How to Increase the CRS Score in the Comprehensive Ranking System?

Express Entry is the fastest way to immigrate to Canada and become a permanent resident of the country. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is the backbone of the Express Entry application management system.
What is CRS
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points-based system that is used to assess and award a score to a candidate’s Express Entry (EE) profile in order to rank the candidate in comparison to other applicants in the Express Entry pool. The CRS score is based on the information provided in the candidate’s EE profile.
It is based on the candidate’s work experience, skills, education, language ability, and other “human capital” factors that are indicative of potential success in Canada. The maximum total CRS score is 1,200 points. The score is the primary determinant is a candidates likelihood of success through the Express Entry system.
Please note that the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is different from the 100-points system that is used for the pre-selection of candidates for the Federal Skilled Workers program. Candidates must score 67 points or higher to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program and move to its next stage. The score is based on six selection factors.

Do you qualify for Express Entry to Canada?

The Express Entry system is the most suitable pathway for skilled immigrants. It uses the Comprehensive Ranking System to award a score to a candidate’s profile in order to rank the candidate in comparison to other applicants in the Express Entry pool.
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How does CRS work?

The CRS score consists of four buckets that are described below. The score for each bucket is subject to a maximum score. The bucket scores are added together in the end to obtain the final CRS score. The four buckets are:

  • Core (of Human Capital) Factors Bucket: This bucket has a maximum score of 460 (if you apply with a partner) or 500 (if you apply without a partner), which are based on factors that predict an immigrant’s economic success in Canada (such as work experience; age, education, language skills);
  • Spouse Factors Bucket: If an applicant includes a spouse or common-law partner in his or her Express Entry profile then various spousal skill factors (such as age, education, etc.) are considered. This bucket has maximum of 40 points. If the spouse or common-law partner is not included in the profile then these 40 points become part of the applicant's skill factor score;
  • Skill Transferability Factors Bucket: This bucket has a maximum of 100 points. It involves transferability of skills that amplify the core set; and
  • Other Factors Bucket: This bucket has a maximum of 600 points. Note that the maximum possible 600 points are automatically awarded to PNP nominees in this bucket. As a result, in most cases PNP nominees immediately move to the top of the CRS ranking. For candidates who are not PNP nominees, other factors that evaluate the candidates connection to Canada are used to award points.
Distribution of CRS scores in the Express Entry pool. For more information, please visit the IRCC website.

app list

The table below provides the detailed breakdown of the factors that are used to award CRS points. It is divided into the four buckets described above. Note that you may be confused by the maximum number of points in the core set (is it 460 or 500?). If you apply with a spouse, 40 points are based on the evaluation of the spouse and 460 points are based on your profile. But if you apply without a spouse those 40 points are included with your core set and all 500 points are awarded based on your profile.

Summary of maximum points per factor



Applying with a spouse or a common-law partner

Applying without spouse or common-law partner

Human capital factors



  • Age



  • Level of Education



  • Proficiency in English or French



  • Canadian work experience



Spouse or common-law partner factors, if applying with them


  • Spouse’s or partner’s level of education


  • Spouse’s or partner’s language proficiency in English or French


  • Spouse’s or partner’s Canadian work experience


Skill Transferability factors


  • With good/strong official languages proficiency and a post-secondary degree


  • With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree


  • With good/strong official languages proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark [CLB] level 7 or higher) and foreign work experience


  • With Canadian work experience and foreign work experience


Certificate of qualification (for persons in trade occupations)
  • With good or strong official languages proficiency and a certificate of qualification


Additional points


  • Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)


  • French language skills


  • Post-secondary education in Canada


  • A valid job offer


  • Provincial nomination under PNP. Candidates who have a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which is usually sufficient to trigger an invitation to apply (ITA) at the next round of invitations.




To learn more, please see the detailed Comprehensive Ranking System criteria.
How to maximize your CRS score

The CRS score is not static; an applicant can improve it by providing more information or updating previously provided information in his or her profile. Candidates should take steps to improve their CRS score and thereby increase their chance of being selected for the next stage. Here are some tips on how you can improve your score (contact our team to learn more):

  1. Get a valid job offer in Canada.
  2. Apply for a Provincial Nominee Program and try to get a provincial nomination.
  3. Take or retake your language test to get the maximum score on this factor.
  4. Learn a second official language of Canada (either English or French).
  5. Gain more relevant work experience.
  6. Wisely select the principal applicant if you apply with your spouse or common-law partner.
  7. Try to improve your level of education, or obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for your foreign degree.

Contact us, and our team of professionals will assess your credentials. We will provide you a realistic assessment of your chances of success and assist you in creating the best pathway for immigrating to Canada. We will explain how to avoid the pitfalls and improve your credentials in order to get the highest possible CRS score which will increase your chance of getting a permanent resident status in Canada.