Frequently asked questions about Express Entry's Comprehensive Ranking System.

The Comprehensive Ranking System is the Government of Canada’s unique points system for ranking candidates based on a variety of factors.

Eligible candidates can submit a profile into the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked according the Comprehensive Ranking System criteria. The Government of Canada regularly issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence to the highest ranked candidates through draws from the pool, and aims to process applications within six months.

Under the Comprehensive Ranking System, of twelve-hundred (1,200) possible CRS points are distributed across several factors. A candidate’s age, education, language proficiency and work experience, known as core human capital factors, are awarded a score out of 500. Some of these factors, when combined with each other, are called skill transferability factors and are considered for an additional 100 points. These 600 points constitute a candidate’s core CRS score. Points are also awarded for additional factors, such as a provincial nomination, an offer of arranged employment, prior Canadian study experience, french language ability, and a sibling who is a citizen or permanent residence in Canada. While these points are not required in order to enter, or to be selected from the Express Entry pool, they can significantly increase a candidate’s CRS score.The most valuable additional factor is a provincial nomination, which results in 600 CRS points. Many Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are only available to candidates in the Express Entry pool. 
The beauty of the Express Entry system for candidates is that it’s dynamic. This means a candidate’s score isn’t fixed, but can be improved in many cases if the candidate is willing to put in the effort. Some areas where a candidate may be able to improve their CRS score, include:
  • Obtaining the best language scores possible;
  • Documenting their education and work experience correctly; and
  • Taking proactive steps to pursue Provincial nominee programs, Canadian jobs or new credentials.

 For more details on this, please visit our dedicated How to Improve Your CRS Score page.  

Age is one factor that counts for points under the CRS. Age is worth up to 110 points for a single applicant or 100 points for a candidate with a spouse or common-law law partner. Maximum age points are awarded to candidates between ages 20 and 29. After the age of 45, candidates may still be eligible to submit Express Entry profiles or obtain Invitations to Apply however they are no longer awarded no CRS points for age.
An ECA is an assessment that determines the Canadian equivalent of a degree obtained outside Canada. If you have a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate, you do not need to get an ECA for that credential. An ECA is not required in order to enter the Express Entry pool as a Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class candidate. However, you will need an ECA for your foreign degree, diploma or certificate if you want to be considered as a principal applicant under the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Furthermore, all candidates in the Express Entry pool who want to receive CRS points for their foreign education and / or that of their spouse or common-law partner will need to get their education assessed.

For immigration purposes, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will only accept ECAs obtained from one of the designated organizations listed below:

For specialist and family physicians, a report from the Medical Council of Canada is required for 

  • specialist physicians (NOC code 3111) and
  • general practitioners/family physicians (NOC code 3112)

For pharmacists (NOC 3131) who require a license to practice, a report from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada is required if your job duties include caring for patients in a hospital pharmacy, long term care facility or community pharmacy.

If a pharmacist does not require a license to work, an assessment can be obtained from any other designated ECA organization.

This includes jobs that require a pharmacy degree, but do not require licensing, such as government jobs or the pharmaceutical industry. It is recommended that you contact the regulatory body in the destination province where you plan to reside for more details on whether or not a license is required. 

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