Express Entry: Couples and the Comprehensive Ranking System

Express Entry: Couples and the Comprehensive Ranking System

In Canada for immigration, single people are marked differently than couples if they apply through the Express Entry system.

The top federal economic immigration programs of Canada are Federal Skilled Worker Programs (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The Express Entry tool is used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage entry applications for immigration.


A point-based ranking system called Comprehensive Ranking System(CRS) is used by Express Entry. The ability of applicants to supersede in Canada is evaluated by the CRS system based on various constituents. the constituents include education, language expertise, and Canadian work experience.


Applicants are governed by CRS whether they are single or married. But the scores can differ based on their marital state. One may receive fewer points if they are married but can earn points with the help of their partners.


The CRS system considers an individual coupled if they are legally married or in a common-law union which means they have a live-in-relationship for at least a year.


The Express Entry application includes a Principal Applicant (PA). The CRS evaluates the PA and gives them certain points. The PA can include a partner and a child.


Applying couples can choose a PA among them. The chosen person should have good factors to score points and should be able to qualify for the Express Entry program. During the evaluation one partner is set to score more than the other. So the partner should be chosen keeping this thing in mind.


Single PAs and partnered PAs are marked distinctively. The CRS reduces the number of points someone can score with the help of a partner, by a total of 40 points. The partnered PAs can make up for these points by adding factors from their partner’s form.


A hypothetical example

Only through explanation a lot of confusion can be created but try to understand these concepts by considering some examples.


Let us consider an example of a married couple Rajiv and Sonya.

Rajiv 29-years and possesses a Master’s degree from another nation, Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 8 against all 4 sections. His work experience is of a total of 5-years in which 4-years are in Canada while 1-year experience is from another nation. Sonya 30-years of age possesses a Bachelor’s degree from another nation, CLB 7 across all 4 sections. Her work experience is of 8-years of which 6-years are from Canada.


Both of them have impressive profiles but Rajiv’s profile stands out of the crowd. Because of language knowledge, higher education and, more youthful age. This conclusion would be drawn even if both of them apply as single immigrant or partnered immigrant.


For partnered PA, Rajiv would score 494 as he gets 29 extra points because of Sonya’s strong profile.


If Rajiv would have applied as a single PAs he would have scored 497 points. When he would be asked any questions regarding the absence of his partner then it wouldn’t be necessary for the application to be accepted. Then it would be necessary for Rajiv to stay in Canada during the complete spousal sponsorship process as permanent inhabitants cannot sponsor from outside.


The nitty-gritty of the CRS

The CRS system has 4 sections for a score. Based on the marital score of a person first 2 sections may vary. In such cases, a person can earn points through their partner’s profile. Such couple points cannot be earned by a single person.


1) Core/Human Capital Factors- Factors like age, education, language. For partnered PAs maximum score is 460 points while for single PAs maximum score is 500 points.


2) Spouse/Partner Factors- In this section age, education, work experience of the partner is evaluated. The maximum score is 40 points.


3) Skill Transferability- Skills are deeply evaluated. Post-secondary credentials and Canadian work experience are factors that are considered. The maximum score is 100 points.


4) Additional Points- Candidates can earn extra points from factors like completion of secondary education from Canada or having provincial nominations from a highly regarded Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).


The maximum number of points one can earn irrespective of marital status is a total of 1200 points. If both the partners meet the eligibility criteria then the PA should be the one who earns more points.

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