The Express Entry System allows IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to create a pool of candidates eligible to Immigrate to Canada as a Permanent Resident using the 3 programs that it supports. The Comprehensive Ranking System, popularly known as the CRS, is a points-based system used to assess and score a candidate and further rank them in the Express Entry Pool. The top-ranked Express Entry candidates are then invited to apply for Permanent Residence (approximately) every two weeks.

A.  Core / human capital factors

Factors Points per factor – With a spouse or common-law partner Points per factor – Without a spouse or common-law partner
Age 100 110
Level of education 140 150
Official languages proficiency 150 160
Canadian work experience 70 80

B. Comprehensive Ranking – Spouse or common-law partner factors

Factors Points per factor
(Maximum 40 points)
Level of education 10
Official language proficiency 20
Canadian Work Experience 10

A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors = Maximum 500 points (with OR without a spouse or common-law partner)  – comprehensive ranking system

C. CRS – Skill Transferability factors (Maximum 100 points)

Education Points per factor
(Maximum 50 points)
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a post-secondary degree 50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree 50
Foreign work experience Points per factor
(Maximum 50 points)
With good/strong official languages proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark [CLB] level 7 or higher) and foreign work experience 50
With Canadian work experience and foreign work experience 50
Certificate of qualification (for people in trade occupations) Points per factor
(Maximum 50 points)
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a certificate of qualification 50

A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Transferability factors = Maximum 600 points – Comprehensive Ranking System

D. CRS – Additional points (Maximum 600 points)

Factor Maximum points per factor
Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident) 15
French language skills 50
Post-secondary education in Canada 30
Arranged employment 200
PN nomination 600

A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors + C. Transferability factors + D. Additional points = Grand total – Maximum 1,200 points

Age Points

Comprehensive Ranking System Age Points With a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 100 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 110 points)
17 years of age or less 0 0
18 years of age 90 99
19 years of age 95 105
20 to 29 years of age 100 110
30 years of age 95 105
31 years of age 90 99
32 years of age 85 94
33 years of age 80 88
34 years of age 75 83
35 years of age 70 77
36 years of age 65 72
37 years of age 60 66
38 years of age 55 61
39 years of age 50 55
40 years of age 45 50
41 years of age 35 39
42 years of age 25 28
43 years of age 15 17
44 years of age 5 6
45 years of age or more 0 0

Education Points

Comprehensive Ranking System – Level of Education With a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 140 points)
 Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 150 points)
Less than secondary school (high school) 0 0
Secondary diploma (high school graduation) 28 30
One-year degree, diploma or certificate from  a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute 84 90
Two-year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute 91 98
Bachelor’s degree OR  a three or more year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute 112 120
Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years 119 128
Master’s degree, OR professional degree needed to practice in a licensed profession (For “professional degree,” the degree program must have been in: medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, chiropractic medicine, or pharmacy.) 126 135
Doctoral level university degree (Ph.D.) 140 150

Official Language Proficiency – First Language

Comprehensive Ranking System – Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per ability With a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 128 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 136 points)
Less than CLB 4 0 0
CLB 4 or 5 6 6
CLB 6 8 9
CLB 7 16 17
CLB 8 22 23
CLB 9 29 31
CLB 10 or more 32 34

Official Language Proficiency – Second Language

Comprehensive Ranking System – Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per ability (2nd) Language Points With a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 22 points)
(2nd) Language Points Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 24 points)
CLB 4 or less 0 0
CLB 5 or 6 1 1
CLB 7 or 8 3 3
CLB 9 or more 6 6

Comprehensive Ranking System Points for Canadian Work Experience

Canadian work experience With a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 70 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 80 points)
None or less than a year 0 0
1 year 35 40
2 years 46 53
3 years 56 64
4 years 63 72
5 years or more 70 80

Comprehensive Ranking System – B. Spouse or common-law partner factors

(if applicable)

Spouse’s or common-law partner’s level of education  With a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 10 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Does not apply)
Less than secondary school (high school) 0 n/a
Secondary school (high school graduation) 2 n/a
One-year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institutes 6 n/a
Two-year program at a university, college, trade or technical in school, or other institutes 7 n/a
Bachelor’s degree OR  a three or more year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institutes 8 n/a
Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years 9 n/a
Master’s degree, or professional degree needed to practice in a licensed profession (For “professional degree”, the degree program must have been in: medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, chiropractic medicine, or pharmacy.) 10 n/a
Doctoral level university degree (PhD) 10 n/a

Note: (n/a) means that this factor does not apply in this case.

Spouse’s or common-law partner’s official languages proficiency – first official language

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per ability (reading, writing, speaking and listening ) Maximum 20 points for section
Maximum 5 points per ability
Without spouse or common-law partner
(Does not apply)
CLB 4 or less 0 n/a
CLB 5 or 6 1 n/a
CLB 7 or 8 3 n/a
CLB 9 or more 5 n/a

Note: (n/a) means that this factor does not apply in this case.

Spouse’s Canadian work experience Maximum 10 points Without spouse or common-law partner
(Does not apply)
None or less than a year 0 n/a
1 year 5 n/a
2 years 7 n/a
3 years 8 n/a
4 years 9 n/a
5 years or more 10 n/a

Note: (n/a) means that this factor does not apply in this case.

Comprehensive Ranking System Points for Canadian Work Experience

Canadian work experience With a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 70 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 80 points)
None or less than a year 0 0
1 year 35 40
2 years 46 53
3 years 56 64
4 years 63 72
5 years or more 70 80

Comprehensive Ranking System – C. Skill transferability factors

(Maximum 100 points for this section)

Education

With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher) and a post-secondary degree Points for CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, with one or more under CLB 9
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
Secondary school (high school) credential or less 0 0
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer 13 25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer 25 50
A university-level credential at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required 25 50
A university-level credential at the doctoral level 25 50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree Points for education + 1 year of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for education + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 50 points)
Secondary school (high school) credential or less 0 0
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer 13 25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer 25 50
A university-level credential at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required 25 50
A university-level credential at the doctoral level 25 50

Foreign work experience – With good official language proficiency

(Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher)

Years of experience Points for foreign work experience + CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 9
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for foreign work experience + CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
No foreign work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience 13 25
3 years or more of foreign work experience 25 50

Foreign work experience – With Canadian work experience

Years of experience Points for foreign work experience + 1 year of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for foreign work experience + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 50 points)
No foreign work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience 13 25
3 years or more of foreign work experience 25 50
Certificate of qualification (trade occupations) – With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 5 or higher) Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 5 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 7
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 7 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
With a certificate of qualification 25 50

Subtotal: A. Core / human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Skill transferability factors – Maximum 600 points

Comprehensive Ranking System – C. Skill transferability factors

(Maximum 100 points for this section)

Education

With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher) and a post-secondary degree Points for CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, with one or more under CLB 9
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
Secondary school (high school) credential or less 0 0
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer 13 25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer 25 50
A university-level credential at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required 25 50
A university-level credential at the doctoral level 25 50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree Points for education + 1 year of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for education + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 50 points)
Secondary school (high school) credential or less 0 0
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer 13 25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer 25 50
A university-level credential at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required 25 50
A university-level credential at the doctoral level 25 50

Foreign work experience – With good official language proficiency

(Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher)

Years of experience Points for foreign work experience + CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 9
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for foreign work experience + CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
No foreign work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience 13 25
3 years or more of foreign work experience 25 50

Foreign work experience – With Canadian work experience

Years of experience Points for foreign work experience + 1 year of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for foreign work experience + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 50 points)
No foreign work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience 13 25
3 years or more of foreign work experience 25 50
Certificate of qualification (trade occupations) – With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 5 or higher) Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 5 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 7
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 7 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
With a certificate of qualification 25 50

Subtotal: A. Core / human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Skill transferability factors – Maximum 600 points

Comprehensive Ranking System – D. Additional points (Maximum 600 points)

Additional points CRS Points Maximum of 600 points
Brother or sister living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada 15
Scored NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills and scored CLB 4 or lower in English (or didn’t take an English test) 25
Scored NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills and scored CLB 5 or higher on all four English skills 50
Post-secondary education in Canada – credential of one or two years 15
Post-secondary education in Canada – credential three years or longer 30
Arranged employment – NOC 00 200
Arranged employment – any other NOC 0, A or B 50
Provincial or territorial nomination 600

Subtotal: D. Additional points – Maximum 600 points

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PLEASE NOTE: This document was last updated on December 29, 2020, if you are visiting this page a long time after this date then it makes sense to visit the link above for the most recent information on points.

How is my profile ranked?

The points you get from the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) include a core set of points up to 600 and a set of additional points of up to 600. You are scored out of 1,200.

The core set of points: Up to 600 points

  1. Skills and experience factors
  2. Spouse or common-law partner factors, such as their language skills and education
  3. Skills transferability, including education and work experience

Additional: Up to 600 points

  1. Canadian degrees, diplomas, or certificates
  2. a valid job offer
  3. a nomination from a province or territory
  4. a brother or sister living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident
  5. strong French language skills

Core points + Additional points = your total score

What are my options if I have a low CRS Score

If you are an applicant based within Canada (and having Canadian work Experience) there are multiple ways you can increase your score

  1. Job Offer (LMIA Based of LMIA Exempt)
  2. Working for an additional year in Canada 
  3. Provincial Nomination
  4. Sibling in Canada

If you are outside Canada and have no Canadian work Experience the options do get limited

  1. The most ideal profile would be when you or your spouse or both (if applying as a married applicant) have 
    • At least a Masters or a Dual Degree Equivalence (many professional degrees like CA, ICWA, BA/LL.B, etc. are given dual degree equivalence
    • Less than 30 years of age
    • At least 3 years of work experience 
    • IELTS GENERAL or CELPIP GENERAL of CLB 9 or CLB 10
  2. If the IELTS score is not up to the mark and you have reasonably done well in all other areas, then your focus should be on getting the IELTS scores right.
  3. A provincial nomination may be an option in some cases but it is important to check each province and its past nominations to get a sense of what is going on and what might be realistically possible. For example,  when this article is being written, OINP regularly nominates 1111 – Accountant and Auditors having a CRS Score between 458-465. It is important to note that both these factors have to be met in order to get a notification from OINP. If you are having experience in NOC 1111 but your CRS is 440 or say even 450, you should not base all your hopes on OINP and see if there are other options.
  4. If nothing works then education may be another pathway to look at, provided the real intention is to study something and not just use it as a back-door entry into Canada.