8 Tips to Increase CRS Points
- 1 Tips to Increase CRS Points
- 1.1 Availing a Provincial Nomination (PN)
- 1.2 Improving your language test scores
- 1.3 Getting a job offer in Canada
- 1.4 Increasing your work experience
- 1.5 Adding more completed educational qualifications
- 1.6 Having a Sibling in Canada
- 1.7 Applying with Your Spouse
The Express Entry Program is one of the widely known processes initiated by the government of Canada to bring in skilled workers who boost the economic growth of the country. Canada’s Economic Programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canada Experience Class that fall under the Express Entry program accounted for almost 60% of the country’s immigration in 2019.
Under this system, the applicant has to create a profile, which will be valid for a year, provided with a rank to be placed in a pool, and then after a draw, he/she will be selected for the final selection.
But the questions are – how is this selection done? Does Canada have a point system for immigration?
The answer to all these questions is YES!
The system of ranking the candidates on the basis of certain criteria like age, education, work experience, language skills and adaptability is known as the Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS. The government of Canada introduced the Comprehensive Ranking System to make the process of selection smooth and remove backlogs which earlier processes used to create.
The maximum CRS score is 1,200 points which is divided into four categories – Human capital and spouse common-law partner factors (the maximum point an applicant can receive from the combination of these two factors is 500), Skill transferability factors (the maximum score for this one is 100) and Additional factors (the maximum point for this one is 600).
The applicant will receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA) based on the score of the CRS points, and the minimum score for being selected under the Express Entry Program varies every year. So, as an applicant, you have to know how to calculate your CRS score for Canada and find out ways to increase your CRS score so that you do not have to worry about your ITA.
So, the next step is to know how to increase your CRS score for permanent residence in Canada. If you have not done your research already, let us help you to be a guide in your journey.
Tips to Increase CRS Points
Canada’s Express Entry draws are very competitive. This means that after submitting your online profile, when you find that your CRS score is less than the average CRS scores, you have to plan your next steps and claim some extra points.
Given below are some of the ways that can help you improve your chances to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system by increasing your CRS score.
- Availing a Provincial Nomination
- Improving your Language Test Score
- Getting a job offer in Canada
- Increasing your work experience
- Adding more completed educational qualifications
- Having a sibling in Canada
- Applying with Spouse
- Showing proof of French Language skills
Availing a Provincial Nomination (PN)
Under the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) the Canadian provinces have the opportunity to nominate candidates who do not have a high score to qualify for the Express Entry Program. Each year, the IRCC is increasing the number of allocations for the provinces to choose candidates through PNP. In recent years, all the provinces have begun to conduct their Express Entry Program in creative ways. For example, British Columbia keeps conducting its unique PNP draws to invite candidates when Alberta and Manitoba have renewed their Express Entry aligned streams. In fact, there are more provinces that are also issuing nomination certificates for candidates across various occupations and experiences. While Ontario aims for specific occupation groups like skilled personnel in the tech sector, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have both provided PNP, without a job offer requirement, for candidates across a range of occupations.
But is the Provincial Nomination (PN) worth it? Does it really help?
The Provincial Nomination is worth 600 CRS points under the Additional factors that determine the CRS score. Since the maximum CRS score is 1200 and the average cutoff ranges between 430 to 810, it means that just by availing a PN, you have increased your chances of being selected for permanent residence. Even if the cutoff increases, you can easily gain points for residency in Canada from your educational qualifications, work experience and age.
But getting this 600 points is not so easy. If you are ready to adopt a proactive approach to the Express Entry system by following development and updates, and getting prepared accordingly, you can give this way a try.
Improving your language test scores
It is one of the easiest means to improve your CRS score. Under the Language Proficiency factor, you are awarded certain points for the score of an approved language test (like IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF) that is corresponded with the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB). You have to take this test before you apply for permanent residence. The highest CLB level you can achieve is CLB 9. So, if you’ve scored anything less, there’s always room to claim extra points.
There are two ways you can earn the extra points:
- Learn a second language; or
- Simply retake your original first language test.
You can earn points for both English (which will be your first language) and French (your second language). If you can speak and read both of Canada’s official languages, then think about taking the language assessment for both of them.
For this, you can earn additional 22 points for a second language skill if your spouse or partner is accompanying you and 24 extra points if you are single. Moreover, you can also earn extra points if you have a high level of proficiency in these languages (CLB7 or higher) and a post-secondary degree under Skill Transferability factors. To add to this, there are bonus points for bilingual candidates and certain PNP streams that are only open to French-speakers. Ultimately, you can add up to a total of 30 extra points to your CRS score.
Re-take language test:
One of the quickest ways to increase your CRS score is to get a better IELTS, CELPIP, TEF, or TCF score. If you have not got a good score in your language skills exam ( did not get a CLB 9), you can always retake the test and replace your old score with new ones. Remember that the maximum points an applicant can score is 136 points when he/she is single and 128 points when applying with a spouse or partner. So, it is highly recommended that you work on your language skills and rewrite the exam.
Getting a job offer in Canada
Receiving a job offer in Canada before you decide to apply for permanent residence in the country is a good idea. But you should remember to fulfil certain criteria if you want to claim points for it.
The most important criteria is that the job has to be a full-time, continuous paid employment offer for at least one year and you will require a written offer from your employer. This will not only solve your financial worries once you step foot in the foreign country but will also help you to add up to 200 CRS points to your CRS score. Even if you have a full-time or non-seasonal valid job offer for skill level 0, A or B in the National Occupation Classification from a Canadian employer for at least a year, you will be able to receive 50 points.
Increasing your work experience
It is a good idea to gain some extra years of work experience if you’re applying for your Canadian visa from outside Canada and do not have more than three years of work experience. The same rule goes if you are already working in Canada on a temporary work permit. If you do so, it will increase your skills transferability points. In fact, if possible, try to find a Canadian employer who is willing to offer you a valid job and come to Canada on a work permit. Then, work for a year or more under the work permit because working for a Canadian company (usually supported by an LMIA) will give you bonus points and gaining Canadian work experience will enable you to claim more CRS points. Do not forget to mention that you are still currently employed in Canada when you create the Express Entry profile so that your points automatically increase according to your work experience.
Adding more completed educational qualifications
Education can add up to 230 CRS points. This step is one of the long term strategies to increase your CRS score. If you gain more education, you can improve your CRS score even more. Moreover, by gaining new skills or educational qualifications, you will not only get the opportunity to earn more core/human capital points to level up your CRS score but also it is an important and valuable aspect of the Skill Transferability factors section of the Comprehensive Ranking System that can add up to 100 points to your Express Entry profile.
As the minimum qualification is set at a higher secondary level, you are needed to acquire a minimum of two or more post-secondary credentials. It is better if one of them is for three years or longer.
Get A Graduate Degree
The reason for getting a bachelor’s degree is that maximum points are awarded to those with a PhD, Master’s or other professional degrees. Additionally, getting a graduate degree in Canada will give you even more points since a Canadian degree is worth more points. You can also work part-time while studying and can bring your spouse who can work full-time while you study.
Having a Sibling in Canada
Are you aware that a brother or sister with whom you might have fought or enjoyed some best moments of your childhood can increase your chances to get a permanent residence if he/she is currently living in Canada as a citizen or a permanent resident?
Well, it is true. Just having a sibling through blood, adoption, marriage or common-law partnership, you will be able to claim an extra 15 points under the additional factors. You will have to provide proof of your relationship like a birth certificate. Moreover, even if you do not qualify for Express Entry, you may also be eligible to apply through Canada’s family sponsorship program.
Applying with Your Spouse
If you are planning to move to Canada with your spouse or common-law partner, it is best to apply together. By submitting your application with your spouse or common-law partner you could boost your CRS score and increase your chance of receiving an ITA under the Express Entry Program.
In the case of a single person, the total point of 1,200 is allocated to only one person, which can be a hurdle for some. But if your spouse or partner is accompanying you, 40 points (20 points for your language skills, 10 points if either of you has Canadian work experience, another 10 points each for your education qualification) will be allocated to your spouse while the rest goes to the principal applicant.
It is advisable to include a spouse if he/she has completed IELTS, or done the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for any post-secondary education. It would definitely help to increase the score of the principal applicant.
In some cases, where the spouse is a stronger candidate, it is wiser to have the spouse apply as the principal applicant. If both the spouses are strong, then create a profile listing one another as an accompanying spouse, and only one can submit the application for permanent residence.
Latest updates in CRS points
In recent times, the percentage of French-speaking immigrants to Canada outside Quebec was 2.82 per cent. As of 20th October 2020, the CRS has made a change in the provision for French, the second official language in Canada (except in Quebec where French is the official language). The main purpose of this amendment is to attract the Francophone population in order to improve the economic growth and prosperity throughout the country. According to the update, it is noted that the applicant will receive additional points for good language skills in French. For example, if a person scores NCLC 7 or more than that on the four basic skills in French, then he/she will get:
- 25 additional points if you scored CLB 4 or lower in English (or you have not had an English test); or
- 50 additional points if you scored CLB 5 or higher on all four English skills
These are some of the best ways to increase your CRS points. So keep yourself updated, choose your best option for being successful and then apply for Canadian permanent residency.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum IELTS score required to qualify for the Express Entry program?
How can I ensure that my CRS is not low?
What is ITA Canada?
How long does it take to receive an ITA?
What is an ECA?