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Posted on September 04 2022

Ways to increase your Express Entry CRS score

By  Editor
Updated October 27 2023

Key Aspects of the Express Entry system

  • The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) has been programed since the establishment of Express Entry in 2015
  • Language proficiency is the deciding factor for the candidates who are evaluated based on four skills
  • The CRS awards the candidates based on the criteria of core human capital factors such as age, work experience, language skills, and education
  • The three Express Entry programs are FSWP, FSTP, and CEC
  • A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of less than 4 or 5 points will lead to a 0, whereas the candidates with a CLB 7 will receive 23, and CLB 10 and above will receive 34 points
  • The candidate will have 60 days to submit all their documents in favor of their permanent residence application after receiving an ITA

*Check your eligibility for Canada through Canada Immigration Points Calculator for free.


The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a proof-based and most effective procedure to determine the immigration candidates who have a better opportunity to flourish in the labor market of Canada. This system is being operated since the establishment of Express Entry in the year 2015, through which, the immigrants can apply for Canadian permanent residence.

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Components of Comprehensive Ranking System

Any individual who is willing to migrate to Canada through an Express Entry program, must pass through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a proof-based and most effective procedure to determine the immigration candidates who have a better opportunity to flourish in the labor market of Canada.

The immigration candidates under the Express Entry are scored using the points-based system depending on the criteria of core human capital factors mentioned below and then are ranked against each other based on their CRS scores.

  • Age
  • Work experience
  • Language skills
  • Education

Who is eligible for a CRS score?

The federal government in Canada uses the Express Entry system to fast-track the applications for three immigration programs to bring in skilled workers.

The CRS is applicable and will be given only to the candidates with eligibility for under one of the three Express Entry programs:


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The basic points that are made available to the immigration candidates are almost up to 600 depending on the:

  • Spouse or common-law partner factors, such as education and language skills
  • Skills transferability, work experience and including education
  • Skills and experience

Immigration applicants can receive an additional points of 600 depending on:

  • A valid job offer
  • A nomination from a territory or province
  • Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates
  • Strong French-language skills
  • Siblings living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident

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The additional and core points in total build every applicant’s CRS score.

Every foreign national are given access to check their CRS score by using Canada’s free online eligibility points calculator if they are eligible for atleast one of the Express Entry program and:

  • Who were invited to apply for Canadian PR and want to see the change in Express Entry profile whihch might affect their CRS
  • Who haven’t filled out an Express Entry profile but would like to see what their CRS score looks like in case they did

The Online CRS calculator helps determine the Eligibility for FSW, FST, and CEC programs

The foreign national who wishes to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker will be able to find out which program is best suitable for them. Eligible applicants can apply for one of the three federal programs that use Express Entry and the government's website will advise them on the next steps.

How CRS operates

The CRS scores are calculated using different factors, which can go up to 1200 points high, and receiving the invitation to apply (ITA) depends on the highest score.

There are four categories under which CRS points are scored:

  • Common-law partner or spouse (language, education, and work experience)
  • Skill Transferability (combinations of language, work experience, and education)
  • Core or Human Captial (skilled work experience in Canada, age, language, and education)
  • Accompanying factors (siblings in Canada, provincial nomination, proficiency in French and English)

Core or Human Capital

Core or human capital factors can increase up to 500 points approximately. The points are divided by;

Language Education Age Canadian work experience Total number of points
150 140 100 70 500


The maximum points are awarded to those individuals in the prime of their working life. The immigration candidates score 100 points in their early 20s, progressively declining from age 30 until reaching zero points for those aged 45 and older.

Age (in years) With an accompanying spouse (maximum points available: 100) Without an accompanying spouse (maximum points available: 110)
under 18 0 points 0 points
18 90 99
19 95 105
20-29 100 110
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 or older 0 0

Work experience in Canada

All Express Entry program requires an approximate number of skilled work experience in an occupation categorized under the skill levels of 0, A, or B of Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC).

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According to Statistics Canada research, candidates with Canadian experience are awarded additional points that promote stable economic outcomes among those who worked in Canada before acquiring permanent residence.

With more than five years of Canadian work experience, a single candidate can score up to 80 points, while the minimum requirement of one year is 40.

Number of years Principal applicant (maximum 70 points) With an accompanying spouse (maximum 10 points) Without an accompanying spouse (maximum points available: 80)
Less than 1 0 points 0 points 0 points
1 year 35 5 40
2 years 46 7 53
3 years 56 8 64
4 years 63 9 72
5 years or more 70 10 80



The immigration candidates are expected to complete a test authorized by the Canadian government in one of Canada’s official languages, such as English or French.

A Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of less than 4 or 5 points will lead to a 0, whereas the candidates with a CLB 7 will receive 23, and CLB 10 and above will receive 34 points.

The points mentioned below are for each language ability: speaking, writing, reading, and listening, respectively.

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Principal Applicant (maximum 128 points) With an accompanying spouse (maximum 20 points) Without an accompanying spouse (maximum points available: 136)
For each language ability 32 points
5 points
34 points
CLB 3 or lower 0 0
CLB 4 6 0 6
CLB 5 6 1 6
CLB 6 8 1 9
CLB 7 16 3 17
CLB 8 22 3 23
CLB 9 29 5 31
CLB 10 or higher 32 5 34


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Each candidate can increase their CRS score by showing proof of completing secondary or post-secondary education in Canada. They may also submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) that offers the required education outside Canada.

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A candidate with a bachelor’s degree or a three-year program at a college, university, technical or trade school, or any other institute scores up to 120 points as more years of education will result in more points.

More extended programs such as Ph.D. will score 150 points, whereas the candidates who recently completed secondary school will receive 30 points.

Level of education Principal applicant (maximum 140 points) With an accompanying spouse (maximum 10 points) Without an accompanying spouse (maximum points available: 150)
Less than secondary (high) school credential 0 points 0 points 0 points
Secondary school credential 28 2 30
One-year post-secondary program 84 6 90
Two-year post-secondary program 91 7 98
Post-secondary program of 3 or more years 112 8 120
Two or more post-secondary programs, of which at least one was completed after a post-secondary program of three or more years 119 9 128
Master’s or entry-to-practice professional degree 126 10 135
Doctoral Degree (PhD) 140 10 150

Ways to improve your CRS score

It is very important to focus on factors which would increase your CRS score which increases the chances:

  • It is best to enter the Express Entry pool sooner to maximize the age points
  • Improve language test score as it helps acquire more CRS points
  • Enter Canada on a temporary work permit or as a student

If a candidate has completed their language testing and submitted their ECA, it is necessary to submit an Express Entry application as the candidate has a chance of receiving an ITA under the Express Entry pool.

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There is no limit to the times a candidate can submit their language test scores, and there is always a chance for improving other human capital scores. The IRCC will use the highest score from the candidate’s profile, so the candidate needs to update their Express Entry profile.

*For more information, check out the Y-Axis blog page…

In response to Canada’s ever-evolving policies and economic priorities, the CRS cut-offs are constantly changing. The IRCC does not stop the candidates from entering the Express Entry pool and applying to other provincial and federal immigration programs.

Ace your language scores

Language proficiency plays a crucial role in your CRS score calculation. The language score are assessed based on the following four skills:

  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Writing

Every skill is allotted with a separate CLB score. To gain this you need to have at least CLB 4 to gain points and make a note that, a large jump can be observed from CLB 6 and 9.

For instance, if your score is increased to CLB 7 from CLB 4, that means 8 extra points are added as per your ability.

CLB points requirements in FSWP:

Candidates applying for FSWP should score a at least CLB 7, in all the four factors. Immigration candidates with a CLB 7 are even qualified for Express Entry. If French is your second language, you can easily score 6 points.  Whereas, if it is your first language, then you have to get NCLC 7 or more on all the English skills (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening) then only you can score additional 6 points.

Foreign work experience

Overseas work experience is not considered in CRS score. Instead, it is better to have high skilled work experience related to your studies along with a score of CLB 7 or more, helps you to get a better score.

As per the policies, the immigrants who are applying through FSWP should have at least one-year skilled work experience along with CLB score of 7.

Do you want to migrate in CanadaGet guidance from Y-Axis, the leading Overseas Consultant in Australia

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