IMMPROVED 5 Tips for Improving Your CRS Score for Express Entry

5 Tips for Improving Your CRS Score for Express Entry

Getting Canadian permanent residency is a long process for most applicants. Beyond the paperwork and documents to submit, many people find it challenging to meet some requirements set by the Canadian government. One of these is getting a competitive CRS score. If you’re struggling with this aspect of your application, here are tips you can try out.

Re-Take Your Language Tests

One of the easiest ways to get a better CRS score is by achieving a higher language test score. Candidates’ language abilities are worth up to 260 points—it goes up to 270 if they are applying with a spouse. Though this is not the most crucial factor in the Express Entry system, it can help boost your overall score. 

Even a slight improvement of 0.5 points under any of the four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading and writing) can help a candidate reach Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 9, which means an increase under the skills transferability factor.

If your goal is to reach CLB 9 on the IELTS General Training examination, you need to achieve at least an 8.0 in the Listening portion of the test and a 7.0 for the other three types. If you’re taking the CELPIP General Test, you need to achieve a minimum score of at least 9 in each ability. Consult a Canada immigration expert on how you can better prepare for these tests. 

Gain Work Experience

If you have less than three years of full-time work (or its part-time equivalent), you need to gain more experience. Although your total work experience won’t be counted towards your score under human capital factors, it can help you earn points in skills transferability.

If you’re currently in Canada on a work visa, it is all the more critical to remain employed. Working for a Canadian company earns you points under the work experience category, provided you can maintain a legalized work status. 

Explore Provincial Nominee Programs

If you become a provincial nominee, you can get as much as 600 points. Now that most major cities are becoming densely populated, IRCC encourages applicants to pursue the PNP stream. Provinces are also looking at the Express Entry pool and choose candidates that can help their economic development.

Different provinces have different preferences. For example, Ontario targets professionals in the IT sector, and Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia are looking for individuals for a broader range of occupations. British Columbia has a unique system, while Manitoba and Alberta have programs aligned with Express Entry. Immigration advisors will know the specifics of each Provincial Nominee Program—talk to one to know the best channel for you.

Complete a Post-Secondary Program

If you have the time, gaining more education is a solid long-term strategy for increasing your CRS score. An additional degree boosts your points in two categories—education and skills transferability. If you want to maximize the 100 points you can get under skills transferability, you need at least two post-secondary educational credentials, one of which should be for a program lasting three years or longer.

Consider Spouse or Partner Factors

People immigrating to Canada with a common-law partner or a spouse could claim a maximum of 20 points based on their partner’s language ability. Their education level and work experience in Canada can get an additional 10 points each, meaning 40 additional points for your application. Speak with a Canada immigration expert to determine whether your spouse should have a separate Express Entry application or if only one of you should submit it.


Many people choose to immigrate to Canada, and understandably so. Canadians enjoy strong healthcare and justice systems, high-quality education, and a good standard of living. It can be challenging to get a Canadian permanent residency, but most people will achieve it with ample preparation and guidance.

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