What is Express Entry CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) ?

Express Entry CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) is essentially a scoring system used by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to rank eligible applicants. All applicants who create their Express Entry profile receive a CRS Score (also commonly referred to as Express Entry Points or CRS points or Express Entry Score). The Express Entry CRS score is based on factors that play important role in economic success of the immigrants once they migrate to Canada. These factors include skills, work experience, language skills (English or French or both), education, approved Job offer, Approved provincial nomination etc.

How to calculate CRS score for Express Entry ?

Candidates receive CRS Points out of a total score of 1,200 based on the four major factors:

  1. Core / human capital factors: These include points for age, qualification, work experience and language proficiency. These are considered as key to economic success for immigrants.
  2. Spouse or common-law partner factors : These include Spouse or common-law partner’s language skills and education.
  3. Skills transferability : This section provides additional scores to your profile by accessing it based on combination of factors mentioned above e.g a combination of your Education and Work experience.
  4. Additional points : This section awards 200 points for Arranged employment (positive Labour Market Impact Assessment required) or 600 points for Provincial nomination

CRS Calculator

Use Express Entry CRS Points Calculator and see if you score high enough to receive ITA in the next express entry draw

Now that you know your Express Entry Points, find more about how IRCC uses your CRS score to rank you in Express Entry Pool. You can find more information about Canada express entry minimum points and breakdown of Comprehensive Ranking System Canada in the CRS Grid & CRS Tool

Express Entry ITA (Invitation to Apply) and Round of Invitations

When you submit your Express Entry profile, it is placed in a central pool of all active Express Entry applications. There is no minimum CRS score required to enter Express Entry pool. IRCC issues Invitations to Apply (ITA) to candidates who are ranked highest in the pool. This is done through a process commonly called a “Draw” or “Round of Invitations”. It is important that you score high in your CRS to be issued an ITA .

You will receive an ITA if your Express Entry profile is active and your CRS score is equal or more than the cut-off score for that particular draw. From a candidate’s perspective ITA is basically a letter that you receive through your MyCIC account. Your ITA will specify the program that you should be submitting your application for. It’ll also show your CRS score breakdown and the date by which you should submit the electronic application for permanent residence (e-APR). It also provides guidance on the next steps that you can take post receiving the ITA.

What is the minimum CRS Score Required for Express Entry?

There are no CRS minimum cut-offs required to enter Express Entry pool. However IRCC issues Invitations to Apply (ITA) to candidates who are ranked highest amongst other active profiles in the pool. So it is important to score high in your CRS to be issued an ITA . CIC regularly selects high ranking applicants from the pool and this process is commonly called “Express Entry Draw” or “Express Entry Round of Invitations”. You will read more about this process in the next sections.

What is Tie Breaking Rule in Canada Express Entry Draw?

If there are multiple candidates with the same CRS Score, the system will rank the tied candidates based on date & time of their Express Entry Profile Submission. For example, the table below shows a scenario where 3500 ITAs were issued in a draw. The 3500th top ranked candidate in the pool had a CRS of 422 tied with multiple other candidates in the pool. The Tie Breaker rule now ranks candidates based on the date & time of their profile submission and within the tied candidates, gives a higher rank to the candidate with the older profile submission time.

Express Entry Latest Draw

  • Program : No program specified
  • Number of invitations issued: 3,900
  • Date and time of round: October 2, 2019 at 12:16:25 UTC
  • CRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited: 464
  • Tie-breaking rule: September 20, 2019 at 15:05:04 UTC

Track all historic Express Entry Draws here

Steps After Express Entry Invitation Received

You have 60 days (90 days during COVID) after receiving Express Entry Invitation to Apply (ITA) to accept or decline an ITA. There are 3 important scenarios here that every EE applicant must be aware of:

If you accept the ITA : You should submit your complete Application for Permanent Residence within 60 calendar days (90 days during COVID) of ITA issue date. It is always advisable to not wait till the last day to avoid any unforeseen circumstances (e.g technical issues)

If you decline the ITA : your profile will be moved back to Express Entry pool and will remain Active to receive future invites.

If you do not respond: If you do not respond by “Accepting” or “Declining” the ITA then your ITA will expire. Your Express Entry profile will no longer be active. You will need to create a new profile if you wish to be included in future draws.

Completing Express Entry profile or receiving an ITA is not a guarantee that you will be approved for permanent residence. Receiving an express entry invitation is one step further towards submission of your formal application for Permanent Residence processing.

Your profile remains active in the Express Entry Pool for 1 year from the date you completed the profile. It may happen that you do not receive an ITA during this period. In such a case your profile will expire and you will need to create a new profile if you wish to remain in the pool for future draws.

An Invitations to Apply (ITA) letter looks like this (for your understanding only). You will find many other sample documents in our Express Entry Sample Documents Database

How do I increase CRS score?

If you are on this page and not sure about what CRS is, then you must first read Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), Express Entry Pool, Invitation to Apply (ITA) and Round of Invitations. If you already know what CRS is, then you understand how crucial this score is for your immigration through Express Entry. Simply being eligible is not enough for you to receive an Invitation to Apply. Your CRS score must be high enough to meet the CRS cut-offs during draws. If you are below the cut-off CRS scores then you will not receive an ITA, so you must always look for options to Increase CRS Scores.

Short term options : Steps that could increase CRS score in under 2 months

1) Improve Primary Applicant’s First language scores

This is comparatively, one of the easier options to Increase CRS Score. Achieving CLB9 in language tests can give a tremendous boost to your CRS scores as it not only gives you a direct points benefit under Language section (up to 136 points) but it also activates a few sub-factors under Skill Transferability section of the CRS points system (up to 100 points). You can spend a few weeks preparing for language tests. If IELTS test applies to your case, then there is a lot of information available online that could help in improving your IELTS band. To gain maximum benefit, always aim for a score that is over CLB9.

Read more here : Language tests for Express Entry

Our CRS Calculator and CLB Converter tools are really handy for the above conversions.

2) Change the primary applicant

If you are applying with your spouse/common-law partner then check if your partner is eligible under Express Entry and is able to score more in CRS than you. It is one of the simplest steps to achieve and could increase CRS score considerably depending on your partner’s age, education, language, work experience etc. You cannot modify the Primary applicant in an existing Express Entry Profile. You will need to create a new Express Entry profile with your partner as PA and yourself as the dependent.

3) Improve your partner’s first language scores (increase CRS score by upto 20 points)

If you have already scored the maximum in your Language tests, then check the CRS tool to see if you can increase CRS score by improving your partner’s language scores. You can increase CRS score by up to 20 points through partner’s first language scores. Check “Spouse’s or common-law partner’s official languages proficiency – first official language” section in the CRS grid.

4) Get ECA for spouse/common-law (increase CRS score by upto 10 points)

You can increase CRS score by up to 10 points by getting ECA done for your partner’s education. Check “Spouse’s or common-law partner’s level of education” section in the CRS grid.

5) Check if you can claim higher ECA equivalent

If you have a two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees you may be able to increase CRS score by claiming ECA Equivalent of “Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees.” under education section. Read more about it in the Comparison Table here:

Mid-term options : Steps that could increase CRS score in under 2-12 months

6) Apply for Provincial Nomination Program (increase CRS score by 600 points)

A nomination from one of the provinces under Express Entry Provincial Nominee Programs will increase CRS score by 600 points and in most cases will secure you an ITA in the next draw. You can initiate your process for provincial nomination before or after you create your Express Entry profile. Read all about EE PNPs in our Express Entry Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) Guide

7) Get LMIA approved Job Offer (increase CRS score by up to 200 points)

Express Entry candidates who have a job offer supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from a Canadian employer can increase CRS score by 50-200 extra points based on the NOC Skill Type of the Job.

Arranged employment under NOC 00200 points

Arranged employment under NOC 0, A or B50 points

It is important to note that a mere job offer is not enough for the points. The job offer must be supported by LMIA. Read more about it in the links below:

LMIA process

8) Learn second language (English or French) and score additional points for second language

You can increase CRS score by up to 24 points by Learning and appearing for a second language test. Check “Official languages proficiency – second official language” section in the CRS grid.

Long term options : Steps that may take over 12 months

Note that with long-term plans you will also be losing some points due to an increase in age so include that factor in your calculations.

9) Gain further education

10) Gain further work experience under NOC 0/A/B skill level.

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