If you’re looking to immigrate to Canada, you’ve probably heard of the “points system” used to determine someone’s eligibility for immigration. First, an immigration applicant will enter a pool of candidates through the Express Entry system. To join, applicants need to qualify for one of the three programs under the Express Entry stream: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Then, about every two weeks, the IRCC selects applicants from that pool.
Here’s the catch – for your best chance to be selected, you need to collect as many points as you can. Those points are decided by a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). So if you’re hoping to be chosen from the Express Entry pool of candidates, you’ll need to figure out your CRS score and how to improve it.
We know the CRS can be overwhelming. It feels like a lot of points to collect, and you might be unsure where to start. So we’re here to help you determine how to get the CRS score you need to obtain Canadian permanent residence.
Breakdown of CRS Categories
Understanding the CRS comes down to knowing that there are two basic categories in which you can score points. The first, or core category, can award you up to 600 points. The second, or additional category, gives you the chance to earn up to another 600 points. In total, 1,200 points are available in the CRS.
To be clear, you do not need all 1,200. So far this year, the lowest CRS score to get an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence has been 484. The minimum CRS score changes from week to week. After each Express Entry draw, the lowest score accepted becomes public information. You can keep track of each draw’s lowest CRS score and the total number of ITAs sent with our Express Entry tracker.
Points from Core Factors
Getting points in this category is all about who you are. Some of the factors that these points depend on are your age, level of education, language proficiency, and Canadian work experience. You can also get points for skills transferability, which has to do with your education, work experience, and qualifications. If you apply with a spouse, you can also get points for their education, skills, and abilities.
Points from Additional Factors
Many people we work with are often unaware of all the additional factors that could contribute to their CRS score. For example, your sibling’s Canadian citizen or permanent resident status will give you points. Learning some French will provide you with more points as well. This category also applies points for post-secondary education in Canada, an offer of employment in Canada, and a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).