How to Improve Your CRS Score
The Express Entry system was created by Canadian immigration authorities to simplify application management. Since then, it has greatly streamlined operations, making it one of the best immigration systems in the world.
Through this Express Entry system, immigration candidates are added to a pool and each one is assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors like education, work experience, and language proficiency. Through regular draws, candidates with the highest CRS scores are then issued with Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Interestingly, those who don’t get invitations don’t get written off – they can improve their score and get selected in the future. Ultimately, this is one of the best features of this system. And since Express Entry profiles stay valid for up to one year, applicants have more than enough time to work on improving their CRS scores.
Some of the ways you can improve your CRS score include:
Get a provincial nomination
Since a provincial nomination gets you 600 more points, getting one is one of the best ways to increase your CRS score. Getting a provincial nomination isn’t easy though – you’re going to have to be alert to pull it off, and we cover this in detail in other chapters. You’ll need to keep abreast with the latest news so that you can know when provinces change their priority occupations or open/close different categories.
Get an employment offer
Getting a job offer can earn you up to 200 points, significantly increasing your chances of getting invited to apply for permanent residence. So if you want to increase your CRS score in the long run, start by launching a comprehensive job search, particularly one that involves traveling to Canada.
Visiting the country will allow you to meet with employers face-to-face and increase your chances of securing an offer. It will also allow you to temporarily experience what it will be like to move to Canada
Add on your education
In the long term, adding to your education can increase your CRS score. For instance, getting a bachelor’s degree can earn you up to 170 points. Apart from improving your CRS score, this can also help you access better employment opportunities. There’s something you need to keep in mind though – credentials obtained from institutions located outside Canada will need to be verified using an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
However, if you studied in a Canadian post-secondary institution, the process is quite straightforward.
Get more work experience
If you really want to boost your CRS score, get more work experience. Canadian experience is particularly valuable – you can get points for working in the country for up to 5 years. So if you’ve been working in Canada for a couple of years now, keep at it! But even if all your work experience is based in a foreign county, it is still useful.
You can get points for up to 3 years of non-Canadian work experience, especially if you are doing exceptionally well in other factors such as language proficiency. Ultimately, the more experience you have the better – you never know when a province will need your particular set of skills.
Improve your language skills to increase CRS score
Your language proficiency can earn you up to 260 CRS points as a single person and up to 270 points if you’re applying with your spouse. As such, even small improvements in your language proficiency can make a big difference. That’s why it’s important to maximize this factor and try to at least achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 9.
To do so, you need to get the following scores in your IELTS exam:
- Writing -7.0
- Reading -7.0
- Speaking -7.0
- Listening – 8.0
If you did the CELPIP exam instead, you will have to get a score of 9.0 in each of the language abilities. This will not only boost your language points but will also increase the ones for skills transferability. Skills transferability factors can earn you up to 100 points. So try to get as many as possible.
Moreover, make time to take language classes and retake your tests when you feel you have improved. And if you are proficient in English and French, you should get tested for both. Being bilingual gets you more points and access to some PNP streams that are designed for French speakers.
Choose the right person to be the principal applicant
If you’re planning to move to Canada with your spouse, it’s important to determine which one of you would make the best principal applicant – the success of your application depends on it. While it’s easy to assume that the spouse with the most prestigious degree or career path should be the principal applicant, this is not always the case.
The best principal applicant is always the one with the higher CRS score. So when making your decision, it’s best to go through all the factors that affect a CRS score and figure out who would score higher. And while you’re at it, always remember to include the other spouse in the application as well – they can contribute up to 40 points to the overall CRS score.
Of the 40 points, a maximum of 20 is awarded due to your partner’s language proficiency while a maximum of 10 each are awarded for work experience and education level. This doesn’t mean that single people usually get fewer points though – their 40 points are redistributed among the other factors in their profiles. So ultimately, they get these points without knowing it.
Ensure you’re not leaving any points on the table
One of the easiest ways to improve your CSR score is to ensure that you’re claiming all the points you’re due. For instance, if you or your spouse have a sibling who lives in Canada yet you have not mentioned that relationship in your application, you have essentially left up to 15 points on the table.
These are the kind of mistakes you should avoid to get your CSR score as high as possible. So always stay informed and keep abreast with changes in Express Entry factors.
Don’t focus on a single factor
One of the greatest mistakes you can make when trying to improve your CSR score is focusing on a single factor. Truth be told, even if you’re well-educated, the Express Entry system won’t overlook your low points in language proficiency and other factors. So always aim to increase your points in more than one factor. This will have a greater positive effect on your overall score.