Get the best CRS score!
Looking to improve your chances of getting your immigration application approved? Here’s all you need to know about Express Entry and the CRS Score, with tips to increase your CRS Score. Earlier, applications for immigration from Canadian Experience class, Skilled Worker class, and Skilled Trades class were proved based on a first-come, first-served system. This changed in 2015 when Express Entry was introduced. The Express Entry system leans heavily on the CRS score. CRS stands for the Comprehensive Ranking System. Read on to know more.
How does Express Entry work?
Express entry is an online system. The Department of Immigration uses it to manage applications for permanent residency from skilled workers. It can be considered as the first step towards Permanent Residency in Canada. The system puts all applications under Express Entry in a pool. The applications are given a CRS score based on which the application is further processed. If you are a skilled worker and want to apply through the Express Entry system, you must follow the below steps.
Step 1 – Find out your eligibility
There are three different immigration programs under Express Entry. These are:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Canadian Express Class
You can find out if you are eligible to apply by filling up the form given Here. It asks basic questions such as details of your family, language ability, education, work experience, nationality, age, etc. You need to ensure that the details you provide in the form are accurate so that your eligibility for one of the three programs can be accurately validated. If you are eligible, you will be asked to complete an online profile. Below are the requirements for the Federal programs for your reference.
Federal Skilled Worker Program Eligibility Criteria
This program has minimum requirements for work experience, language ability, and education. Work experience: A minimum of 1-year full-time equivalent work experience in the chosen skill. Language ability: A Canadian Language Benchmark 9CBL) score of at least 7 in the approved language tests for English or French. Education: If you attended school in Canada, a diploma or degree of secondary education or above is required. If you attended school outside Canada, you need to submit your points of credentials as per the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for immigration purposes. It equates your qualifications from a foreign country with the standard diplomas and degrees awarded in Canada. Other requirements to be met include: Proof of funds: You should be able to provide proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and your family in Canada. This is not applicable if you have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada or you have legal permission to work in Canada. Admissibility: You must be eligible for entry to Canada. The Canadian government can deny entry to individuals based on reasons such as criminal records, espionage, misrepresentation, medical reasons, etc. You need to check your own admissibility and that of your family members. If these minimum requirements are satisfied, the application is assessed based on other information such as:
- Educational qualifications
- Work experience
- Details of a job offer if any
- English or French language ability
The above factors are used to grade the application on a 100 point scale. The minimum score to pass is 67.
Federal Skilled Trades Program Eligibility Criteria
For this program, you need to meet the below minimum requirements.
- Language ability: A minimum score of 7 on approved language tests (CLBC 7 for English and NCLC 7 for French)
- Work experience: At least 2 years of experience in the Skilled Trade for which the application is being made. The experience should be within the last 5 years at the time of application.
- Job requirement: Should meet the job requirement for the skilled trade as per the National Occupation Classification (NOC).
- Other requirements: Should either have a valid job offer for at least 1 year in the skilled trade or a certificate of qualification issued by the Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.
Apart from the above minimum requirement, the below points are also considered for eligibility. Education: There is no educational requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades program. However, you should submit the proof of education to improve your chances of a successful application. If you have attended a school in Canada, you can submit your high school diploma or degree for higher education. If you attended school outside Canada, you get points for the completion of education through the Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) report and these points should be submitted as proof of education. Proof of funds: You should be able to supply proof of sufficient funds for sustaining yourself and your family in Canada. The proof of funds might not be required if you have permission to legally work in Canada or you have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada. Admissibility: Canadian government can deny admission to individuals based on security, criminal or medical reasons. An individual can also be denied admission into the country for other reasons such as misrepresentation, financial reasons, or if a family member is found to be inadmissible.
Step 2 – Get your documents in order
You need to prepare and obtain the required documents before the application. Some documents take time to be processed. So it’s advisable to start getting them ready well before you plan to apply. Some of the documents that you must get ready include:
- Passport and travel documents
- Test results of your language ability tests
- Education Credentials Assessment (ECA) Report if applicable
- If you have a provincial nomination, you should submit it along with your application
- If you have a job offer from an employer in Canada, the proof of the same should be submitted in writing
- Police verification certificate
- Medical fitness certificate
- Proof of funds if applicable
Step 3 – Submit your profile
Once you have checked that you are eligible for Express Entry and have all the required documents in order, you need to submit your profile with all details online. If you are found eligible, you will be added to the Express Entry pool. You will receive a score based on the information provided on the profile and accordingly, your profile will be ranked.
Step 4 – Apply for Canadian permanent residency (PR)
If your profile ranks sufficiently high in the Express Entry pool, you will be invited to apply. Once you get the invitation, you can complete and submit your application for PR. Completed applications with all supporting documents are usually processed within 6 months or less.
Why is the CRS Score Important?
From the Express Entry pool, those applications that rank higher are selected. These candidates are then sent invitations to apply for permanent residency. A higher CRS score means the profile would rank higher in the Express Entry pool and higher would be the chances of being invited to submit a PR application. This is why the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is important.
How is the CRS score calculated?
The score is calculated based on the below information provided by the applicant in the profile submission.
- Work experience in the relevant skill/field
- Education (For the candidate as well as the spouse or common-law partner)
- English or French language skills as per the test result scores (For the candidate as well as the spouse or common-law partner)
- The job offer (if applicable), supported by the LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment) OR A Provincial Nomination
- Certain combinations of skills, work experience, and education that result in a higher chance of the candidate getting employment in Canada.
The total maximum points awarded under the CRS are 1200. The distribution of the points awarded is as below:
- Provincial Nomination – 600 points
- A Senior Management job offer backed by LMIA – 200 points
- Other job offer backed by LMIA – 50 points
- Three years of Canadian post-secondary education or masters or other higher education degree – 30 points
- 1-2 years of Canadian post-secondary education – 15 points
- Other skills and work experience – 500 points
- Transferrable skills – 100 points
Ways to increase the CRS score
If you are already working in Canada, or have high qualifications, you have a better chance of getting a high CRS score. However, if this is not the case, you can still submit your profile and simultaneously start working to improve your profile and get a good CRS score. Yes, it is possible to improve the CRS score even after you have applied. An important thing to remember is that profiles once submitted are valid for a period of 12 months. Thus, if you think your profile is not strong enough, don’t give up! You can still improve your profile and get a better score. Here’s how.
1. Try to get a Provincial Nomination
A provincial nomination carries 600 points. If you manage to get one after your profile submission, your chances for an invitation can significantly increase. For this, the most important thing is to be alert for any openings in your categories in different provinces. The openings in various categories are updated on the website. The open window lasts only for a few days or sometimes just a few hours. So, you need to be alert and keep your application ready. Also, different categories are prioritized in different provinces and these categories are subject to changes. So, it’s again very important to ensure that you keep yourself updated with the latest news. Another important thing to note is that candidates who have visited a province previously have better chances of getting a nomination.
2. Improve your score by furthering your education
While you are waiting for your profile submission to be processed, you can further your education. See if you can earn enroll yourself for another degree. Another thing to keep in mind is that often candidates only submit their highest degree for the ECA report. But this is not wise. It is advised that details of all post-secondary education details are provided. You never know which degree might score better than the other.
3. Try to get a job offer
Note that a job offer in the senior management role can fetch you as much as 200 points. Scoring well in this aspect can help you boost your CRS score. You can start a job search from your own country. Of course, your chances of landing the job are boosted if you can meet the employer face-to-face. So, if possible, do visit the country to look for job opportunities, attend job fairs, and meet prospective employers. As an aside, it will also allow you to stay for a few days in a country you are planning to move to.
4. Give a boost to your work experience
Canadian work experience can give you a higher score. So, if you are already working in Canada, you should continue doing so to raise your score. Canadian work experience of up to 5 years is considered for scoring. For non-Canadian work experience, you can get points for up to 3 years’ worth of experience in the relevant field. The score for non-Canadian work experience can be boosted with the right education combination. Make sure all your work experience is accurately documented in the profile. Opportunities in provinces can change at any point and you never know when some aspect of your work experience can get you a provincial nomination.
5. Choose the principal applicant carefully
If you are applying with your spouse or a common law partner, choose the principal applicant carefully. The one who has a better chance of getting a good score on the application should be the principal applicant. Also, remember that once you have decided who the principal applicant is, the other applicant can help boost the CRS score by up to 40 points by boosting work experience, education, and language ability. Points can also be boosted if you get a provincial nomination since many provinces give extra points when the principal applicant’s partner is well-qualified.
6. Improve your language ability
A score of level 7 is the minimum requirement. But a score of 9 and above can considerably increase your CRS score. So, if your score is lower than 9, you must consider enhancing your language skills and retaking the test to get a better score.
7. Engage an employment consultant
An experienced consultant can simplify the entire application process for you. They can help you connect with prospective employers, find job opportunities for you, and also help you polish your resume. This can increase your chances of landing a job in Canada.
8. Keep track of the latest news
Always keep track of the latest news in the area of immigration. Rules for immigration are subject to changes and knowing about this changes early on can help you plan your application accordingly. Provinces also make changes to their programs from time to time. Hence, staying informed helps.
9. Keep an open mind
It is common for candidates to focus on one aspect in the points-based structure. For example, someone with excellent work experience might think that they can only highlight this point in their application. But we can’t really be sure which other aspect in the profile can be the game changer and fetch you those extra points. These extra points can make all the difference between an approval and a rejection. Thus, focus on all aspects which have a points value attached to them and submit your details accurately.
A good CRS score is very important if you want to rank higher up in the Express Pool. While you must prepare well before submitting your profile, don’t stop and wait around after you have submitted the profile. Continue to work towards boosting the CRS score so that your chances of receiving an invitation go up! Want to master the CRS Score system for securing Canadian permanent residency? Need to learn how to improve the impactful factors such as work experience, language, and education. Learn more