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Webinar Recap: Improving Your Express Entry Ranking

Monday | April 9, 2018 | by WES Advisor

Express Entry ranking

WES Advisor recently hosted a webinar with Canadian immigration attorney, David Cohen, on how to increase your Express Entry ranking score and boost the likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence. If you missed the webinar, it is now available for viewing on-demand; to watch the full video, sign up here.

How Does the Express Entry System Work?

Under the Express Entry immigration system, candidates are divided into the following three economic immigration classes:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • Canadian Experience Class

Points are awarded for your education level, skilled work experience, and language skills, among other factors, under what is known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws from the Express Entry pool.

One of the advantages of Express Entry for candidates is the fact that it is dynamic, meaning you can improve your score and ranking in the pool.

Here are some tips from the webinar for perfecting your Express Entry profile and increasing your CRS score within the areas of language, education, and work experience.


Language can be worth up to 290 CRS points and you can improve your score in a number of ways.

One of the prerequisites for entering the Express Entry pool is demonstrated proficiency in English or French, in the areas of speaking, reading, writing, and listening. To show your language proficiency in English, you must take one of the following standardized language tests: the IELTS or the CELPIP. For French language proficiency, you must take the Test d’Évaluation de Français (TÉF).

Language is a valuable credential because it can count for points within several sections of the CRS, including the human capital factors, skill-transferability factors, and additional factors.


To demonstrate their foreign educational qualifications, candidates who earned degrees outside Canada will need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved agency, such as WES. An ECA is a credential evaluation that shows the Canadian equivalent of a foreign degree.

Learn how you can apply for and obtain a WES ECA, including the costs, the process, and the required documents.

Please note that ECAs are required only for Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates educated outside Canada; no ECA is required for candidates in the Federal Skilled Trades Class or the Canadian Experience Class to enter the Express Entry pool. However, candidates in the Canadian Experience Class can potentially increase their CRS score by having a degree assessed. Therefore, getting your education evaluated, although not a requirement for every class, may improve your ranking in the Express Entry pool.

Work Experience

You must declare your work experience accurately in your Express Entry profile to avoid any penalties and maximize your potential CRS points. When applying, you are required to choose a National Occupation Classification (NOC) that matches your work experience and also determines if your occupation is skilled or unskilled. This is important because CRS points are awarded only for work experience that is considered skilled under the NOC.

Even if your job title is deemed unskilled under the NOC, you may have performed duties in that role that are considered skilled. To accurately select your NOC, go beyond your job title and evaluate the tasks you performed to see if your work experience is considered skilled or unskilled.

Final Tips

To conclude, here are some of the key takeaways from this webinar:

  • Ensure that you accurately represent yourself in your Express Entry profile. By doing this, you may earn extra points and you avoid the serious penalties incurred for misrepresenting yourself.
  • Collect your documents well in advance so you can apply quickly if you are invited to apply through the Express Entry system or a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). Express Entry candidates have only 90 days to submit their complete application after receiving an ITA.
  • Consider going above and beyond the minimum Express Entry requirements to improve your profile. For example, obtaining an additional, unrequired ECA for yourself and/or a spouse can boost your CRS score as a principal applicant. Or, if you performed poorly on the IELTS exam, try retaking the test or taking the CELPIP, since both are approved Express Entry language tests.

To learn more about how you can improve your Express Entry score, watch the full, on-demand webinar featuring Canadian immigration expert, David Cohen.

WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 45 years of experience in international education. We provide advice and resources for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, immigration, and integration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.