Express Entry: Comprehensive Ranking System

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points system used to assess and score a candidate’s Express Entry profile, in order to rank the candidate against all other candidates in the Express Entry pool at the time of a round of invitations.

When a candidate creates a profile in their online account, the system automatically assigns the candidate a CRS score based on the information provided in their profile. Candidates can see their CRS score on the “Application/Profile Details” page of their account.

Only top-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at the time of a round of invitations.

CRS points allocation

Candidates can score a maximum of 1200 points in the CRS, with points allocated as follows:

  • A core set of human capital factors that drive economic outcomes (maximum of 460-500 points):
    • Age
    • Level of education
    • Official language proficiency
    • Canadian work experience
  • Spousal factors (maximum of 40 points)
  • A set of skills transferability or interaction factors that amplify the core set (maximum of 100 points)
  • Additional factors (maximum 600 points):
    • A valid provincial/territorial nomination (maximum of 600 points)
    • A qualifying offer of arranged employment (maximum of 50 points for all occupations in NOC 0, A or B, except NOC 00 with a maximum of 200 points)
    • Canadian educational credential (maximum of 30 points)

The Express Entry Ministerial Instructions contain a full breakdown of the CRS. A summary of the CRS is available on the IRCC website.

Note: The CRS may be changed over time as outcomes data becomes available and refinements are undertaken.

Changes to a candidate’s CRS score

Candidates are responsible for ensuring that their Express Entry profile is accurate and up-to-date at all times. Candidates are warned that, if they submit an application for permanent residence (APR) and, at that time, cannot substantiate the information in their Express Entry profile or their APR, their application will be refused and they may be assessed for misrepresentation.

When a candidate goes into their account and updates the information in their profile (e.g., adds a new credential or deletes a job offer), the candidate’s CRS score will automatically change to reflect the new information. The candidate will be able to see their new CRS score in their account.

So that processing offices can assess Express Entry applications on section A11.2 and misrepresentation, an applicant’s CRS score is automatically recorded in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) in the following situations:

  • when the applicant is issued an ITA; and
  • when the applicant submits their APR.

Note: When a candidate is issued an ITA, their profile is “locked”. Candidates may have to manually recalculate their scores if there is a change in circumstance after the ITA is issued and before they apply for permanent residence, as it could impact their eligibility.

Rounds of invitations

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) controls how many Express Entry candidates are invited to apply for permanent residence through a system of “rounds of invitations”. These are done at a frequency and in numbers that align to IRCC’s processing capacity and annual levels targets.

At the time of a round of invitations, a candidate’s rank in the Express Entry pool is much more important than the candidate’s total number of CRS points. For example, if IRCC issues an ITA to 1000 candidates from the pool, only the top-ranking 1000 candidates will receive an ITA.

A candidate’s rank changes with every round of invitations, as their rank is relative to that of all other candidates in the pool at the time of the round.

Rounds can be general and include all programs subject to Express Entry, or be program-specific (e.g., top‑ranked CEC candidates only). For example:

  • A general round of invitations would mean that all candidates in the list below would be issued an ITA. If CIC invited 500 candidates to apply, and the following list represented the top 10 candidates in the pool, CIC would invite 5 FSWC, 3 CEC and 2 FSTC candidates, all the way down until the 500th ranked candidate in the pool is invited, regardless of the program(s) to which they appear eligible.
    1. FSWC – 1000 CRS points (has job offer)
    2. CEC – 980 (has job offer)
    3. FSWC – 878 (has job offer)
    4. FSTC – 820 (has job offer)
    5. FSTC – 818 (has job offer)
    6. CEC – 540
    7. CEC – 538
    8. FSWC – 532
    9. FSWC – 531
    10. FSWC – 480
    11. etc.
  • A program-specific round of invitations would mean that only candidates in the list above who are tagged (i.e., found eligible) for a specific program would be issued an ITA. For example, if IRCC were to invite the top 500 FSWC candidates, in the example above, only candidates ranked 1, 3, 8, 9, and 10 would be invited, with additional top-ranked FSWC-tagged candidates invited to apply, up to and including the 500th ranked FSWC candidate in the pool.

Express Entry rounds of invitations are governed through Ministerial Instructions, which specify the date of the round, the number invitations to be issued, and whether the round of invitations is general or program-specific. The Ministerial Instructions are published when a round is held, but not before.

After a round of invitations is held, IRCC publishes the score of the lowest ranked candidate to be issued an ITA in that round. Candidates who are not issued an ITA can use this information to see where their CRS score stands relative to the lowest score from their round and, therefore, have a general sense of whether they may be invited to apply in future rounds.

Candidates who have been issued an ITA but whose circumstances have changed can also use this information to determine if they should decline the ITA or submit an APR.

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