How to maximize your Express Entry CRS score if you’re aged 30 or over

Immigration through Express Entry CRS scores takes into account applicants’ ages, and some are penalized for this. Here are a few tactics one can use if they want to increase their Express Entry CRS score as a candidate over 30.

Express Entry is Canada’s largest source of immigration.

When applicants apply to immigrate to this country through Express Entry, eligible Express Entry applicants are scored through a point-allocation grid called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Introduction to Express Entry and the CRS

The CRS is a points grid used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to rank Canadian immigration applicants who apply through any of the three Express Entry system application management systems — the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

The CRS begins by evaluating what the Canadian government calls “core human capital factors,” which include age, education, first language ability (English or French), second language ability (English or French), and Canadian work experience.

For these purposes, we will be focusing on the first item in the above list, age.

The CRS system in Canada awards the most age points to Express Entry applicants aged 20-29. (100). If you are 30 or older, your age category points will decrease progressively each year (95 points for an applicant aged 30, 90 points for a 31-year-old applicant and so forth). Under the CRS, applicants aged 45 and up receive 0 points in the age category.

Fortunately, simply being 30 or older does not mean an applicant’s Express Entry hopes are over. If they apply at or after the age of 30, prospective Express Entry applicants can maximize their CRS score in a variety of ways.

Getting a provincial nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Receiving a nomination through any of Canada’s enhanced Provincial Nominee Program streams that are linked to Express Entry is one way for applicants to boost their CRS score. In fact, receiving a provincial nomination through a PNP is the single best way to maximize a CRS score and receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence because receiving a nomination prior to applying through Express Entry can earn an applicant an additional 600 points.

PNPs are available in all Canadian provinces and territories (except Quebec and Nunavut) as a tool for each region to nominate permanent residence candidates who want to settle in a specific area of Canada.

Designed to spread the benefits of immigration across Canada, particularly since Canadian immigration has historically been disproportionately concentrated in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, there are currently over 80 country-wide PNP streams available for prospective Canadian immigrants across Canada’s 11 PNPs.

If an Express Entry candidate applies to a PNP and is invited to apply, then applies and receives a provincial nominee certificate, they can upload their certificate to their Express Entry profile and receive the 600 available CRS points. Again, they will almost certainly receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada as a result of this.

Getting a Job offer

Another way for an applicant to improve their CRS score is to apply through Express Entry while holding a valid job offer in writing that details all job requirements, such as pay, duties, and employment conditions. In fact, this strategy is one of the most effective ways to improve an applicant’s CRS score because candidates with a valid offer of employment can earn either 50 or 200 additional CRS points depending on the position.

Work experience evaluation

Work experience can help an applicant’s CRS score in a variety of ways. To begin, simply gaining additional work experience can help an applicant improve their score. Furthermore, doing a better job of articulating current work experience can help applicants in many ways.

Language proficiency enhancement

Language ability is another critical component of CRS scores that falls under the category of “core human capital factors.” As previously stated, language is divided into two categories: first language ability and second language ability, which are used to assess an applicant’s proficiency in English and French. This component of an applicant’s CRS score can add up to a significant number of points, making it an essential part of any Express Entry application.

Language proficiency, which is broken down into writing, reading, speaking, and listening, can earn a single applicant between 128 and 136 points (depending on spousal/partner status, but more on that later).

Furthermore, because of its ability to count for points across multiple sections, the language category is useful for increasing CRS scores. Language, as an individual element of the CRS, can count for points in four larger categories: human capital factors, spousal factors (if applicable), skills transferability, and “additional factors.”

Furthermore, language can be combined with other factors such as education to improve an applicant’s CRS score even further.