Canada Express Entry is an electronic system that manages applications submitted by skilled and qualified immigrants seeking permanent residency in Canada.
Applicants are ranked and invited to apply for permanent residency using a CRS scoring system. In this article, we’ll discuss CRS scores.
We’ll tackle all the key questions such as:
- What is a CRS score?
- How are the CRS scores calculated?
- What CRS scores have been required in recent times?
- What is the lowest ever CRS score for Canada Express Entry?
- What is a good CRS score?
Let’s get started!
What is CRS?
CRS is short for Comprehensive Ranking System. It is the points system that is used to rank applicants seeking permanent residency via Canada Express Entry.
Canada Express Entry is the fastest way for skilled immigrants to gain permanent residency in Canada. Millions of skilled immigrants submit their profiles every year. Sadly, not everyone can be invited to apply for permanent residency.
CRS scores are used to rank the applicants in the pool. The higher your CRS score, the more likely you are to receive an ITA (invitation to apply) towards realizing your Canada dream.
How the CRS points are calculated
The highest number of CRS points that an applicant can have is 1,200. CRS points are awarded based on the applicant’s skills, experience, education, adaptability, and more.
CRS point = Core/ human capital factors + spouse factor + skill transferability factors + additional points
Core/ Human capital factors include
If a spouse is immigrating with you, the maximum points you can get from human capital factors is 460, but without a spouse, you can get up to 500 points.
These factors are (assuming with a spouse):
- Age – up to 100 points
- Education – up to 140 points
- Official language proficiency – up to 128 points
- Second language proficiency – up to 22 points
- Canadian work experience – up to 70 points
If you are immigrating with your spouse or common-law partner, you can get additional 40 points.
- Spouse’s education – up to 10 points
- Spouse’s language proficiency – 20 points
- Spouse’s Canadian work experience – 10 points
Skills Transferability Factors
This section measures your suitability based on the combination of your skills and qualification. 100 points are up for grabs.
- Language skill + post-secondary education – up to 50 points
- Canadian work experience + post-secondary education – up to 50 points
There are ways to earn additional points. But sadly, the additional points each applicant can get are limited to 600 points.
- A sibling living in Canada – 15 points
- French language skill – 50 points
- Post-secondary education in Canada – 30 points
- Arranged employment in Canada – 200 points
- Provincial nomination – 600 points
How many CRS points are required to get an ITA?
To get an ITA from an Express Entry draw, you need CRS points equal to or greater than the CRS cut-off points for that draw.
The CRS cut-off varies from draw to draw, depending on the number of CRS points of applicants in the Express Entry pool and the number of skilled applicants wanted at the time. That is, if more people are needed, and/or the CRS points of applicants are generally low, expect the CRS cut-off to be low.
As can be seen from recent Express Entry draws, CRS points required for an ITA have ranged from an all-time low of 75 to 462 for the CEC program. While for the PNP program, it has ranged from 674 to 813.
Table 1: Summary of draws and CRS points requirement since 2021 till date (Feb. 22, 2022)
|Year||Program||No. of draws||Lowest CRS point||Highest CRS point||Average CRS point|
|2022||PNP||4 so far||674||808||735|
|2021||PNP||25 in total||682||813||738|
|CEC||17 in total||75||462||387|
Table 2: Draws and CRS requirement since Jan 2021
|Draw No.||Date of Draw||Program||CRS cut-off||No. of ITAs issued|
|#216||Feb 16, 2022||PNP||710||1,082|
|#215||Feb 2, 2022||PNP||674||1,070|
|#214||Jan 19, 2022||PNP||745||1,036|
|#213||Jan 5, 2022||PNP||808||392|
|#212||Dec 22, 2021||PNP||720||746|
|#211||Dec 10, 2021||PNP||698||1,032|
|#210||Nov 24, 2021||PNP||737||613|
|#209||Nov 10, 2021||PNP||685||775|
|#208||Oct 27, 2021||PNP||744||888|
|#207||Oct 13, 2021||PNP||720||681|
|#206||Sept 29, 2021||PNP||742||761|
|#205||Sept 15, 2021||PNP||732||521|
|#204||Sept 14, 2021||CEC||462||2,000|
|#203||Sept 1, 2021||PNP||764||635|
|#202||Aug 19, 2021||CEC||403||3,000|
|#201||Aug 18, 2021||PNP||751||463|
|#200||Aug 5, 2021||CEC||404||3,000|
|#199||Aug 4, 2021||PNP||760||512|
|#198||Jul 22, 2021||CEC||357||4500|
|#197||Jul 21, 2021||PNP||734||462|
|#196||Jul 8, 2021||CEC||369||4500|
|#195||Jul 7, 2021||PNP||760||627|
|#194||Jun 24, 2021||CEC||357||6000|
|#193||Jun 23, 2021||PNP||742||1002|
|#192||Jun 10, 2021||CEC||368||6000|
|#191||Jun 9, 2021||PNP||711||940|
|#190||May 31, 2021||CEC||380||5956|
|#189||May 26, 2021||PNP||731||500|
|#188||May 20, 2021||CEC||397||1842|
|#187||May 13, 2021||CEC||401||4147|
|#186||May 12, 2021||PNP||752||557|
|#185||Apr 29, 2021||CEC||400||6000|
|#184||Apr 28, 2021||PNP||717||381|
|#183||Apr 16, 2021||CEC||417||6000|
|#182||Apr 14, 2021||PNP||753||266|
|#181||Apr 1, 2021||CEC||432||5000|
|#179||Mar 18. 2021||CEC||449||5000|
|#178||Mar 17, 2021||PNP||682||183|
|#177||Mar 08, 2021||PNP||739||671|
|#176||Feb 13, 2021||CEC||75||27,332|
|#175||Feb 10, 2021||PNP||720||654|
|#174||Jan 21, 2021||CEC||434||4626|
|#173||Jan 20, 2021||PNP||741||374|
|#172||Jan 7, 2021||CEC||461||4,750|
|#171||Jan 6, 2021||PNP||813||250|
CRS Score FAQs
Why are the CRS cut-off for the PNP programs very high?
The PNP program is one way that the Canadian government allows applicants to boost their CS scores. Provincial nomination gets you additional 600 points.
So, if you have a low CRS score of 200 (which is highly unlikely to get you an ITA), using the provincial nomination program will give you additional 600 points. This takes your points tally to a very handsome 800 (which all but guarantees you an ITA).
Because of the big points-boost that the provincial nominations give, the CRS cut-off for the PNP program is usually significantly higher than those of other programs.
What is a good CRS score for Canada Express Entry
Since the CRS cut-off for the PNP program is usually higher than those of other programs, what makes a good CRS score depends on the program you are applying for.
That said, we’ll define a good CRS score as one that’ll get you an ITA at least 80% of the time.
Looking at the draws from the beginning of 2021 till date, a good Canada Express Entry CRS score is 450; but if using provincial nomination, a good CRS score is 760.
17 non-PNP draws that have been done since the beginning of 2021, and only two times (#204 and #172) have the CRS cut-off been more than 450. So, a CRS score of 450 will have been good enough to get you an ITA 88% of the time.
Also, 29 PNP draws have been made since 2021, and only four times (#213, #203, #180, and #171) have the CRS cut-off been more than 760. So, a score of 760 will have been good enough to get you an ITA 86% of the time.
What is the lowest CRS cut-off score ever recorded?
The lowest ever recorded CRS cut-off score was 75. This came from the draw of February 13, 2021, which saw 27,332 CEC applicants given ITAs. Before that draw, the lowest CRS cut-off point ever was 199 points, which came from the May 16, 2017 draw.
However, these draws should be taken as an anomaly. A CRS point of 0 – 300 is not likely to be enough for an ITA anytime soon.
This is because, according to the IRCC CRS score distribution of candidates (as of writing), there are 198,061 candidates in the pool, and only 5,736 of these have scores in the range of 0 – 300. So, for any CRS score less than 300 to fetch an ITA now, Canada will be inviting over 192,325 candidates to apply for permanent residency. That is highly unlikely.
The Canada Express Entry CRS cut-off requirement varies from draw to draw. However, looking at draws in recent times, a good CRS score is 450. But when using provincial nomination, a good CRS score is 760.