Should I apply for Express Entry if my CRS is low?
Are you one of those with a low CRS score who thinks it's not worth it to submit an Express Entry profile?
You may have noticed that most candidates who received an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada through recent draws scored above 460 on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
At first glance, this can be discouraging. However, there are numerous reasons why a low projected CRS score should not deter you from applying to the Express Entry pool.
Candidates for three federal skilled worker immigration programmes are included in the Express Entry pool:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program
- The Canadian Experience Class
When you enter the Express Entry pool, you will be assigned a CRS score based on factors such as age, education, skilled work experience, and English or French proficiency. This score determines your position in the Express Entry pool and your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, joining the Express Entry pool gives you a distinct advantage and increases your chances of successfully immigrating to Canada.
Here are a few of the reasons why.
First and foremost, Express Entry CRS thresholds are variable and unpredictable. What appears to be a low CRS score may eventually lead to an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent resident status.
Second, after entering the express entry pool and scoring below the thresholds, you have the option of waiting for your score to drop or looking for ways to improve it. You can improve your CRS score, for example, by retaking your language test, gaining work experience, pursuing additional training, or working and studying in Canada.
And if you are offered a job in Canada while you are in the pool, your CRS score may also increase enough to get an ITA for permanent residence.
Third, while the three main federal programmes are the primary means by which many economic immigrants enter Canada, Express Entry is part of a larger national and provincial system that offers a variety of other pathways to permanent residence for skilled workers.
The Provincial Nominee Program, or PNP, is one of them. It allows participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate foreign workers and international graduates for permanent residence in Canada through Express Entry-aligned streams.
If you've already tried several methods to improve your CRS, such as those mentioned above, getting a nomination from a province is still a viable option.
Once you have entered the Express Entry pool and if you are eligible for a PNP, a province may send you a "Notification of Interest." You must apply to the province, and if approved, you will receive a provincial nomination, which will automatically give you 600 points toward your CRS score and essentially guarantee that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence.
Canada recently invited Express Entry candidates with CRS scores of 813 who had previously received provincial nominations and thus an additional 600 points toward their overall score to apply. Without the provincial nomination, candidates who received an ITA in that round of invitation would have needed a CRS score of only 213 for their human capital.
Even if your CRS score is insufficient for federal immigration programmes, it may be sufficient for you to be invited by one of Canada's provinces, which may lead to the issuance of a Canadian permanent resident visa.
Finally, for the next three years, Canada has set the highest immigration targets in its history. Canada plans to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants per year under its Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, with approximately 110,000 arriving through Express Entry. These targets will rise in the coming years, reaching a peak of 113,750 in 2023. To achieve these lofty goals.
Canada will have to continue issuing large numbers of Express Entry invitations and may even see much lower CRS thresholds in future draws.
If you are considering immigrating to Canada, it may be in your best interest to enter the Express Entry pool even if your CRS score is low, as there are many ways to improve it and your chances of obtaining permanent residence will increase.