How to improve your CRS score for Express Entry

How to improve your CRS score for Express Entry

Do you want to know how to improve your CRS score for Express Entry? Enhancing your CRS score involves a strategic approach, combining several factors to maximize your potential. Start by focusing on your educational credentials, ensuring all your qualifications are properly assessed and claimed. Improve your language proficiency in both English and French, as higher scores can significantly boost your CRS points. Gain additional work experience, especially within Canada, and consider obtaining a job offer from a Canadian employer. Additionally, explore Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for substantial point increases. Each of these steps requires careful planning and execution, but with the right strategy, you can significantly improve your CRS score and increase your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada.

Immediate Ways to Improve Your CRS Score for Express Entry


Make sure you submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) or a Canadian credential when entering the pool. If you do not provide this, you might be forfeiting up to 200 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. Education alone can contribute 150 points, and an additional 50 points can be gained in conjunction with Canadian work experience or language proficiency.

It’s important to include all your eligible educational qualifications in your Express Entry profile. Even if you completed a one-year diploma several years ago that’s unrelated to your current job, it still counts. Including this on your profile and obtaining an ECA (unless it was completed in Canada) can significantly boost your CRS score. Points are awarded for education irrespective of the field of study or its relevance to your current occupation.

Second Language Proficiency

Both English and French proficiency can earn you points under the CRS. If you’re proficient in both languages, it’s beneficial to take approved language tests in both. Achieving a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 in French, in addition to CLB level 7 in English, can add 50 points to your CRS score.

Moreover, with the advent of category-based Express Entry draws, French speakers can benefit from lower CRS cut-offs. For example, French-language proficiency draws have had cut-offs as low as 375 in 2023, compared to 481 for all-program draws. Additionally, certain Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams are exclusively available to French speakers. If you’re competent in both languages, don’t miss this opportunity.

Retake Your Language Test

Language proficiency can earn you up to 260 CRS points as an individual, or 270 points for a couple. Incremental improvements in your language test scores can significantly boost your CRS score. Achieving a CLB level of 9 in all language abilities (speaking, listening, reading, writing) triggers a substantial increase in points under the skills transferability factors.

For the IELTS General Training exam, you need at least:

  • Listening: 8.0
  • Speaking: 7.0
  • Reading: 7.0
  • Writing: 7.0

For the CELPIP General exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 9 in each ability.

Even if you’ve already achieved CLB level 9, retaking the test to aim for CLB level 10 can earn you up to 8 additional CRS points, potentially pushing your score over the cut-off.

Long-Term Strategies to Improve Your CRS Score for Express Entry

Gain More Work Experience

If you have less than three years of full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience outside Canada, continue working to accumulate more experience. This not only increases points under human capital factors but also under skills transferability combinations.

For those working in Canada on a work permit, additional points are awarded for Canadian work experience. Ensure that your employment status remains legal throughout. Your CRS score will automatically update when you reach new thresholds of work experience.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Provincial Nominee Programs can provide a significant boost to your CRS score—up to 600 points. Provinces are increasingly leveraging their Express Entry-aligned PNP streams to welcome newcomers.

Recent trends have seen provinces targeting specific occupation groups, such as Information Technology (IT) in Ontario, or opening streams for various occupations in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan without requiring a job offer. British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba have also introduced new Express Entry-aligned streams. Keeping abreast of these developments and preparing accordingly can be crucial. Visit our Provincial Nominee Program section and use our PNP Live Tracker for updates.

Complete Another Educational Program

Pursuing further education is a long-term strategy but can significantly enhance your CRS score. Education is a key component of the skill transferability factors, which can contribute up to 100 points.

To maximize points, aim to complete two or more post-secondary credentials, with at least one being a three-year program. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, completing an additional one-year program can improve your skill transferability points. Though it requires time, it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re committed to immigrating to Canada.

 Secure a Canadian Job Offer

A valid job offer can still be valuable for your CRS score, even though its impact has been reduced from 600 to 50 points in most cases. Obtaining a job offer, especially from outside Canada, can be challenging but is possible through diligent effort and strategic job hunting. You can earn 200 points for NOC 00 and 50 points for NOC A,B or O.

Open a Business in Canada

One pathway to securing your status in Canada is by opening a business or buying an existing business and applying for a C11 work permit. This route also allows your spouse to obtain an open work permit, providing them with the opportunity to work in Canada. By doing so, your spouse, as the main applicant for the express entry program, can accumulate additional points by gaining more Canadian work experience, thereby enhancing your overall CRS score.

Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit

If you already own a business outside of Canada, another viable option is to apply for an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit. This permit allows you to transfer to a Canadian branch or affiliate of your business. If you do not have a business in Canada, you can register and open the company in Canada. Your spouse, as the main applicant, can simultaneously obtain an open spousal work permit, enabling them to gain valuable work experience in Canada.

Alternatively, you can take a different approach by hiring your spouse as a Senior Manager under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 00 through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application. This strategy can significantly boost your CRS score by accumulating an additional 200 points, thanks to the high-value role your spouse would fulfill within the Canadian business landscape.

Both pathways not only enhance your chances of obtaining permanent residency but also contribute positively to your professional and personal growth in Canada.

How can Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm help?

Improving your CRS score is a multifaceted process involving education, language proficiency, work experience, and strategic use of Provincial Nominee Programs. By leveraging these methods, you can significantly enhance your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada. At Akrami & Associates, we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process, ensuring that you maximize your CRS score and successfully navigate the Express Entry system. Remember, There is Always a Way!

Contact us today!


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