If you’ve looked into applying to immigrate to Canada you would probably have heard about or read about the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and Canada Express Entry CRS cut-off scores. The immigration application process can be complex and knowing how to maximize your chances is the key to being successful the first time around!
We’ve taken the top 8 frequently asked questions about the Comprehensive Ranking System and answered them to show you just how simple it could be to maximize your CRS score for the next Express Entry draw!
Question 1: What is the Comprehensive Ranking System in Canada?
Answer: The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is how Canada ranks your Express Entry profile. It helps the Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) determine whether or not you are eligible to apply for permanent residency as a highly to a semi-skilled worker. It also helps the IRCC choose specific candidates who would be able to adjust to a new life and comfortably settle in Canada.
Question 2: How does the Comprehensive Ranking System work?
Answer: Canada’s Express Entry system has been the number one go-to immigration solution since 2015. It manages three immigration programs, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). When creating your Express Entry Profile you will be ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Your score will then be added up and you will receive a CRS score out of a possible 1,200 points.
Your profile will then enter a draw pool with other applicants. Based on the average taken of all the CRS scores in that particular draw, the IRCC will release the cut-off score. This indicates who will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency and who will not. If your CRS score is the same as or higher than the CRS cut-off score the IRCC will send you an invitation to apply for Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada.
Question 3: Can you improve your CRS score?
Answer: Yes. There are many ways like improving your language test results, gaining more work experience, applying with a spouse, etc. Let take a look at some of the most popular ways.
The first and probably one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your CRS score is to retake your language test. You could do this in one of two ways: redo your first test or take a second language. By retaking your test you could earn a possible 22 extra points.
The next way to get extra CRS points is to gain more work experience. Although having work experience is not a must to be eligible for Canada’s Express Entry system, it certainly can boost your chances of getting that coveted ITA for PR in Canada. It is recommended to have at least three to five years of work experience in your industry.
Another way is applying with your spouse or partner as it allows you to claim additional points. This is because Canada aims to keep families together and therefore makes it easier for couples or families to immigrate to Canada together by giving them the chance to earn extra points.
Question 4: What is the best way to boost your CRS score?
Answer: Get a Provincial Nomination (PN). It’s worth 600 CRS points! Getting Provincial Nomination or PN is a sure-fire way to up your CRS score. To get a PN you will either need to express interest directly to your chosen province or territory or when creating your Express Entry profile. Because your PN will get you 600 extra CRS points, with the average score being around 739 in 2021, it's safe to say that you are virtually guaranteed to get an ITA.
Question 5: What is the minimum CRS Score?
Answer: The CRS cut-off score changes from draw to draw, which means there is no set minimum CRS score. There are averages that you can aim towards for various program draws but it's better to keep working on improving your CRS score where you can while your profile remains in the draw.
Question 6: What is a good CRS score for 2021?
Answer: Based on the draws so far, 383 is a good CRS score to aim for as a Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicant and 739 for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants. At the moment, the Federal Skilled Worker and Trades Programs are still accepting applications, however, are prioritizing those with PNs and Canadian work experience. As Canada's vaccination rates continue to increase it is estimated that borders will reopen sooner than we think, possibly in the months to follow. As restrictions ease, you should see an increase in visa applications and with more immigration programs issuing ITAs!
Question 7: Are couples scored differently to single applicants by the CRS?
Answer: Yes. Couples could score fewer base CRS points than a single applicant, but more points from their partner. For example, if you are 30 years old, you could claim 95 CRs points if you apply with your spouse or partner, however, you will get 105 CRS points if you apply on your own. If you apply as a couple, however, you will have the opportunity to gain extra points through your spouse or partner’s education, language skills, and Canadian experience. In fact, you could earn up to a maximum of 40 extra points! So although you may lose 10 points by applying with your loved one it’s actually better to apply together as you could gain four times the points anyway.
Question 8: Is there a CRS Score calculator?
Answer: Yes. It will give you an estimate. The IRCC has a CRS tool that will help you determine whether or not you will be eligible for Canada’s Express Entry System. For an accurate CRS score, it’s best to have an evaluation done by an RCIC or immigration lawyer.
Taking the Express Route to Canada
Once you’ve had your eligibility assessment done, it's time to get started on the application process.
Step 1: Gather Your documents
When creating your Express Entry profile, you will need to answer a few questions, mainly about:
- Work experience
- Other factors regarding the ability to settle in Canada
This includes having a brother or sister living in Canada, being fluent in French, having a Canadian education, a job offer in Canada, provincial nomination, for example. Basically, any ties that you have to Canada, will stand you in good stead and boost your CRS score.
It's always good to have your document on hand to make sure that the information you supply in your profile is accurate and correct. Any information that cannot be supported when invited to apply for permanent residency could either result in delayed visa processing times or worse, rejected visa applications.
Step 2: Create an Express Entry Profile
The next step is to create your Express Entry profile. As mentioned above ensure that you complete each section as per the Express Entry requirements and submit a complete application. Remember, however, that once you submit, you will still be able to improve your CRS score.
Step 3: Submit your application
Express Entry applications can only be submitted online. This allows for both faster and more efficient processing. Once you submit your application your profile will be entered into the draw pool where it will remain until your profile is selected or for up to a year. If you receive an ITA for PR Canada you will have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residency in Canada.
Ready to take the next step? Well, there’s no time like the present. The sooner you get your Express Entry profile into the draw pool the better. Why wait for the rush of applicants waiting for all programs to reopen. Get your submission in early and get ahead of the rest and who knows, you may receive an ITA sooner than you think!
For help with your Canadian visa application, CRS score improvements, or simply to find out if you’re eligible for Canada’s Express Entry programs, why not consult professionals you can trust and put your mind at ease that your application is in the best hands possible.