Canada Express Entry Returns: What Is A Good Comprehensive Ranking System Score?

CRS Scores As Low As 301 As Alberta Invites 289 Canada Express Entry Candidates
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Canada immigration news: It is difficult to determine what a “good” score is on Canada’s Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) because it changes with each draw.

In Canada, the federal government uses the online Express Entry system to fast-track applications for three immigration programs to bring in skilled workers.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST), and Canada Experience Class Program (CEC) all draw on candidates from the Express Entry pool.

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In a bid to ramp up immigration, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) took the unprecedented move early last year of lowering the minimum CRS score needed for a Canadian Experience Class draw to a paltry 75. 

The move shocked immigration experts. But the IRCC went ahead and issued 27,332 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in that Feb. 13, 2021 draw. It obliterated records for the most ITAs and the lowest minimum CRS score in Canada.

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That, though, was a significant exception. Most draws are held with much, much higher CRS score requirements. 

And any prospective immigrant seeking to come to Canada through the Express Entry system can only receive an ITA through the system when his or her CRA score is at least as high as the cut-off points needed for that draw. 

That leads many foreign nationals to wonder exactly how high a CRS score they need to get a much-coveted ITA. But what constitutes a “good” score that can result in an ITA can vary from draw to draw and program to program.

For the CEC program, for example, the last 27 draws – with the exception of the historically-low CRS score in February last year – have required an average CRS score of 423 with the range of minimum scores going from 357 to 467 points.

All-Program Express Entry Draws Average A Minimum CRS Score Of 472

The all-program draws, the last of which was on Dec. 23, 2020, going back three years have required an average minimum CRS score of 472 points and have had a much tighter range, going from a minimum of 469 to 478 points.

The most recent Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program draw, which was back in August 2020, required a minimum CRS score of 415. But the minimum CRS score on average, going back to 2018, is only 335 points because in both 2018 and 2019 the required minimum was much lower, as low as 294 points.

Based on past draws, a “good” CRS score for an all-program draw seems to be about 480 points.

A “good” score for a CEC-specific draw might be about 430 points with the newer FST-specific draws likely requiring as much. 

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws, though, are another matter. 

Since the receipt of a PNP nomination can give an applicant up to 600 additional points on his or her CRS score, the draws for provincial programs tend to require a much higher number of points. 

In the more than a dozen PNP draws this year alone, the average minimum CRS score has been 756 points with the range going from 674 to 808 points. At the start of June this year, the minimum CRS score for one draw was 796.

Based on those past draws, it seems a “good” CRS score for a PNP-specific draw is about 810 points or higher. 

The CRS, a points-based system used by IRCC, to assess and score every foreign national’s profile submitted to the Express Entry pool allows for a high score of 1,200.  

Up to 600 points, considered core points, are given to an applicant for immigration based on his or her:

  • skills and experience;
  • spouse or common-law partner factors, such as language skills and education, and;
  • skills transferability, including education and work experience.

Applicants for immigration can gain up to an additional 600 points based on:

  • Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates;
  • a valid job offer;
  • a nomination from a province or territory;
  • a brother or sister living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident, and;
  • strong French-language skills.
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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.