How You Can Boost Your CRS Score for Express Entry

Are you an Express Entry candidate? We have some valuable advice to assist you in improving your CRS scores.

You ought to know that Canada’s Express Entry immigration system is quite competitive and only the candidates with the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores are invited to apply for permanent resident status.

Nevertheless, you have chances of boosting your CRS score even after you’ve submitted your Express Entry profile if your CRS score is lower than you’d like. 

In this article, we will give you the best options on how to increase your CRS score. Irrespective of how many points you need to become competitive whether a couple of points or you need a big boost to land your invitation, this explanatory article will help you figure out your next steps.

Understanding the Comprehensive Ranking System

The big question is: How are Comprehensive Ranking System points calculated?

Sometimes, people go about this using the wrong approach. For instance, your eligibility for one of the Express Entry-aligned programs has been determined, created an Express Entry profile, and been issued a CRS score…what next? 

Do you just lay back and wait for an invitation to apply? 

Hear this, it is only when you have been issued a high CRS score, then you can comfortably wait to be invited, if not, this is indisputably the wrong approach!

As earlier stated, the Express Entry immigration system is competitive therefore, If you display a passive attitude towards your Express Entry profile, you may not be awarded all of the points you may be entitled to, and this will result in missing opportunities to boost your rank among the candidates under the Comprehensive Ranking System. 

The good news is that the CRS is a dynamic system and your score is not “locked-in” — you can always take steps geared towards increasing it.

Some additional points may not only boost your CRS points, but these points could make all the difference which can be as many as 600 extra CRS points, of course, ensuring your invitation to apply in a subsequent draw from the pool.

Are you yet to claim all the points you’re eligible for? We have below a checklist that you can make use of. Kindly take a look at this list and ensure that you’ve claimed all the factors that apply to your situation.

  • Having a Sibling in Canada

If you or your spouse/common-law partner has a brother or sister related by blood, adoption, marriage, or common-law partnership residing in Canada as a citizen or permanent resident then all you need to do is to prove the relationship by providing documents to back your claim and watch your CRS score improve by 15 points.

  • Education

Well, this tip is targeted majorly at candidates of Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).  CEC and FSTC candidates upon entry to the pool, are not required to submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) or Canadian credential, unlike Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) candidates. This means that there are 200 points on the table to be grabbed because Education is worth 150 points in its own right, and another 50 more in combination with Canadian work experience and/or language proficiency.

Also, you should state all eligible education you have completed in your Express Entry profile. The emphasis is on eligible education, for instance, if you did a one-year diploma eight years ago that wasn’t related to your current job, It doesn’t matter in this case though you can still claim this on your Express Entry profile and get an ECA for the credential. 

This is possible because irrespective of the area of study and whether it is connected to your present work or not, Express Entry awards points for education.

  • Second Language

If you can efficiently communicate in both English and French language, then you can claim points for both languages under the CRS. All you need to do is to ensure that you take an approved language test in both English and French to make sure that you’re getting as many points as possible.

 Additionally, extra points are available to bilingual candidates but some PNP streams are only open to candidates who can communicate in French only.

If you can communicate fluently in both English and French then, you can’t afford to miss out on this opportunity.

Now, if after you’ve claimed all the points that you’re eligible for and your score is still beneath the competitive range, then you should make efforts to boost your score using the methods below. 

What are the Faster Options to improve your CRS score?

Below are our top recommendations on a faster way to boost your CRS score. If you dedicate your time and put in much effort, we can assure you that this can be completed in a matter of weeks.

  • Repeat your language test

The truth remains that language ability is one of the most valued human capital factors under the Comprehensive Ranking System and it is one of the few factors where incremental gains can make all the difference. 

Little wonder why 260 points in total for a single candidate, or up to 270 points for a couple is awarded to it.

Furthermore, across the four language abilities; speaking, listening, reading, and writing, you can accumulate additional points for each improvement in test results, but do you know what does the magic is? 

 It is when a candidate can achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 9 in each of the abilities. This is because aside from the points gained for improvements to that level, getting a CLB 9 in each ability instigates a massive increase in points under the skills transferability factors, in other words, we can say that one small step in improving your language ability means one giant leap for your CRS score.

To reach CLB 9 on the IELTS General Training exam, you must achieve at least the following scores:

Listening ability: 8.0

Speaking ability 7.0

Reading ability: 7.0

Writing ability: 7.0

To reach CLB 9 on the CELPIP general exam, you must achieve at least a score of 9 in each of the four abilities.

What are the Slower Options/ Long term ways to improve your CRS score? 

Though slow, there are some longer-term options for increasing your CRS score if you intend to immigrate to Canada via Express Entry. In as much as some of these options may only take a few weeks or months, some others might take you at least a year or more.

  • Gather more work experience

If you have below three years of full-time or its equivalent in part-time experience in working outside Canada, please you just have to keep working! 

Though this work won’t award you points under the human capital factors, nevertheless, the points are rewarded in the skills transferability combinations.

Meanwhile, this point is tailor-made for candidates presently working in Canada on a work permit, because there are points available for Canadian work experience, you only have to ensure that you maintain legal work status the entire time if you are working in Canada.

Also, make sure that you indicate that your employment is ongoing on your Express Entry profile, that way, your CRS score will update automatically when you get to a new threshold of work experience.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Now is the time to learn about the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) because you are not just adding a 600-point boost to your CRS score but you will also have the knowledge that you are being welcomed with open arms into your desired destination province.

IRCC is continuously giving extra allocations to the provinces for the PNPs and in turn, the provinces are looking forward to welcoming a portion of the newcomers who will arrive under these programs through the Express Entry pool.

Provinces, in recent years, have been utilizing their Express Entry-aligned (‘enhanced’) PNP streams in innovative, productive ways. For instance, Ontario’s targets are on specific occupation groups, most especially the Information Technology (IT) sector; Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan though no job offer required, have both reopened PNP streams for applicants across a wide range of occupations, British Columbia constantly invites candidates to apply under the system; while there is an entirely new  Express Entry-aligned streams for Alberta and Manitoba, of which other provinces have also come on board, giving nomination certificates to candidates in the Express Entry pool.

Do not forget that six hundred points are on the table as a prize offered to candidates who not just utilize a proactive approach to the Express Entry system, but follow developments, and prepare equally. 

Finish up another educational program

Of course, this is a long-term strategy for boosting your CRS score because it is expected to take some time. Nevertheless, it is worth the time, as gaining more education can result in a much higher CRS score. 

Aside from receiving CRS points for your level of education, please note that education is also a crucial part of the skill transferability factors section of the Comprehensive Ranking System.

You stand a chance of gaining a maximum of 100 points via the skill transferability factors in the education section therefore you must complete the following level of education:

You must have obtained two or more post-secondary credentials, of which at least one must have been for a program that lasted for three years or longer.

Aside from your bachelor’s degree, you can choose to make yourself qualified for higher points under skill transferability factors by completing another one-year program. 

Although this factor is not compulsory, it will be worth your time if you have your heart set on immigrating to Canada.

Land a Canadian job offer

Before we delve into this, please note that to score points for a job offer through Express Entry, it is expected that the job offer must meet a strict set of conditions.

We must admit that sadly, the value of a qualifying job offer as regards your CRS score is not as great as used to be (50 CRS points), it was formerly 600 points nevertheless, this does not rule out the fact that obtaining a job offer remains an important factor.

Unfortunately, while it is difficult for candidates who are not present in Canada to obtain such an offer but as difficult as it may seem, there are certain steps you can take in the direction that can be geared towards improving your chances of success.

Spouse/Partner factors

Are you migrating to Canada with your spouse/common-law partner? Please note that the spouse/partner’s language ability is 20 points, while education level and Canadian work experience are 10 points respectively, making it a total of 40 available points based on the factors of your spouse/partner.

Being a single application does not stop you from getting these points because the 40 points are redistributed into the factors of your profile and can claim them according to your abilities. 

Think outside the box

Let us look at this scenario. If a man and his wife, want to relocate to Canada and neither of the partners has ever studied in or worked in Canada. 

Nevertheless, he has gathered years of experience working as a financial advisor with big international clients and of course, earning lots of money along the way. 

He attended an internationally recognized, prestigious university and graduated near the top of the class. Then the wife on the other hand is an elementary/primary school teacher who acquired a Bachelor’s degree at a smaller university before proceeding to work in a local school for a few years. Finally, both partners have the same English ability.

The question is: Between the two of them, who should be the principal applicant? And the answer is: whoever has the higher CRS score. Who do you think has the higher score? 

The wife has the higher score because she is 29 and he is 35 which means that she gets full points for age, whereas he does not. In addition, you should know that IRCC doesn’t care about your grades in your class, they are only after if you completed your course(s), furthermore, a financial advisor and the elementary teacher are both considered skilled jobs, which means that, none of them is more valued than the other as long as immigration to Canada is concerned.

In such a case, both partners have no excuse for not creating an Express Entry profile, they just have to name the other partner as the accompanying spouse on each other’s profiles. 

Meanwhile, the CRS score of one partner is likely going to be lower than the other partner’s, and the partner with the lower score may have work experience in a province’s in-demand occupation under a PNP, therefore that partner could increase the rankings thereby carrying the other partner along with them to Canada.

Finally, also note that each couple can only submit ONE final application for permanent residence. In case both partners receive ITAs at the same time, then they can submit only one permanent residence application.

If you adhere to the tips we have given to you, be rest assured of increasing your CRS score thereby improving your chances of immigrating to Canada.

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