Introduced in 2015, the Express Entry Pool emerged as one of the renowned gateways inviting the highest-scoring candidates to apply for permanent residence. Express Entry is a broader concept that manages three different programs: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. These programs utilize the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), a point-based system that helps assess candidates’ potential. Due to its competitive nature and the complex criteria, navigating the intricacies of the Express Entry Pool can be daunting. In such cases, your score plays a crucial role in establishing your eligibility for immigration to Canada. However, can entering the Express Entry pool with a low Comprehensive Ranking System score be worthwhile? Continue reading this blog piece to learn more about the CRS score for the Express Entry Pool and how it can impact your possibilities of immigration to Canada.

Understanding Comprehensive Ranking System

The Comprehensive Ranking System represents an intricately designed, point-based architecture intended to meticulously appraise and assign scores to the profiles of prospective candidates. This system typically evaluates individuals based on various factors, including skills, work experience, educational background, language ability, skill set, and other factors. Nevertheless, for those aspiring to enter the pool, it’s essential to align with the eligibility prerequisites of an immigration program within the Express Entry framework. The Comprehensive Ranking System distributes a maximum of 1200 points divided between a core allocation of up to 600 points and an auxiliary pool of points up to 600 for additional qualifications. These are based on the following:

  1. Skills and experience of the candidates
  2. Spouses or common-law partner’s attributes, such as language proficiency and education
  3. Skills transferability, including education and work experience

The additional up to 600 points will rely upon these factors: 

  1. Ownership of Canadian degrees, diplomas, or certificates
  2. Must hold a valid job offer
  3. Nomination from a province or territory
  4. Must have a brother or sister who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada 
  5. Must possess strong French language skills 

Venturing into the Express Entry Pool: Is It Wise with a Low CRS Score?

Opting to join the Express Entry pool, even with a lower Comprehensive Ranking score, warrants consideration, given the fluctuating minimum CRS score required across different draws. 

  • Opportunity for Improvement

Once you enter the pool, you have the opportunity to enhance your CRS score. Maximizing your language proficiency, acquiring additional work experience, completing further education or certification, and securing a provincial nomination will enable you to strengthen your profile. 

  • Updates to CRS Scores

As mentioned, CRS cutoffs fluctuate with each draw and sometimes drop to minimum levels. However, by remaining in the pool, you maintain your position to potentially receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence when the cutoff score aligns with or falls below your CRS score. 

  • Potential Provincial Nominations

Few provinces in Canada operate their own immigration programs that directly select candidates from the Express Entry pool. When your CRS score doesn’t meet the federal threshold, pursuing a provincial nomination could be a viable alternative for eligibility.

  • Express Entry Validity

Bear in mind that upon entering the Express Entry pool, your profile maintains its validity for a duration of up to 12 months. During these 12 months, you can actively pursue improvements in your CRS score to better your chances of being issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA).


The Comprehensive Ranking System emerges as a pivotal point-based framework essential for evaluating the immigration eligibility of candidates to Canada. Famed for its rigorous competition and intricate requirements, maneuvering through the complexities of the Express Entry Pool presents a formidable challenge. Yet, when your CRS score falls considerably short of recent cutoff marks, it becomes crucial to improve your language skills, gain more work experience, pursue additional education, and obtain a provincial nomination to elevate your profile. Besides this, you can consult with an immigration professional to determine the best course of action based on your specific situation. Collaborating with reliable professionals like Kurzfeld Law can help you craft strategies that will result in boosting your score. Ready to enhance your Express Entry profile? Get in touch with us and take the first step towards making your Canadian immigration dream a reality.