How to add 600 points to your CRS score for Express Entry and virtually guarantee an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is Canada’s way of rating your qualifications as a candidate for immigrating to Canada as a permanent resident, using a points-system. When the Federal Express Entry system selects candidates for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) it is always based on a minimum cut-off point total, usually above well above 400 points. While the CRS minimum cut-off varies from each round of invitations to the next, making sure your Express Entry profile has a fighting chance is a huge concern for all who are vying for that prized ITA.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to boost your CRS points total and ensure, for all intents and purposes, that your Express Entry profile receives an ITA?
Provincial Nominations: Ontario Example
Provincial nominee programs (PNPs) can provide you with a nomination which adds 600 points to your total. That’s the difference between an ITA and no ITA. The Province of Ontario, for example, has the OINP – the Ontario Immigrant and Nominee Program – which selects candidates from Express Entry candidate pools and sends them a notification of interest (NOI) that when accepted by the candidate will add 600 points and ensure an ITA.
So, the big question is: what are the selection criteria for OINP’s programs? And how do they compare to Express Entry’s criteria?
Let’s consider one of the most popular parts of the OINP’s program: The Human Capital Priorities (HCP) stream. To be considered for the HCP stream, you have to choose to be assessed under either the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) streams.
So, what are the selection criteria for OINP’s HCP stream? There are several key points to keep in mind when trying to answer this question:
- The Federal Express Entry online portal will still be your gateway to an OINP nomination. You must create an Express Entry profile and successfully qualify as a candidate in an Express Entry selection pool. This means a few things:
- If you choose to be assessed through the Federal Skilled Worker program, you have to score at least 67 out of 100 on your FSWP selection criteria to qualify for Express Entry’s FSW stream. This is NOT the same as your Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS points, which are used to select candidates from an Express Entry pool for an Invitation to Apply or ITA for permanent residence.
- The 67 out of 100 FSWP selection points gets you INTO your Express Entry candidate’s pool under FSW. Your CRS points, if good enough, gets you OUT of your candidate’s pool by earning you an ITA.
- The Federal government’s Express Entry’s CRS minimum point total has been over 400 points and has not fallen below 430 points since May of 2017 as we explained in a previous article. This means that if you’re around or just below 400 points, you need some strategies to improve your chances.
- A provincial nomination will add 600 points to your CRS, as mentioned above. The OINP works in conjunction with the Federal Express Entry program, but in the case of an OINP Notification of Interest (NOI), it is the Ontario Provincial government that selects you rather than the IRCC. Here are the OINP Human Capital Priorities stream’s eligibility criteria:
- At least 1 year of continuous work experience within the last 5 years, if you are being assessed under the FSW stream; or 1 year of cumulative work experience within the last 3 years, if you are being assessed under the CEC stream
- A Canadian Bachelors’, Master’s, or PhD University degree or it’s foreign equivalent, along with an ECA for a foreign degree
- CLB 7 or higher in English and/or French, regardless of what your job’s NOC category requires.
- Sufficient Settlement Funds as detailed by the IRCC’s website
- An intent to live and work in Ontario
- Legal status in Canada
- A CRS score that is to be determined by the OINP’s Director. This is an important change seeing that the OINP HCP stream used to require a minimum CRS of 400 points. It appears that they are now opening up the possibility of CRS point totals of less than 400 points in their selection of Express Entry candidates to receive a Notification of Interest or NOI.
Here is the specific part of the HCP stream instruction guide that deals with this:
All applicants must have obtained a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in IRCC’s Express Entry system, as determined by the director and published on the OINP’s website.
Here are the OINP draws for 2018 with the CRS points total range of the nominees.
|Draw Date||Number of Invitations||CRS Score||Profile Submission Date|
|Jan 19, 2018||340||440 – 446||Jan 1 to Jan 19, 2018|
|Jan 25, 2018||380||433 – 444||Jan 1 to Jan 25, 2018|
|Jan 25, 2018||89||433 – 444||Jan 1 to Jan 25, 2018|
|Feb 13, 2018||488||435 – 441||Jan 1 to Feb 8, 2018|
|Feb 27, 2018||511||433 – 441||Jan 1 to Feb 22, 2018|
|March 28, 2018||779||351 – 446||Jan 1 to March 26, 2018|
|Aug 9, 2018||947||350 – 439||Jan 1 to Aug 9, 2018|
It can be clearly seen that the range of CRS scores is broadening out and that the minimum necessary CRS score is starting to come in below 400 points in the last couple of OINP draws. This is good news for anyone who feels that they’re just a few CRS points short of the Federal Express Entry minimum cut-off. It means you have a new strategy in order to get that all-important ITA for permanent residency, the OINP Human Capital Priorities stream.
It may be time for you to find out more about the OINP. Go here for a more detailed look at how to apply for an OINP and to receive a nomination. It does mean you have to intend to live and work in Ontario but seeing that the province is by far Canada’s largest with a large number of migrants, especially in metro Toronto and other metropolitan areas, getting a nomination from the Ontario government may be just what you’re looking for.
Please remember that Ontario isn’t the only province with a provincial nomination program. Most of the Canadian provinces have PNPs, and most of those programs have an Express Entry component. If you would like us to cover another province, please let us know in the comments. Otherwise, please check on the PNP link for the province you wish to live in.
PNP Draw Points Cut-Offs
Some of the PNP streams for the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba use the same scoring system as Express Entry. Here are the cut-offs for 2021:
British Columbia PNP Points Cut-Offs
British Columbia uses its own scoring system:
British Columbia PNP Notifiations
BC Entrepreneur PNP Points Cut-Offs
BC Entrepreneur PNP Notifications
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program Points Cut-Offs
Saskatchewan uses its own scoring system?
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program Notifications
If you would like information about other PNPs not listed here, please let us know by emailing us or posting in our forum.