If your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score isn’t high enough and you’re looking to give yourself a better chance at Express Entry, we have 5 ways you can increase it. But first, here is a breakdown of what you should do based on your current score:
You have a strong score, and based on recent invitations to apply, you have a good chance at getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to Express Entry. If you haven’t done your language exam or ECA, go to the Language Exam and ECA pages to get started on them asap.
This is a decent score, but you will likely need to raise it in order to get an ITA. If you haven’t done your language exam or ECA, it is likely worth it to get them done to know your exact score so you can decide the best way forward. If you have already, keep reading below for tips on how to raise your score, or the PNP page for help.
You have a lot of work to do. You will either have to make a big increase in your score or get a PNP nomination. We recommend scrolling down to our list of ways to increase your score to see if there are any options that work for you.To get the best sense of how good your score is and what to do about it, use our free tool Visto Qualify here.
Please note: the above scores are for Federal Skilled Worker scores only, and IRCC has only been conducting Canada Experience Class draws in the last few months due to Covid!
One of the quickest ways to increase your CRS score is to get a better IELTS score. This mainly applies to people who have taken the exam but were not able to get a CLB 9 (7 or higher in speaking, writing and reading, and 8 or higher in listening). Getting to a CLB 9 gives a big boost in CRS points, so if you haven’t reached it, we highly recommend re-writing the IELTS exam.
We’ve written a blog on how to get a good score on the IELTS exam which you can check out here.
If you have a low score but already reached a CLB 9 for your language test, you can consider getting a graduate degree. The reason for this is maximum points are awarded to those with a PhD, Master’s or other professional degree. If you don’t have either of those, they will give your score a boost.
Additionally, getting a graduate degree in Canada will give you even more points since a Canadian degree is worth more points. Canada has many amazing universities and colleges, and since all you need is a graduate degree, you can apply for a program of just 1 or 2 years to get these bonus points.
Note: you can also work part-time in most cases while studying, and can bring your spouse who can work full-time while you study.
If you’re able to find a job with a Canadian employer who is willing to sponsor you, you can come to Canada on a work permit first. Having a valid job offer from a Canadian company (usually supported by what’s called an LMIA) will give you bonus points, and gaining 1 year of Canadian work experience will give you even more points.
Finding an employer while living abroad isn’t easy, which is why we don’t recommend it as a first step. But there are employers willing to sponsor foreign workers and if your occupation is in high demand, there is a chance you can get sponsored on a work permit.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) give provinces within Canada the opportunity to nominate candidates who may not have a high enough score to Express Entry otherwise. To learn more about PNPs, check out our blog explaining what they are and how they work.
If you want to start the Express Entry process or get more help with raising your score, we highly recommend joining our community. Not only do we help you through the entire process, we also host live video classes about specific PNPs and much more! Get started by signing up here.
First, you can earn extra points if your spouse has a degree (and an ECA if it was earned outside of Canada), has taken a language exam, or has Canadian work experience.
Second, if they don’t have any of the above, you may have a higher score by not including them in your application – try calculating your CRS Score again without including your spouse to see if it gives you a significant boost.
And third, your spouse/partner may have a higher score than you do. For example, if you are 32 with an undergraduate degree, 10 years of work experience and a poor language exam score, but your spouse is 29, has a PhD and 3 years of work experience, their score will be higher than yours. For this reason, it’s always good to try calculating your CRS score for both parties. If you want to start the Express Entry process or get more help with raising your score, we highly recommend joining our community. Not only do we help you through the entire process, we also host live video classes about specific PNPs and much more! Get started by signing up here.