abilities: reading, speaking, writing, and listening.
- Having even one ability below CLB 9 could prevent you from getting the full 50 points, so improving a single ability can significantly boost your score.
|Educational Level||CRS Points|
|Post-secondary Program Credential of One or More Years + First Language CLB 7 or More in All Abilities (at Least One Ability Less Than CLB 9)||13|
|Post-secondary Program Credential of One or More Years + First Language CLB 9 or More in All Abilities||25|
|Two or More Post-secondary Program Credentials (One at Least 3 Years) + CLB 7 or More in All Abilities for First Language (at Least One Ability Less Than CLB 9)||25|
|Two or More Post-secondary Program Credentials (One at Least 3 Years) + CLB 9 or More in All Abilities for First Language||50|
- You can enhance your education score by obtaining additional credentials, such as completing another degree or obtaining additional Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) for existing degrees.
- An ECA is required for obtaining CRS points for education obtained outside Canada.
Consider Your Spouse or Common-law Partner as Principal Applicant
Sometimes, your partner might have a higher CRS score. It’s essential to compare your scores and decide who should be the principal applicant.
- Spouse’s Score: Check if your spouse or common-law partner has a higher CRS score.
- Principal Applicant: If their score is higher, it might be a smart move for them to be the principal applicant.
Obtaining more work experience or better documenting your current experience can increase your CRS score.
Sometimes, job titles that seem unskilled can involve duties considered skilled under Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC).
Your work experience can significantly impact your CRS score. Here’s how to make the most of it:
- Detailed Documentation: Document your work experience meticulously. Include all relevant details.
- Skills Assessment: Even if your job title sounds unskilled, it might be considered skilled under Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC).
- NOC Selection: Select the right NOC code for your work experience. This helps in assessing your skills accurately.
- Time Calculation: Calculate the time you’ve spent at each job. Points are awarded for full-time or equivalent part-time work experience.
- Continuous Work: Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates must have at least one year of continuous, skilled work experience. But even non-continuous work experience can count toward CRS points.
A valid job offer can give your CRS score a significant boost. Here’s what you need to know:
- Points for Job Offers: Candidates with a valid job offer can earn either 50 or 200 additional points, depending on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) level of the job.
- Detailed Offer: Make sure your job offer is well-documented. It should include details like pay, job duties, and conditions of employment.
Proactively Prepare for an ITA or Provincial Nomination
Regardless of your CRS score, proactive preparation for an ITA or provincial nomination is crucial.
Even with a modest CRS score, a provincial nomination can suddenly boost it by 600 points, virtually guaranteeing an ITA in the next Express Entry invitation round.
Candidates typically have only 60 days to submit their complete application after receiving an ITA, so having documents prepared in advance is essential.
Explore Express Entry Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
- Some do not consider CRS scores among their eligibility requirements.
- They are open to candidates with no ties to Canada, such as a relative, job offer, or previous Canadian work or study.
Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry
- Does not consider CRS scores.
- Open to specific occupations.
- Utilizes its own unique eligibility and points system.
- Often opens with just one day’s notice and reaches capacity within hours.
Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream
Ontario offers the Human Capital Priorities Stream, which can be your golden ticket if you meet its criteria. Here’s what you need to know:
- CRS Score: Ontario selects candidates with CRS scores above 400 and specific skills.
- Express Entry Profile: Create an Express Entry profile, which makes it easier for Ontario to identify your profile when they search the Express Entry pool.
- Stay Informed: Keep an eye on developments with this stream, and be ready to act if an opportunity presents itself.
Candidates receiving an invitation through this stream must submit their application within 45 days, which requires efficient document collection and profile management.
Other Express Entry-linked PNPs
- Additional Express Entry-linked Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) include streams from provinces like Manitoba and Prince Edward Island.
- These streams allow eligible Express Entry candidates to submit profiles to the provinces, where candidates are ranked within provincial pools and ranking systems.
- The Province of New Brunswick also opens its Express Entry Labour Market Stream to IT professionals and others during specific timeframes.
- A common trait among these PNPs is their preference for proactive and well-informed candidates.
Canada’s immigration system is dynamic, and your Express Entry CRS score is crucial. Even if your score is not the highest, proactive preparation can turn your dream into a reality. Stay informed, document your experiences, and be ready to seize opportunities.
With determination and preparation, your Canadian dream can become a reality. Good luck with your Express Entry journey!