Imagine losing out on your invitation to apply to (ITA) Canada by a few CRS points. Not only is this heartbreaking but some assume that it reduces your chance to immigrate to Canada. Or does it?
We’ve got some good news and some bad news for interested applicants in the express entry pool. The good news is that your CRS scores are flexible. So you don’t have to start from scratch when you apply in the next cycle.
This means that you can always hope to make the cut by learning how to improve your CRS score. The bad news is that in recent years the CRS scores have been going up steadily.
That means a person who got an ITA on the basis of a 430 score wouldn’t have gotten it if he was a candidate this year.
Plus, who knows? The draws might cross the 470 point threshold in the next year.
This means that you need to keep on working on your CRS score without a hitch. Or else, you might give up on availing the Express Entry system as your pathway to Canada.
Does that make sense?
To make things clearer, we’ve decided to give a brief intro to what CRS scores are all about. We can then move on to learning how to boost your CRS points.
So without further ado, let’s teach you everything that you need to know about CRS scores:
What Is CRS Score?
CRS stands for Comprehensive Ranking System. It is a criteria set by Canada’s Express Entry system to rank individual applicants. The ranking then determines which of the participants are qualified enough to receive an ITA for permanent residency.
The good thing is that these draws are conducted on a regular basis (generally twice a month). This provides you with ample opportunity to improve the CRS score.
What’s the total score? The candidates are awarded marks out of a total of 1200 points. At present, the maximum marks required for an ITA vary near a range of 440-470 points. The CRS draws used to be around 450 points. However, they’ve spiked up to 470 in the last draw. So, there is no point in waiting around for them to drop. You need to proactively take steps to improve your own score.
With that being said, you must know that CRS score is actually the second step toward your permanent residency in Canada.
The first step is to become eligible to live under one of these immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Class
- Canadian Experience Class
That means you’ve got to qualify for one of these federal economic programs before your CRS scores are considered for ITA.
Decoding the CRS Score Board:
There are a number of variables that come into play when you’re being evaluated according to the CRS. The most evident factors are age, education, job experience and language proficiency.
Here’s an overview of the marking system:
- Human Capital Factors (e.g. education, language skills, and age and work experience in Canada) can score up to 500 points.
- Skills Transferability Factors help you achieve around 100 points
- Additional Factors count up to 600 more points depending on the situation
What are the additional factors?
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Offer for Canadian employment
- Canadian education
- Sibling/Relative in Canada
- Second language ability
In short, you’ve got lots of opportunities to increase your score. Doing so increases your chances for an ITA.
Improving Your CRS Score
Let’s look a few things you can do to boost your CRS score:
1. Improve Your Language
The total score for language skills is 260 points
Language ability is one of the most integral parts of the human capital factor. The slightest increase can boost your CRS score. The great thing is that an individual can work on their English language skills in a short amount of time. So using this area for your advantage is a no-brainer.
Plus, those who are proficient in French can garner more points by testing for the Test d’évaluation du français (TEF). This qualifies you to register yourself for the second language ability.
What’s the perfect language score? The optimal CLB score is 7 but those with 9 points on all core language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) get more CRS points. Another bonus is the fact that your language skills are often associated with your transferability skills and education. This helps you receive more points in that area too.
2. Profitable Education
The optimal score for education around 150-230 points
Studying in Canada proves to be fruitful for candidates enrolled in the express entry system. But those who might have international degrees can increase their score by applying for an ECA (Educational Credential Assessments).
This assessment provides proof to the government that their existing degrees and certificates meet the educational requirements in Canada. In other words, it considers your international degree as an equivalent to its Canadian counterpart.
In addition to that, you can also get more degrees/diplomas to boost your CRS score in the education sector. If the degree is in Canada it will also help you get a post-graduate work permit. This directly increases your points for the work experience section.
What’s more? Studying in Canada makes you eligible for other immigration programs such as Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Programs.
3. Relationship Matters
The Canadian immigration system acknowledges the Canadian citizenship or permanent residency of siblings and spouse/common-law partner. You can gain an extra 15 points if you’ve can verify this relationship via birth certificates, marriage certificates or adoption papers. In the case of siblings, a standard DNA test can also vouch for your relationship.
What’s more? Couples who plan to immigrate to Canada together are also at an advantage. That’s because their partnership helps them gain 20 points in language ability section. They get an extra 10 points each for education level and Canadian work experience too.
Pro tip: Always appoint the partner with a better score as the principal applicant. This strategy helps cast a favorable light on the applicant with a lower score. It is important to remember that even factors like age can tip the scales in the others favor. So you have to be super strategic when you select the principal applicant.
4. Work in Progress
Did you know?
Candidates of Federal Skilled Worker program require a minimum one year of full time work experience in a skilled occupation to qualify for the express entry pool. The other programs require 2 years of work experience (Federal Skilled Trades Class) within 5 years of application. Or one year (Canadian Experience Class) of full-time experience in Canada within the last three years of application. The failure to meet these criteria results in disqualification from the express entry pool.
Other steps include:
- Getting a job under a Canadian employer
- Enrolling in more classes
The main idea is to continue working until you get the ITA. That’s because work experience doesn’t just boost your CRS score. It also enhances your transferability skills factors that result is a few extra points.
5. Seek Assistance
Can’t figure out how to boost your Express Entry profile?
Then you should definitely consult a regulated immigration consultancy service. There are multiple factors that make them better decision makers in this department. For starters, they have a more comprehensive understanding of the CRS ranking system. So they might know about hidden ways that help boost your scores.
Plus, their experience helps them to evaluate your profile in a more holistic manner. That means you’ll get some practical advice and insights from them. For instance, there is a chance that the immigration program via the Express Entry system isn’t suited for you. This could be because you’re still struggling to get the required CRS score. Or, there might be some other issues causing problems in the qualification making the system a wrong fit for you.
In instances like these, an experienced consultant can recommend an alternative immigration pathway that meets your requirements.
This is something no immigration manual or resident of Canada can offer you. Moreover, their guidance doesn’t just help you gain new CRS points. But they might also help you recover the points you might have lost due to a mistake.
Let’s Sum It Up…
Long story short, sitting idle and waiting for an ITA is an impractical plan. You need to proactively take the required steps to boost your CRS scores. From enhancing your language skills to increased work experience―every tiny thing counts in this system.
However, if nothing seems to work then opting for an alternative pathway is a better option. That’s if that meets your requirement to the T.
Need a hand? Elaar Immigration Consulting Inc is an immigration consulting company Vancouver. We are licensed practitioners who know exactly how to improve your CRS score and build up your express entry profile to increase credibility. We ensure that you’ve chosen the right strategy and pathway to immigrate to Canada. Our assistance will help you hit the fast-track to Canada in no time!