Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Explained

In 2015, Canada introduced the new Express Entry system for processing applications to most federal economic immigration programs.


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Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection system uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank and choose individuals who are eligible to immigrate to Canada under three federal economic immigration programs.

When Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) performs an Express Entry draw from this pool of candidates, the top-ranked candidates receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

These draws occur regularly, approximately once every two weeks. The Comprehensive Ranking System may be a dynamic, competitive system — the more points you accumulate, the more likely it is for you to be invited to apply.

Before being assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System score, individuals must first be eligible under one among the subsequent programs:

  • Federal skilled worker Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • Canadian Experience Class

Candidates within the pool are assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System score out of 1,200.

For single applicants without a spouse or common-law partner, there are:

  • Up to 500 points available for core human capital factors, including age, level of education, language ability, and Canadian work experience;
  • Up to 100 points available for skill transferability factors; and
  • Up to 600 points available for extra factors (including a provincial nomination, a legitimate job offer, Canadian study experience, a sibling in Canada, and/or French language ability).

For candidates with an accompanying spouse or common-law partner, there are:

  • Up to 460 points available for core human capital factors of the principal applicant;
  • Up to 40 points for the core human capital factors of the spouse or common-law partner;
  • Up to 100 points available for skill transferability factors; and
  • Up to 600 points available for extra factors.

Under the 2020-2022 Canada Immigration Levels Plan, the amount of latest permanent residents admitted through Express Entry over the approaching years is set to extend.

Comprehensive Ranking System points factors

Human Capital Factors

  • Age
  • Education Level
  • First language ability
  • Second language ability
  • Canadian work experience

Age

Single candidates could also be awarded up to 110 points for age for his or her Comprehensive Ranking System score. Candidates with a spouse or partner may receive up to 100 points.

Age (in years) Single candidate With an accompanying spouse/partner
under 18 0 points 0 points
18 99 90
19 105 95
20-29 110 100
30 105 95
31 99 90
32 94 85
33 88 80
34 83 75
35 77 70
36 72 65
37 66 60
38 61 55
39 55 50
40 50 45
41 39 35
42 28 25
43 17 15
44 6 5
45 or older 0 0

 Education Level

Up to 150 points are available for the level of education.

Level of education Single candidate With an accompanying spouse/partner 
Less than secondary (high) school credential 0 points 0 points
Secondary school credential 30 28 for PA; 2 for spouse
One-year post-secondary program 90 84 for PA; 6 for spouse
Two-year post-secondary program 98 91 for PA; 7 for spouse
Post-secondary program of 3 or more years 120 112 for PA; 8 for spouse
Two or more post-secondary programs, of which at least one was completed after a post-secondary program of three or more years 128 119 for PA; 9 for spouse
Master’s or entry-to-practice professional degree 135 126 for PA; 10 for spouse
Doctoral Degree (PhD) 150 140 for PA; 10 for spouse

First Language Ability (English or French)

Comprehensive Ranking System points highlighted in this chart are for every language ability: speaking, writing, reading and listening.

Therefore, one candidate may receive up to 136 points (34×4); a candidate with an accompanying spouse or partner may receive up to 148 points (32×4 plus 5×4).

Points for language are awarded as long as a candidate completes an approved language test. The points are yardsticks from the Canadian Language Benchmark levels (CLBs).

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Single candidate With an accompanying spouse/partner
For each language ability 34 points 32 points for PA; 5 points for spouse
CLB 3 or lower 0 0
CLB 4 6 6 for PA; 0 for spouse
CLB 5 6 6 for PA; 1 for spouse
CLB 6 9 8 for PA; 1 for spouse
CLB 7 17 16 for PA; 3 for spouse
CLB 8 23 22 for PA; 3 for spouse
CLB 9 31 29 for PA; 5 for spouse
CLB 10 or higher 34 32 for PA; 5 for spouse

Second Language Ability (English or French)

The points from this chart are for every language ability: speaking, writing, reading and listening.

Up to 24 points are available for one candidate’s second language ability. Candidates with a spouse/partner “max out” their points for second language ability at 22 points, regardless of if they get results of CLB 9 or higher altogether abilities. The spouse/partner is merely assessed under his or her mother tongue (first language).

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Single candidate With an accompanying spouse/partner (up to 22 points only)
For each language ability 6 6
CLB 4 or lower 0 0
CLB 5 or 6 1 1
CLB 7 or 8 3 3
CLB 9 or higher 6 6

Canadian Work Experience within the Comprehensive Ranking System

Up to 100 points are available for Canadian work experience, making it an important part of the Comprehensive Ranking System for Express Entry.

Number of years Single candidate With an accompanying spouse/partner
Less than 1 0 points 0 points
1 year 40 35 for PA; 5 for spouse
2 years 53 46 for PA; 7 for spouse
3 years 64 56 for PA; 8 for spouse
4 years 72 63 for PA; 9 for spouse
5 years or more 80 70 for PA; 10 for spouse

Skill Transferability Factors

Also referred to as combination factors, these points are awarded when a candidate performs well in two areas. Up to 50 points are available for every combination of two factors, with an overall cap of 100 points from among the five combinations. No points are available for the skill transferability of a candidate’s spouse or common-law partner, if applicable.

Education and Canadian Work Experience

Education 1 year of Canadian work experience 2 or more years of Canadian work experience
No post-secondary education 0 0
Post-secondary education of 1 year or longer 13 25
Two or more post-secondary credentials, the first of which was 3 or more years in duration 25 50

Education and Language Ability

Education CLB 7 or higher on all language abilities, with at least one of these CLB 8 CLB 9 or higher for all language abilities
No post-secondary education 0 0
Post-secondary education of 1 year or longer 13 25
Two or more post-secondary credentials, 25 50
the first of which was 3 or more years in duration

Language Ability and Non-Canadian Work Experience

Non-Canadian Work Experience CLB 7 or higher on all language abilities, with at least one of these CLB 8 CLB 9 or higher for all language abilities
No non-Canadian work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of non-Canadian work experience 13 25
3 or more years of non-Canadian work experience 25 50

Canadian and non-Canadian Work Experience

Experience 1 year of Canadian work experience 2 or more years of Canadian work experience
No non-Canadian work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of non-Canadian work experience 13 25
3 or more years of non-Canadian work experience 25 50

Certificate of Qualification in a Trade and Language Ability

Certificate of Qualification CLB 5 or higher on all language abilities, with at least one CLB 5 or 6 CLB 7 or higher on all language abilities
Certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a province 25 50

Additional Factors

The maximum available number of points for these additional factors for each candidate is 600 points.

Factor Points
Provincial nomination obtained under an Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stream/category 600
Qualifying job offer in Senior Management occupation under Major Group 00 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC)* 200
Qualifying job offer in other skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B level)* 50
Completed one-year or two-year study program in Canada 15
Completed three-year/Master’s/entry to practice professional degree or Doctorate (PhD) in Canada 30
French ability of CLB 7 or better AND English ability of CLB 4 or worse (or no English test result at all) 25
French ability of CLB 7 or better AND English ability of CLB 5 or better 50
Sibling in Canada** 15

*Until November 2016, it had been the case that a positive LMIA had to accompany this job offer so as for Comprehensive Ranking System points to be awarded.

However, coupled with LMIA-based offers, it’s now possible for a certain set of foreign workers in Canada to get Comprehensive Ranking System points without an LMIA.

The following table shows which foreign workers in Canada could also be ready to obtain points for employment offer without an LMIA.

May receive points Must also obtain an LMIA
NAFTA International Experience Canada (IEC)
Intra-Company Transfer Post-Graduation Work Permits
LMIA-based Work Permits Work Permits issued to Spouses/Common-Law Partners of foreign workers and international students in Canada
Canada-Provincial/Territorial issued Work Permits All other Open Work Permits

Other Work Permits issued under the many benefit to Canada initiative

** Candidates with a sibling in Canada could also be awarded 15 points if the sibling is already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is aged a minimum of 18 years.

Up to fifteen points only could also be awarded for this factor; candidates with over one sibling in Canada are going to be awarded 15 points in total, not 15 points per sibling.

These points can also be awarded if the candidate’s spouse or common-law partner features a sibling in Canada.

The candidate or his or her spouse/common-law partner must share a mother and/or father with the sibling in Canada. This relationship is often through blood, adoption, marriage, or common-law partnership.

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