Up Your Game: How to Get the Perfect CRS Score in 2020. No Sweat!

It’s job hunting season and if you’re looking for ways to improve your chances of success in your Canadian visa application, upping your CRS score is the best place to start!

One of the best parts of immigrating to Canada is that most of the programs and systems offer permanent residence or in the very least give you a greater shot at getting permanent residence once you’ve accumulated the necessary Canadian work experience on your temporary visa. One of these systems is the ever-popular Express Entry system, which manages 3 of the federal economic immigration programs and fast-tracks applications.

Applications that could take up to a year to process can now be approved in as little as 6 months! With the help of the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System), the Canadian Immigration department is able to rank your application and help determine which are best suited for the program. Two factors which are particularly important are having a PN (Provincial Nomination) or a job offer. These factors both offer the highest amount of CRS points and just having a PN just about guarantees that you will receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residence in Canada!

But what is a CRS score exactly, how does it work and what is the minimum score to be able to immigrate to Canada?

Let's take a closer look at these FAQs and find out just how easy it is to up your CRS game in 2020!

What is a CRS Score?

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The CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) is used to rank applicants who want to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system. You will be scored based on 4 main CRS sections:

  1. Core/human capital factors;
  2. Spouse or common-law factors;
  3. Skill transferability factors; and
  4. Additional points.

Each section has a number of different factors, each with a maximum amount of points that can be allocated for them.

Below, we’ve broken down each section with the number of points that you can earn.

1. Core/Human Capital Factors

Core human capital factors relate to your age, level of education, official language skills and Canadian work experience. This is one of the most important sections as each factor has high maximum points that can be earned.

You will be able to earn points if you are between the ages of 18 and 44 years old but the best age bracket is between 20 and 29 years old as this is where you can earn a maximum of 100 points if you are immigrating to Canada with your spouse or common-law partner or 110 if you’re single.

Your level of education can earn you anywhere between 28 and 150 points. The points are scored according to your level as well as the length of your program, for example, a one-year qualification could get you an extra 84 - 90 CRS points while a three-year program is worth 112 - 120 points.

Have a look at the breakdown below:

Core/Human Capital Factors
FactorsPoints per factor (with spouse/common-law partner)Points per factor (without spouse/common-law partner)
Level of Education140150
Official languages proficiency150160
Canadian Work Experience7080

2. Spouse or Common-law Factors

Spouse or common-law factors relate to your spouse or common-law’s level of education, language skills and Canadian work experience. It is important to note that you can only score points if your spouse or common-law partner will be relocating with you to Canada.

Spouse or Common-law Factors
FactorsPoints per factor (maximum of 40 points)
Level of Education10
Official languages proficiency20
Canadian Work Experience10

3. Skill Transferability Factors

You can earn CRS points if you have a combination of skills, particularly regarding language, education and qualifications as well as work experience. Have a look at the breakdown of possible combinations below.

Skill Transferability Factors
EducationPoints per factor (maximum of 50 points)
Good language skills in English and/or French + a post-secondary degree50
Canadian work experience + post-secondary degree50
Foreign Work ExperiencePoints per factor (maximum of 50 points)
Good language skills in English and/or French (CLB Level 7 or higher) + foreign work experience50
Canadian work experience + foreign work experience50
Certificate of qualification (people in trade jobs)Points per factor (maximum of 50 points)
Good language skills in English and/or French (CLB Level 7 or higher) + certificate of qualification50

4. Additional Points

This section includes factors relating to whether or not you have siblings living in Canada, your French skills, post-secondary education in Canada, whether or not you have a job offer or a Provincial Nomination (PN). Have a look at the breakdown of possible points that can be earned, particularly if you have a job offer or PN!

Additional Points
FactorsMaximum points per Factor
Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)15
French language skills30
Post-secondary education in Canada30
Canadian job offer200
PN (Provincial Nomination)600

What is the Minimum CRS Score for Canada?

CRS score test sheet Canada | permanent residence Canada

The minimum score depends on the score of other applicants who have been entered into the same draw as you have, so essentially it’s the luck of the draw. Most ITAs (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residence range between 439 - 465, however, Express Entry system have seen a CRS high of 471 and a record low of 413 in past draws. Once again, this depends entirely on a number of factors including the other profiles entered into the draw pool and the cut off time and date.

Let's take a look at how many possible points you could earn so that you can determine which areas you may need improvement.

Maximum Points per Section
SectionMaximum points per Factor
Core/human capital460 points (with spouse or common-law partner)
500 points(with spouse or common-law partner)
Spouse or common-law partner factorsmaximum of 40 points
Skills transferability factors100 points
Additional points600 points
Maximum Total1,200

How Can I Improve My CRS Score in 2020?

black female student improving her language test and CRS score | permanent residence Canada

1. Gain more work experience.

Although you can earn more points by getting Canadian work experience, your work experience outside of Canada can still count towards your transferability points. You will be able to start earning points from one year and upwards for Canadian work experience but you'll be able to earn the maximum amount of points once you have 3 years or more under your belt.

Top Tip: Be sure to indicate that your current work is ongoing so that it will continue to automatically update on the government’s system.

2. Apply through the PNP

Did you know that you can earn an extra 600 points just by having a PN! That’s already half of the maximum score that you can earn. Most of Canada’s provinces have Express Entry aligned PNPs that allow the government to select your profile directly from the Express Entry pools.

Top Tip: Check if your profession is in high demand and which provinces need your specific skill set as you will have a greater chance of receiving PN.

3. Get a Canadian Job Offer

Having a valid job offer, that meets all of the government’s criteria is worth an extra 200 points. Knowing how to get a job offer in Canada is not as complicated as you may think and can be achieved in just 5 easy steps. The most important things to look out for in your job search is that the job offer is a full-time position (for at least 1 year) at skill type 0 or level A or B and, in most cases, be supported by an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) which you should receive from your Canadian employer.

Once you have a valid job offer, be sure that you have the appropriate Canadian work permit as this will allow you to work in Canada.

4. Complete an Educational Qualification

Knowledge is power, in more ways than one. By completing another educational program you will not only be adding to your skill set but will be able to claim extra CRS points based on your level of education in the Core/human capital section but also via the Skill Transferability section if you have strong official language proficiency or Canadian work experience.

Top Tip: Getting a Canadian qualification will not only grant you more CRS points but will prepare you for your professional career on an international level, not to mention that your student life in Canada will give you the most unforgettable memories and experiences in your lifetime.

5. Brush Up on Your Language Skills

There are 2 ways that you can earn extra points:

  • Learn a second language; or
  • Retake your language test.

If you are fluent in both English and French you may be eligible to claim points for both. You’ll be able to claim points both in the Core/Human capital section if you score a CLB 4 or higher and can earn anywhere between 6 to 32 or 34 points depending on whether or not you’ll be immigrating to Canada with your spouse or common-law partner.

If you are only fluent in one of the official languages, why not take up a second? You can earn up to 22 points with a spouse or common-law partner or 24 points without.

Top tip: Remember that you can earn extra points in the Skills Transferability section for strong language proficiency (CLB 7 or higher) if you have a post-secondary degree or certificate of qualification as well as foreign work experience.

Need help with preparing for your IELTS? Why not take advantage of our international Language Training Center and give yourself the best chance of success in your upcoming English test.

How We Help Increase Your Chances of Success

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Increasing your CRS score is not the only way to increase your chances of success when you apply for your Canadian visa. There are over 70 different immigration programs and visa options to choose from, and the process can become quite overwhelming and confusing. But it doesn't have to be.

By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will receive expert advice on which program is best for your specific needs. Our RCICs are highly qualified and are granted permission by the Canadian government to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms and submit them for you.

Why take the chance of having your application denied because your forms are incorrect or sent in too late. Simply complete our online evaluation application form and let us take care of all the fine print while you finalise your plans to immigrate to Canada.