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5 ways to increase your CRS score in Express Entry

Canada's Express Entry immigration system is known for its fast processing times and for being highly competitive. While many are able to create an Express Entry profile and obtain a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, the number of applicants who are invited to apply (ITA) for permanent residency is still limited.

Many applicants create their own Express Entry profile and wait for the ITA to be issued, we believe that this is the wrong approach! We believe that applicants should be actively trying to increase their CRS points in order to be selected in the next round of invitations.

How do I increase my CRS score?

This is one of the most common questions we receive for our Express Entry applicants! Increasing your CRS score is the first question you should ask yourself if your application is not selected for an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency.

There are many ways to increase your CRS score, here are 5 of our top suggestions:

1. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP):

A provincial nomination will increase your CRS score by an additional 600 points. Usually, you will require a job offer or previous studies in the province in order to obtain a provincial nomination. However, there are some programs that open to all Express Entry candidates who fit the occupation needs of the province. These are usually called "express entry streams" and some of them are first come first serve! Therefore, you should also be informed about each PNP and be ready to apply for them when they open.

2. Retake the IELTS or TEF language tests for bonus points

Retaking the IELTS or TEF language test is usually not a first choice for applicants as the language tests are costly and it is not guaranteed that the results will be higher. However, if you are able to get one score at level CLB 9, you may obtain up to 25 bonus CRS points.

We also strongly suggest those who can learn french or speak a bit of french to take the TEF language test as there are bonus points awarded for French abilities as a second language.

3. Change the principal applicant

Your spouse may be a stronger candidate than you! This is often overlooked, but many factors including level of education, work experience, age and language proficiency will determine which spouse is the stronger candidate and thus, should be the main applicant. You should also notice that your spouse may be eligible for a PNP while your occupation isn't, therefore a change of principal applicant could increase your chances in obtaining a PNP.

4. Job offer in Canada

Obtaining a job offer in Canada may seem like an impossible task, but it is definitely worth the consideration. There are industries in Canada that lack workers and are hiring foreign nationals with the relevant experience. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program was created because of the shortage of labor in the Atlantic provinces. We would suggest you target your job search in the Atlantic provinces and contact employers in your field. A job offer in Canada can increase your CRS score by up to 50 points and open the door to Provincial Nominee Programs.

5. Study in Canada

Studying in Canada is an excellent path to obtaining Canadian Permanent Residency as you will gain bonus points for your studies in Canada. You may also be eligible for a post-graduate work permit after your studies in Canada, which will allow you to work and claim points for work experience in Canada.


It may be simple to submit an Express Entry application but receiving an Invitation to Apply is not always guaranteed. In some cases, it is simply a matter of presenting your Express Entry application in the most favorable way in order to claim as many points as possible for your qualifications.


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