How to Increase Your CRS Score if You're Over 30

So, you want to move to Canada via Express Entry, but you’re over 30. You’ve heard that the Express Entry system prefers those under-30s, but what does that mean for you? Are you out of the pool because you’ve passed your 30th birthday? No. However, it can slightly impact your eligibility for the program as you may lose a few Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. However, all is not lost. You can more than make up for the few points you lose.

How Does The Comprehensive Ranking System Work?

The CRS is a merit-based points system the Canadian government uses to rank immigration candidates in the Express Entry pool. The CRS assigns a score to each candidate based on various factors such as skill set, qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, and other criteria.

The CRS score is used to determine the eligibility of international immigrants for permanent residency in Canada. The points you get from the CRS include a core set of points up to 600 and additional points up to 600. The CRS score varies from draw to draw, and only those with the highest CRS score get invited by the Canadian government to apply for permanent residency.

Age is just one of the many factors the CRS considers and only ranks for a maximum of 110 out of your potential 1200 CRS points. The age category works as follows:

Age If you apply with a spouse or common-law partner If you apply without a spouse or common-law partner
17 or less 0 0
18 90 99
19 95 105
20 to 29 100 110
30 95 105
31 90 99
32 85 94
33 80 88
34 75 83
35 70 77
36 65 72
37 60 66
38 55 61
39 50 55
40 45 50
41 35 39
42 25 28
43 15 17
44 5 6
45+ 0 0

You can take several steps to improve your CRS score, such as gaining more work experience, completing another educational program, applying for a job in Canada, or getting an offer and having your spouse contribute to your CRS score. Additionally, you can follow the latest Express Entry immigration news, add another qualification to your profile, and check if you have claimed all your points. Long-term ways to increase your CRS score after 30 include:

  • Upgrading your education.
  • Improving your Language Scores.
  • Learning French.
  • Getting a valid Canadian job offer.
  • Applying with your spouse.
  • Studying or working in Canada.
  • Getting a provincial nomination.

It is important to note that improving your CRS score is gradual and requires patience and persistence. So, to maximize your chances of making your Canadian dream a reality, here’s how to implement these steps to improve your CRS score after 30.

Get Qualified

Get Qualified

Improving qualifications can increase a candidate’s CRS score in the Express Entry system for immigration to Canada. Education is a significant factor in the CRS score. Candidates can earn points for their level of education, with higher levels earning more points. Candidates can also earn points for having a post-secondary degree and even more if it’s from Canada.

A great way to improve your CRS score is to improve your qualifications or level of education. The CRS scoring system treats qualifications like this:

Level of Education With a spouse or common-law partner Without a spouse or common-law partner
Less than secondary or high school 0 0
A secondary or high school diploma 28 30
One-year degree, diploma, or certificate from  a university, college, trade or technical school, or another approved institution 84 90
Two-year program from an approved institution 91 98
Bachelor's degree OR a three+ year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or another institution 112 120
Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees with at least one for a program of three or more years 119 128
Masters or professional degree in medicine, veterinary medicine, chiropractic medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, or pharmacy. 126 135
Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) 140 150

As you can see, every bit helps make a difference in adding or upgrading a qualification for the CRS. One of the best ways to do this is to study in Canada. In addition, if you’ve been in Canada for over a year, you may also qualify for the Canadian Experience Class of the Express Entry system, further improving your chances. However, you’ll need a student visa if you want to come to Canada to upgrade your qualifications.

Here’s how to apply for a Canadian Study Permit.

However, getting a qualification in your current country of residence will improve your chances. All you need is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to show how your qualifications compare to those in Canada.

Find out how you can verify your credentials here.

Talk The Talk

Improving language ability in English and French can improve the CRS score for Express Entry. The Canadian government utilizes the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) system to test your language skills. You’re presented with CLB level for each of the four language abilities:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

Each ability is converted into CRS points like this:

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per ability With a spouse or common-law partner Without a spouse or common-law partner
Less than CLB 4 0 0
CLB 4 or 5 6 6
CLB 6 8 9
CLB 7 16 17
CLB 8 22 23
CLB 9 29 31
CLB 10 or more 32 34

This means you can earn up to 128 points if you get a high score on your language test. Suppose English is your strongest language out of Canada’s official languages. In that case, you can improve your points by improving your score in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).

One of the best ways to do this is to take a language course that provides you with practice tests and exercises and can even put you in contact with a tutor to maximize your score. You can benefit from taking our IELTS course if IELTS is the right test.

Proficiency in both English and French can result in extra CRS points. For example, a CLB of 7 or more score in French and a CLB of 5 or more in English can result in up to 50 extra points. You already have beginner or intermediate-level fluency in your second official language; brushing up on skills and sitting for both language tests can be helpful.

Land a Job

Land a Job

Securing employment before starting the visa application process is one way to increase your CRS score after 30 by up to 200 points. However, not all jobs are equal, and the position you secure must meet specific criteria, such as being permanent, with a contract signed for at least one year. The Canadian government will also require an LMIA for the particular job to get points.

Having a job waiting for you in Canada can also increase your chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada as it can show where you fit in Canada’s labor market and that you’re filling a vacancy, which the Canadian labor force desperately needs.

Here’s how to apply for jobs in Canada to help you get started.

Another way to increase your CRS score after 30 is to gain more work experience in Canada, which can give candidates up to 80 points depending on their years of experience. The CRS evaluates work experience like this:

Years of Canadian work experience If applying with a spouse or common-law partner If applying without a spouse or common-law partner
<1 0 0
1 35 40
2 46 53
3 56 64
4 63 72
5+ 70 80

Additionally, working in Canada for at least a year may qualify you for the Express Entry Canadian Experience Class (CEC), massively improving your chances of receiving an ITA.

However, to work in Canada, you need a Canadian work permit. Here’s a handy guide on how to get a Canadian Work permit.

Suppose you’re unsure how to start that process or want to find out how to improve your CRS score after 30. In that case, you may want to utilize the services of a certified immigration professional like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). Our RCICs have years of experience helping dozens of hopeful applicants find their way to Canada. As a result, they know the Canadian immigration system like no one else and know exactly how you can make your way to Canada.

Bring Your Spouse

If you are applying to the Express Entry system with your spouse, it can improve your CRS score.

You may have noticed that with every points breakdown, there is a different score for those applying with their spouse versus those applying without. You may have also noticed that those with their spouse get slightly lower scores than those without.

Surprisingly, this doesn’t actually damage your final score as your spouse is scored separately from you with their own set of CRS factors based on their education, work experience, and language ability. What they score will be added to your final score.

For example, if your spouse has a high level of education, a good language test score, and Canadian work experience, it can increase your CRS score by as little as 11 points or as much as 40 points.

Get Nominated

Get Nominated

The factor that can affect your score the most is getting a Provincial Nomination. Getting a provincial nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) can increase your CRS score in the Express Entry system. Canada’s enhanced Provincial Nominee Program streams are tied to Express Entry, and receiving a nomination through any of these programs can increase your CRS score by up to 600 points.

The highest points can be earned through any single factor in the CRS system. The additional points from a provincial nomination can guarantee an ITA. However, it is essential to note that you must meet the eligibility criteria of the PNP and have the skills and experience that are in demand in the province or territory.

Therefore, getting a provincial nomination is one of the most effective ways to increase your CRS score after 30. Maximize your chances of getting a nomination by choosing the province you want to live in most and ensuring you are in demand and eligible for one of their PNP streams. To help you determine your eligibility criteria, here’s a breakdown of the PNP system.


What is the Ideal CRS Score?

The CRS score varies from draw to draw, so no fixed ideal score exists. However, a score of 470 or more is generally considered good. However, this generally changes based on each Express Entry Draw.

How Can I Calculate My CRS Score?

You can use a CRS Calculator to get a good score idea. However, the best way to determine your eligibility is to work with an immigration professional like an RCIC, who can help you work out your CRS score and help create a strategy for maximizing your score.

Maximize Your Chances With Us

Maximize Your Chances With Us

Now that you know how to improve your CRS score, it’s time to find the best way. Ultimately, the best way to do that is to utilize an RCIC. This is because using an RCIC can improve your CRS score.

RCICs are licensed professionals who can provide expert advice and guidance on the Express Entry system and help you navigate the complex immigration process. In addition, they can help you identify the best strategies to increase your CRS score, such as improving your language proficiency, gaining more work experience, upgrading your education, getting a valid Canadian job offer, studying or working in Canada, learning the French language, getting a provincial nomination, and applying to the Express Entry system with your spouse.

RCICs can also help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your application is complete and accurate, increasing your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residency in Canada. Therefore, using an RCIC can be a wise investment to improve your CRS score and increase your chances of immigrating to Canada.