Canadian Immigration News

Express Entry: How CRS Ranks Applicants Applying With Their Spouse or Common-Law Partner

2.75 minute read
"The Express Entry system scores applicants with their spouses differently from single applicants. Meaning applying for Express Entry with your spouse will bring different results than applying for a single entry. The Express Entry system manages 3 federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC)."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 21, 2021
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The Express Entry system scores applicants with their spouses differently from single applicants. Meaning applying for Express Entry with your spouse will bring different results than applying for a single entry. The Express Entry system manages 3 federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). 

Applicants submit their profiles into the Express Entry system and are ranked based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS assesses an applicant’s profile based on various factors including age, education level, language proficiency, work experience, etc. The CRS is applied to both single and married applicants, however, the way they are scored is different. 

What Is the Difference In the Ranking of Married And Single Applicants?

Married couples can receive fewer points or gain points because of their partner. The CRS considers both spouses and common-law partners. However, every application must have a Primary Applicant (PA). The PA is the primary individual whose profile will be evaluated and ranked. The PA can include their accompanying spouse or dependent children on their application. As a couple, only one person can be the PA. 

Therefore, to ensure a better rank, it is important to evaluate the eligibility of both partners as it is highly unlikely that they will have the same rank. The partner with the higher CRS score must be the PA. 

The CRS scoring system is a little different for single applicants and married applicants. The scoring system allows married PAs to lose up to 40 points for various factors relating to their partner, while also allowing them to earn 40 points through their partner. 

For example, Kevan and Alia are married. Kavan is 29, has Canadian post-secondary education, a level 8 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) and 5 years of cumulative work experience with 4 years in Canada and 1 in abroad. 

Alia also has a post-secondary degree from abroad, a level 7 on the CLB and 8 years of work experience, out of which 6 were in Canada. While both of them have impressive profiles, Kavan will be ranked higher because of his superior language skills and younger age. This means that Kavan should be the PA.

How Does the CRS Rank Applicants?

The CRS considers 4 factors when ranking applicants from the Express Entry pool. Only the first two factors consider spousal factors. The factors are as following:

Core/Human Capital Factors: 

These factors include the age of the applicant, their language proficiency and education level. The maximum points for a married applicant in this category are 460 points while a single applicant can score up to 500 points.

Spouse/Partner Factors: 

These factors consider the spouse’s language proficiency, education level and work experience. This only applies to applicants applying with their spouse or common-law partner. Appliances can gain up to 40 points from this category

Skill Transferability: 

These factors work in combinations. These are highly valued as it includes having both Canadian work experience and a post-secondary educational credential. Applicants can score up to100 points from this category.

Additional Points: 

This category includes having other things that can bring the applicants points. For example, a provincial nomination, receiving an educational credential in Canada, etc. Applicants can gain up to 600 points from this category. The maximum CRS score that a married or single applicant can achieve is 1200 points.

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