Canada's Express Entry system is a widely used pathway for skilled immigrants to obtain permanent residency. It assigns points based on a number of factors, including age, education, work experience, language proficiency and others.
While some requirements, such as age, cannot be changed, there are opportunities to improve the Express Entry score by focusing on areas that allow improvement, such as English language proficiency, work experience and credential evaluation.
In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies to maximize your score in these crucial areas and increase your chances of success in the Express Entry system, based on our experience, which allowed us to increase the score significantly.
Table of contents
1. Master the English test for Express Entry.
1. Master the English test for Express Entry.
One of the most effective ways to improve your score in Express Entry is to improve your English test scores, whether it is General IELTS or General CELPIP.
So far, to apply for Express Entry those are the accepted tests; if you want to know more about the one we took, check out Everything you need to know about the CELPIP test.
Language skills can significantly increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
If the main applicant scores at least a CLB 10 in all skills, it can give up to 128 points for the application, so try to get as high a score as possible and if you need to retake it to improve your score further and focus on the skills you need to improve, do it!
I repeated the CELPIP test and was able to improve by focusing on the skills I was missing points for. Here you can see the point equivalency if you take the IELTS instead of CELPIP.
Here are some tips to excel in your English test:
Prepare diligently: familiarize yourself with the test format and practice constantly using sample tests and study materials. At this point, it is not about studying the language but understanding the test format.
Focus on your weaknesses: Identify the specific aspects of the language you need to improve and spend time strengthening these areas. If you have taken a test before, spend more time on the skills needed to improve your score; in my case, it was writing and speaking.
Seek professional guidance: Consider hiring a tutor for specific guidance, feedback on your language skills and test-taking strategies.
2. Optimize Credential Evaluation
The credentials assessment is another crucial aspect contributing to your Express Entry score. It consists of assessing your foreign training to align with Canadian standards.
I believe that the way to optimize here is to evaluate in advance since, at least with WES, which is the institution we used, the report lasts five years, so after that, you don't have to stress about it.
To give you an idea, as a main applicant, this gave us 126 points for the score; in my case, I studied to be a pharmacist.
Here's how you can improve this aspect:
Research recognized credential evaluation agencies: Make sure you select a reputable agency that is recognized by the designated organizations in Canada; always check Canada.ca for information. These agencies will assess your educational and professional qualifications accurately.
As I mentioned, try to do this in advance so that you already have the results when you create your profile. See more details on credentials assessment in How to obtain an educational credential assessment for immigration purposes.
Gather the necessary documentation: Gather all relevant transcripts and certificates to support your credential evaluation process. Make sure they are properly translated, if necessary.
3. Gain Canadian work experience.
Once you arrive in Canada, look for opportunities to gain relevant work experience in your field. Not only will this strengthen your profile, but it will also help you get points for your Express Entry profile.
For example, one year of experience from the main applicant gives you 35 points, while two years can give you 46 points.
4. Learn French
Learning French can be a valuable tool to increase your Express Entry score and improve your chances of being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
French is one of Canada's official languages, and the Canadian government highly values language skills in both English and French. If you achieve a high level of proficiency in French, you can earn additional points under the language requirements of the Express Entry system.
French can score under the Second Official Language Proficiency category and also under additional points: French Proficiency. So consider it as another alternative to get more points.
5. Additional Recommendations
If you apply with your partner or spouse, the accompanying person scores fewer points than the principal applicant. Still, it is a score that can increase your chances of receiving an invitation, so don't discard that effort.
Check if your companion can do an educational credentials assessment, as well as an English test and work experience in Canada also adds up.
The difference in scores is high, but without a doubt, when you are looking to improve your profile, anything goes. For example, considering language, a main applicant with a minimum of 10 in all skills can score up to 128 points, while the accompanying person with the same test score can score up to 20 points.
In general, the spouse or partner can contribute up to 40 points to the application, but again, it is an option to increase the total score.
Improving your Express Entry score requires a strategic approach to enhance the areas within your control. By mastering the English language, optimizing your credential evaluation, gaining Canadian work experience, and learning French, you can increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry.
If you have doubts about creating your profile, I invite you to review How to create your profile for Express Entry under Canadian Experience Class.
Remember that it is essential to stay informed on the latest immigration policies and consult with professionals when necessary.
I hope these posts give you an idea to double-check your current score and see if there is any chance to improve it.