What is the Express Entry?

In January 2015, the Canadian government launched a new electronic immigration system that offers express entry to Canada for skilled and qualified immigrants. The new Express Entry program will manage applications for permanent residence for immigrants who can fill jobs where there is a lack of available skilled Canadian workers.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use the Express Entry system to select the desired candidates to apply for permanent residence. Three federal programs go through the Express Entry system: the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program, the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program, and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). You need to be eligible for one of these programs to be able to enter the Express Entry pool of candidates, where each candidate is assigned a CRS score.

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

In order to rank immigration candidates, the Canadian government developed a merit-based points system that assigns a score to each candidate in the Express Entry pool. This point system is called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and the score assigned to each candidate is called the CRS score. It depends on a number of factors, including age, level of education, language proficiency, work experience, etc.

The CRS Score is used in every Express Entry draw. The Express Entry is split into several categories but all three categories use the CRS to rank candidates to determine which ones they should invite.

To be able to know your exact CRS score, you will need to have your language test results, and your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if your degree is not Canadian. If you do not have these, you can still try and see how many CRS points you can claim for other factors. The table below summarizes the maximum points that can be awarded for each factor. Be careful to look into each factor’s detailed tab to understand how to calculate your CRS score.

Section/FactorMaximum CRS points with spouse/partnerMaximum CRS points without spouse/partner
A & B. Core/human capital factors  
  Education level150150
  Language proficiency170160
  Canadian work experience8080
Total A & B.500500
C. Skill transferability factors  
  Combination of (i) Education and (ii) Language proficiency OR Canadian work experience5050
  Combination of (i) Non-Canadian work experience and (ii) Language proficiency OR Canadian work experience5050
  Combination of (i) a Certificate of qualification and (ii) Language proficiency5050
Total C.100100
D. Additional points  
  Provincial nomination600600
  Valid job offer200200
  French abilities3030
  Sibling in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)1515
Total D.600600
TOTAL A + B + C + D12001200