Anyone who is planning their immigration to Canada will across the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). It is a system for profile assessment and ranking under the Express Entry system for Canada PR.
Canada started using CRS to assess Express Entry profiles in 2015.
The Express Entry CRS is a detailed and evidence-based approach designed to identify immigrants who have the best chance of succeeding in the Canadian labor market.
It is done by awarding points to all the registered Express Entry profiles based on core human capital criteria such as age, education, language skills, and work experience. Candidates are then ranked against each other based on their CRS scores.
What is the Comprehensive Ranking System?
Canada has its unique Comprehensive Ranking System for evaluating the federal Express Entry candidates for immigration under federal immigration programs as well as Express entry linked provincial nominee programs.
Eligible candidates may submit a profile into the Express Entry pool and they are awarded points based on factors including age, education, skilled work experience, and proficiency in English or French.
The highest-ranked candidates are regularly issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence (PR) through regular draws from the Express Entry pool. As Canada gears up to resume all-program Express Entry draws, the Express Entry applications for Canada PR will be processed within six months.
How to Improve Express Entry CRS score?
The biggest advantage of the federal Express Entry system for candidates is the fact that the candidates can improve their Comprehensive Ranking System score anytime. This may result in an increased probability of getting an invitation to apply to Canada PR.
Areas to improve the Express Entry CRS score include:
- Improving proficiency in a language – English or French
- Documenting their education and work experience correctly
- Stay updated with active provincial nominee programs
- Obtain a Canadian job or any other new credentials
- Any candidate can boost a CRS score by proving they have completed secondary or post-secondary education in Canada.
Additionally, all candidates in the Express Entry pool who want to be assessed for their foreign education and/or that of their spouse or common-law partner under the Comprehensive Ranking System will need to get an Education Credential Assessment (ECA).
An ECA is used to determine the Canadian equivalent of an education degree obtained outside Canada. It is not required in order to enter the Express Entry pool as a Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class candidate. However, under the Federal Skilled Worker Class, you will need an ECA.
How are Points Awarded Under the Comprehensive Ranking System?
A candidate may be eligible to get up to 1200 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System. There are four factors under which you can gain CRS points:
- Core/Human Captial (age, skilled work experience in Canada, education, and language)
- Spouse or common-law partner (education, language, work experience)
- Skill Transferability (combinations of language, education, and work experience)
- Additional factors (Provincial nomination, sibling in Canada, proficiency in English and French)
Core/human capital factors can add up to a maximum of 500 points with language the highest number of points at 150 for a single applicant, followed by education at 140, age at 100, and Canadian work experience at 70 points.
- Maximum points are awarded to those in the prime of their working life.
- Candidates in their 20s score 100 points. Points progressively decline beginning from age 30, until it reaches 0 points for those aged 45 and older.
- Work experience in Canada:
- All Express Entry programs require a minimum amount of skilled work experience in an occupation that falls under skill levels 0, A, or B of Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system.
- The CRS awards additional points to those with Canadian experience.
- A single candidate with more than five years of Canadian work experience can score up to 80 points, while the minimum requirement of one year is 40.
- More years of education will result in more points.
- If a candidate with a bachelor’s degree or a three or more year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or another institute can score up to 120 points.
- Longer programs, such as a PhD, will score 150 while candidates who have only completed secondary school will receive 30 points.
Spouse or common-law partner
If you are planning to immigrate with a spouse or common-law partner, you should have them estimate their CRS score using a Comprehensive Ranking System calculator.
To account for your partner, the CRS reduces the number of points the Principal Applicant (PA) can get for various factors by a total of 40 points. However, at the same time, the CRS also allows the PA to earn up to 40 points through their partner’s profile.
If they have a higher score than you, it may be a good idea to have them apply as the principal applicant to maximize your overall CRS score.
The CRS also ranks based on skill transferability factors. Candidates can get an additional 100 Express Entry CRS points if they can show a combination of work experience and education both inside and outside of Canada, or a combination of post-secondary education and a high CLB score.
For example, a candidate who has a sibling in Canada will score higher, as well as a candidate who has a minimum CLB score of seven in both English and French.
Another example can be that the highest number of additional points comes from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Candidates who receive a notification of interest from a province can apply for nomination to immigrate to a specific province. If they are successful in their provincial nomination, 600 CRS points get added to their Express Entry profile, which is higher than most candidates’ scores and is likely to result in an invitation to apply for permanent residency from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
For instance, in the latest Express Entry draws, 932 provincial nominees received invitations to apply for Canada PR. The automatic addition of 600 points to their base human capital score meant candidates effectively required only 196 Express Entry CRS points to qualify.
While getting assessed under the Comprehensive Ranking Score is the easiest way to qualify for Canada PR, you are free to pursue other Canadian permanent residence pathways at the same time.
Visit a certified immigration consultant to determine your eligibility and choose the most suitable immigration program based on your education and work profile.
Get a free assessment to determine the best possible pathway for your immigration to Canada.
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