The CRS points breakdown is a useful resource to have when planning to join Canadian immigration programs. Your human capital factors, the transferability of your skills, as well as some additional factors all play a role in how many CRS points you will get. However, when preparing to join an immigration pathway, it is always useful to be able to compare your CRS score (as presented in the CRS calculator) to the CRS point breakdown sheet and to know what areas you should focus on to get more points. 

And while some may need a new Certificate of qualification, others may need to enroll in an additional post-secondary program. While some may need more foreign work experience, others may need to increase their official language proficiency (either English or French). This being said, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ type of solution and every case should be seen separately. With this in mind, let’s see what you can do to increase your CRS score. 

What Is Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score?

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score is a scoring system that has been devised by the Canadian government. The score represents a unique way to grade or score all the achievements of each applicant in the Express Entry pool of candidates. The candidates are then ranked according to how many CRS points they got and the ITAs are sent to the highest-ranking candidates. 

When it comes to the CRS score, it makes the job of comparing thousands of applications much easier – making the process more streamlined and Express Entry so – ‘express’. This unique approach also lets you assume how well you would be ranked, and, coupled with a CRS score breakdown, it shows your weaknesses and potential pitfalls on your way to immigrating to Canada. CRS scores are used for the following Express Entry programs: 

  • Federal Skilled Worker – the FSW program
  • Federal Skilled Trades – the FST program
  • Canadian Experience Class – the CEC program
  • Provincial Nominee Programs – the PNP programs – although not technically a part of the Express Entry, these programs draw from the Express Entry pool of candidates and have their own CRS score thresholds. 

How To Increase CRS Score?

So, let’s assume that the CRS score calculator is showing some 480 points for your current application. This may or may not be enough to enter the pool of candidates who receive their Invitation to Apply. At the same time, this is a good signal for you that you may need to improve some areas of your application. Education, work experience and even language skills are areas that are relatively easy to improve, so you should probably check those first. Check if you have a sibling in Canada and also start networking on LinkedIn and other similar platforms to potentially get a job offer. Give it your best, as one to two months of hard work can really give good results. 

How To Increase CRS Score Through Provincial Nominee Program?

When speaking of a Provincial Nominee Program, it is useful to know that joining the Express Entry pool will immediately put you in a good position to be elected for one of the PNP programs. In fact, in 2022, almost half of the draws were made specifically to find candidates for the PNP programs. 

PNPs generally do not require a very high number of CRS points, but there is always a minimum that should be respected – 300 to 400 points. When it comes to actually being drawn for one of these programs, it is important to note that getting a PNP status almost certainly means getting an ITA – as a Provincial Nominee status brings an additional 600 points to your application. 

Required CRS Score for PNPs

As we have said already, most PNP programs have lower threshold CRS scores to enter, but they reward a lot more points. So, while the average CRS points needed for the ITA to arrive through the three traditional immigration pathways fluctuate with a generally upward trend and are in the range of 460-550+, the PNP will consider you even if you have 400 or less. Alberta, for example, will require a CRS score of 300 at minimum, which is something most people can get. If you get a PNP status, you are expected to settle in the province that has elected you. 

Applying With a Spouse: Can You Get Extra Score?

If applying with a spouse or common-law partner, you can receive up to an additional 40 points. When it comes to these points, it is important to note that a single applicant may score more in the human capital factors than a couple, and the difference is – 40 points. So, highly educated individuals, with good CRS scores can get very high points by applying alone. Applying with a spouse is good for all other people. 

Check Out How to Compute Your CRS Score

CRS Points Breakdown

The CRS score breakdown is a useful tool to have, as it can help you pinpoint all the areas that you can work on on your way to permanent residency and maybe even Canadian citizenship. For example, a secondary diploma may have worked well till now, but you can see that a post-secondary degree will bring in more points. Beware that this is an area that you should invest your time and efforts in only if this is a deficient profession in Canada – otherwise, why get an education in a field you may not use at all?

Let’s now go and consider how each of the factors considered in the Express Entry application has a say in how many points you receive. Remember that you can only work on some of these – age for example, is impossible to rewind, but there are also things that are easy to work on. 


When it comes to age, it is clear that there is not much that you can do to improve your standing. In fact, age is as fixed to the calendar as it gets. However, when applying, it is useful to know that you submit your age at the moment of application. Even if you have a birthday just days later, you enter the age at the moment of application. The most preferred age group for Canadian immigration is 20-29, while those 17 and younger, as well as 45 and older get 0 points on their age application category. 

AgeApplying with a SpouseSole Applicant

Level of Education

For your education, you can receive up to 150 points. It is necessary to understand that the higher the degree you hold, the more points you will get and that you always pay attention to the highest degree you hold. This is only not true when you have two or more degrees from different degree program options at your local college or University or from different educational institutions. When looking to increase your CRS score, this is a good starting point. 

Considering that many countries have different educational standards and that the school lasts for a different time, it may be necessary to get an Educational Credential Assessment or ECA for short, as many candidates who get this assessment get a higher score on their level of education category. 

Existing EducationApplying with a spouseSole Applicant
Primary or Middle School Diploma00
High School Diploma2830
One Year of College or University Training8490
Two Years of College or University Training9198
Bachelor’s Degree or Three Years of College or University Training112120
Two or More Degrees/Diplomas or Certificates119128
Masters Degree126135
Ph.D. Degree140150

First Language Abilities

As there are separate categories for the first and second languages, it is useful to know that there are two official languages in Canada: English and French. The Canadian Province of Quebec, for example, speaks French, while the majority of other provinces speak English as the predominant language. The ratio is similar to the applicants themselves: the majority of Canadian visa applications are carried out in English, while only some speak French.

It is useful to note that the points outlined below are PER language ability. Language abilities that are tested include listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Here is a table that shows how many points you will get for each language ability according to the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) scale during your visa application: 

CLB Band ScoreApplying with a Spouse 
(Maximum points PER ability: listening, reading, speaking and writing)
Sole Applicant (Maximum points PER ability: listening, reading, speaking and writing)
CLB 4 or 566
CLB 689
CLB 71617
CLB 82223
CLB 92931
CLB 10+3234
Total Maximum Points Awarded128136

Second Language Abilities

Whatever your first language result was, you could also learn another language. So, even if you know English, French could be useful, as it could bring you up to 24 points on your application. When it comes to having French as the first language (for those looking to move to Quebec for an economic immigration program), the same goes for English. The table below outlines the points you can get PER language ability (as explained above): 

CLB Band ScoreApplying with a SpouseSole Applicant
CLB 4 or less00
CLB 5 or 611
CLB 7 or 833
CLB 9+66

Spouse’s Official Language Abilities

When it comes to your spouse’s official language abilities, you can have a look at the tables above. They all include points you can get within each category with or without a spouse. Again, Canadian immigration options say that you can immigrate with your spouse, but using the tables above, you can also decide to immigrate alone and then use family sponsorship to bring your spouse to Canada later on. Common-law partner points also showcase these trends. 

CLB Band ScoreApplying with a Spouse
CLB 4 or less0
CLB 5 or 61
CLB 7 or 83
CLB 9+5

Canadian Work Experience

All who have some Canadian work experience qualify for the CEC – Canadian Experience Class program. This program has been designed to ease the immigration of those who have worked in Canada at a point before the application. Please beware that only legal work, full-time and paid is taken into consideration. If you have worked part-time, please beware that you have to calculate your part-time hours into full-time hours. Full-time contracts are a minimum of 30 hours a week. 

Work Experience in CanadaApplying with a SpouseSole Applicant
Less than 1 Year00
1 Year3540
2 Years4653
3 Years5664
4 Years6372
5 Years +7080

Factors of Skill Transferability

When it comes to the transferability factors or skills transferability factors, it is important to note that the ability of CLB testing and the band score is really important. This is why we always advise that you work on your language skills before and during the application for a Canadian visa: not only do you get additional language points, but more points in the transferability factors. Language scores can be obtained in both English language and French language and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada lets you choose both your primary and secondary language. In addition to this, work experience can bring in more points, both inside and outside of Canada. 

For Education

When it comes to education and Canadian work experience, it is useful to know that they can be combined. In reality, as Canada is moving towards a knowledge-based economy, it is very easy to see why the education part is really important. In addition to this, having Canadian work experience can also be important, as it shows that you can already find your way in a Canadian work experience. This is a very important factor to consider, as different countries may have different laws, work and corporate culture and the employees may have different rights. For this reason, it is important to have at least some Canadian experience, while 2 years of it can easily bring you maximum points with any level of education. 

Level of EducationNo Canadian Work Experience1 Year of Canadian Work Experience2 Years of Canadian Work Experience and More
Primary or Middle School Education Equivalent000
Post-Secondary Education 1 Year01325
Post-Secondary Education – Multiple Certificates/Diplomas/Degrees – 1 Has to be at least 3 years long02550
Masters’ Degree02550

 Besides the level of education and years of Canadian work experience, skilled worker candidates should also possess higher language abilities. A foreign worker is expected to know an official language – French or English, by their choice – and to know it well. The CLB results lower than 7 are not accepted except for the FST – Federal Skilled Trades) and having 9 or a higher result will mean you get the maximum 7 points. 

Level of EducationCLB lower than 7 (except for the FST program)CLB 7-9CLB 9+ on all four language skills
Primary or Middle School Education Equivalent000
Post-Secondary Education 1 Year01325
Post-Secondary Education – Multiple Certificates/Diplomas/Degrees – 1 Has to be at least 3 years long02550
Masters’ Degree02550

For Non-Canadian Work Experience

Immigration candidates with non-Canadian work experience can also benefit from this experience. As the Canadian labour market is diversified, skilled occupation factors are joined in with language test results. The eligible candidates with CLB test scores and 1-2 years of non-Canadian work experience will have 13 additional points and 25 with three or more years. If you have CLB 9 test results or higher, and 1-2 years of non-Canadian work experience, you can get 25 additional CRS points, and up to 50 for three or more years of non-Canadian experience. 

Non-Canadian Work ExperienceCLB lower than 7 (except for the FST program)CLB 7-9CLB 9+ on all four language skills
1-2 Years of Non-Canadian Work Experience01325
3+ Years of Non-Canadian Work Experience02550

 In addition to this, the immigration authorities can also combine your Canadian and non-Canadian work experience which can also help boost your CRS score. Here, you can receive up to 50 additional points for simply having 5+ years of experience – 2 in Canada and 3 abroad, minimum in both cases. This comes as a logical move to make, as having Canadian work experience makes you accustomed to the way business and work are conducted in Canada. 

Non-Canadian Work ExperienceNo Canadian Work Experience1 Year of Canadian Work Experience2 Years of Canadian Work Experience
1-2 Years of Non-Canadian Work Experience01325
3+ Years of Non-Canadian Work Experience02550

Trade and Language Ability

If you have a Certificate of Trade Qualification issued by a Canadian province, you can combine this certificate with your language ability factors for additional points. As Canadian society needs people in all deficient trades, you can check them out and use the tie you are in Canada to seek a Certificate of Trade Qualification for later use. With good language points, you can receive up to 50 additional points here alone. 

Certificate of Trade QualificationCLB Lower than 5CLB 5-7CLB 7+
Owning a Certificate of Trade Qualification by a Canadian Province02550

Other Factors for CRS Points

The group of additional factors that can be used to receive more points is also another way to score some more points. While the siblings’ category is probably the least probable to use, it can also bring in an additional 15 points, which is considerably low considering the maximum of 600 points that you can receive in this category. Getting a PNP status brings in the maximum, but is difficult to get. The best way to handle this is to network in search of a valid job offer, which can be both LMIA or LMIA-exempt and to seek to improve your skills so that your profile is more attractive to potential PNP programs. 

When it comes to the LMIA, this is a duel process in which the employer and you start your own parts of the immigration process. LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment and some job offers may need it. The only way to get LMIA-exempt is to go through some additional immigration pathways, secure a job offer and increase your chances of being placed above the cut-off score at the next Express Entry draw. NAFTA, intra-company transfers, Provincial or Territorial, issued work permits and other projects which may significantly benefit Canada. 

Additional FactorsCRS Points Awarded
Having a Provincial Nominee Status600
Job Offer in the “Major Group 00” NOC classification200
Qualifying Job Offer in TEER NOC Category 0, 1, 2, 350
1-2 Years of Education in Canada (Completed Program)15
3 or More Years of Education in Canada (Completed Program or MA or Ready for Ph.D. Studied in Canada)30
French Ability CLB 7 (or more) and English Ability CLB 4 (or less)25
French Ability CLB 7 (or more) and English Ability CLB 5 (or more)50
Having a sibling in Canada through marriage, common-law partnership, blood or adoption. Total points, NOT per sibling; sibling can be principal applicant’s or spouse’s15

How To Improve CRS Score?

However, noting that only the highest-ranked candidates actually get elected, it is always very useful to seek ways to get more CRS points. With the Express Entry program, the immigration authorities let you revise your application multiple times before you get your ITA, and your application will stay in the system for up to a year. This is enough to work on your English skills (for French-speaking candidates) and vice versa. It is also enough to get a one-year diploma with a program that is full-time study. In fact, there are multiple ways to get more CRS points: 

  • improving your work experience 
  • getting a valid job offer from a Canadian employer 
  • improving your first and second language skills 
  • getting more education
  • finishing a course of study
  • developing your relationship with your partner, common-law partner or even getting married
  • looking into Provincial Nominee programs 
  • seeking professional help, as the entire process may still be confusing to some
canadian immigration score


When it comes to your work experience and improving it, it is useful to know that any kind of work experience, for as long as it is legal, paid, and full-time is acceptable. If you are starting on your application journey, you should consider that having more years of work experience will bring both more work-related work experience but also more points in the skill transferability factors. This is more than a good reason to ask your employer to help you out by giving you a full-time contract or seeking a job in the first place. If you have a job already, keep working until possible. 

Job Offer

A valid job offer for Express Entry has to meet certain criteria. First of all, it has to be at least a year long. It also has to be non-seasonal and has to be full-time. Thirdly, it has to be listed in the TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3. In addition to this, ideally, the employer will have obtained the LMIA assessment and will have proven that that work position cannot be filled by anyone from the existing potential employees in Canada, be they permanent residents or citizens. 

When looking for a way to increase your CRS scores, you should be looking for a job position like this. Needless to say, this is not an easy task, but an immigration expert can help you find one, or you could join JobBank Canada and LinkedIn and start looking for one by yourself. In many cases, you will be able to find a job, for as long as you are ready to explore options below your work position in your domestic country. Remember that your work experience and education may not be as valuable and as valued in Canada and that you may often have to start in a lower position and then work your way up. 


When it comes to language, both you and your common-law partner or spouse should work on your language skills for the duration of the application process. In fact, if your language skills can be worked on, you should be able to find a fast language course or an intensive language course to further boost your chances of getting into Canada. As this is easier said than done, arm yourself with patience and study at least an hour at home for every hour you spend in school. Learning a second language can also be beneficial, but be prepared that this may take a longer time and cannot be realized as fast as improving your skills in a language you already know. 


When it comes to your education, you can work on this in multiple ways.  Canada cherishes highly educated individuals, so you should be seeking ways to improve your skillset or your knowledge. For example, you may want to renew your food safety certification or handle dangerous situations (such as a fire outbreak) even if you work in a restaurant as a waiter. This may not always help with your application but is sure to be appreciated once you are in Canada. 

When it comes to more formal education, knowing that getting an MA, for example, takes only a year can also be of help, as during this year, you can get more points in both the education field and up to 25 additional points in the skills transferability factors. This way, you will be able to be more competitive in the points-based system and boost your chances of getting elected to the program. 


When it comes to your studies, you should keep working on your education. However, you can also seek a Canadian study experience, which can be as short as a one or two-year program. This way, you can work on your English and French language proficiency and get to know Canada better. Even though this may not work for all, you can even gain additional work experience during your studies, by either seeking employment through your study permit or through seeking a separate work permit. 


Getting married at any cost for the sake of reaching additional points on your application can be very counterproductive. Canada does recognize same-sex marriages and a lot more, but it does not support polygamous marriages or marriages arranged where both partners are not physically present during the ceremony. Keep in mind that you do not have to be married – a common-law partner is just as valuable as a spouse. When it comes to the actual points that you can get, you will need to have spent at least a full year in marriage to be able to get a chance at for the points to be added to your application. 

Provincial Nominee Programs

Provincial Nominee Programs are another way to gain more CRS points. The criteria for Nominee Programs differ from one province to the next and from one territory to the next. For this reason, you may need to look into more PNP programs and then work on your skills so that your Express Entry profile is more attractive to provinces. You will need to follow the news on PNP programs and stay informed on what it is that the labour market is looking for. 

Help from Others

As the entire application process can be quite complex, it is necessary to understand that you can seek help from others. When it comes to these programs, it is necessary to understand that you can easily find professional help in the form of immigration specialists or immigration consultants. This being said, your foreign work experience points, educational credentials and all other documents that you deem important can be revised by a professional who can give you further advice on what areas of your professional and personal life you can work on to maximize your chances of getting elected. 

When it comes to these professionals, they should all be certified, and you should be able to find the real deal. There are a lot of comments out there who promise a lot in exchange for your money, often delivering nothing more than false reassurance. There is no way that anyone can promise a 100% success rate or any kind of results. They can only help boost your chances of getting elected and, although they do charge for their services, it is necessary to find a transparent pricing scheme and online reviews before establishing a connection to any of them. 


Is 485 a Good CRS Score?

The minimum draw SRS score changes with every draw, so it can be difficult to estimate how well your CRS score ranks among many others. However, based on the past data, we can say that 485 should be around the minimum acceptable level, but beware that this changes with every draw. Namely, the minimum ranges between 475 and 490, so at times, 485 may just not be enough. 

How Do I Qualify for PNP in Canada?

There are several steps to make sure you qualify for a PNP in Canada (there are no ways to guarantee you actually pass and get an Invitation to Apply. Namely, you should first find a program under which you would like to immigrate. Once this is done, you need to check all the eligibility requirements and see what can be done to ensure that you stand out in the pool of candidates. 

Is PNP Better or Express Entry?

PNP and Express Entry work hand in hand. Sometimes, PNP programs will draw from a pool of Express Entry candidates to find those that would work for them. On the other hand, if you get a PNP status, this will immediately add around 600 CRS points to your Express Entry, boosting your profile and ensuring that you get an Invitation to Apply. 

What is the CRS Score for Canada 2021?

In 2021, all the expectations were that 470 points would be needed to get past the threshold and to get an ITA – Invitation to Apply. In general, the minimum CRS scores fluctuated between 75 and 813. If you’re not sure about whether you could qualify, you should consider applying and hoping for the best – your application will remain in the system for a full year. 

Final Thoughts

The CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) is a grading and ranking system devised by the Canadian government. This system allows for faster application processing time and is likely one of the best systems implemented in Canadian immigration. Knowing this system is not too difficult, but using it to your advantage can be. For this reason, use our CRS breakdown to understand what areas of your professional and academic life you can work on to get as many CRS points as possible and boost your chances of getting your ITA.