Differences between Canada and the UK’s points-based system for immigration

Differences between Canada and the UKs points based system for immigration

When it comes to selecting immigrants who wish to migrate to a country every country has its own sets of rules and regulations. The rules can cover everything from eligibility requirements to qualifying tests to language requirements. These rules help these countries to filter immigrants and ensuring that only the best come to the country to work and study.

This filtration ensures that the immigrant is able to contribute something meaningful to the country he has migrated to and in turn the host country can benefit from his skills or contribution.

One popular method to filter immigration applicant is to use a points-based system to filter applicants and choose the ones who are most qualified to enter the country. Canada and Australia are two countries that have used the points-based system for quite some time and two years back, the UK also adopted a points-based system.

The advantages of using a points-based system are many- it ensures only highly skilled migrants gain entry and gives a fair chance to every applicant. The other advantage of the points-based system is transparency. The system makes it clear to applicants the various criteria on which they will be given points and the scoring basis for each criterion.

Based on their scores, applicants will know exactly where they stand, and they can determine the areas they need to improve on to score more points.

Here is a quick comparison of the points-based system used by Canada and the UK to help you know the differences between the two.

The UK

The UK will now provide equal opportunity to all immigrants irrespective of the fact where they are from, the focus will be on their skills. The candidates wishing to migrate to the UK will get points for specific skills, or if they belong to a profession or meet the salary requirements. Points are awarded for English language proficiency and job offer from an approved employer. Applicants will have to get a total of 70 points to be eligible.


Category       Maximum points
Job offer 20 points
Job at appropriate skill level 20 points
English speaking skills 10 points
Salary of 26,000 and above or relevant PhD in a STEM subject


20 points
Total 70 points


. The main features of the points-based migration are:

  • Immigration candidates for both EU and non-EU nations will be treated the same way
  • Highly skilled workers, skilled workers and students wanting to come to the UK must follow the points-based system
  • A job offer is mandatory for skilled workers
  • Salary threshold will now be 26,000 pounds per year, reduced from 30,000 pounds required earlier
  • Applicants must prove that they can speak English (A-level or equivalent)
  • Highly skilled workers will need to be endorsed by a UK body; however, they do not need a job offer
  • Students will also come under the points- based system to study in the UK and must show proof of an admission letter from an educational institute, English proficiency and funds.
  • 70 points is the minimum score required to be eligible for a visa

Candidates must have a good IELTS score and meet all technical, legal, and financial requirements in order to migrate to the UK. These parameters are determined by the migration route you choose.


Canada has been following a points-based system for quite some years. The eligibility of immigrants is decided on various points such as age, language, education and work experience. Candidates should score 67 points out of 100 in the eligibility factors given below to qualify for permanent residence:


Category Maximum points
Age Those between 18-35 years get maximum points. Those above 35 get lesser points while the maximum age to qualify is 45 years.


Education Applicant’s educational qualification must be equal to higher secondary education under Canadian standards.


Work experience For minimum points applicants should have at least one-year of full-time work experience. More years of work experience means more points.


Language ability Applicants must have at least 6 bands in IELTS. They get extra points if proficient in French.
Adaptability If the spouse or common law partner of the applicant is willing to migrate to Canada, he is entitled to 10 extra points for adaptability.
Arranged employment A maximum of 10 points if applicants have a valid offer from a Canadian employer.


A valid job offer from a Canadian employer entitles applicants for ten points.

Apart from this, the applicant’s occupation must be listed as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Check your eligibility for Canada immigration


Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

Apart from the eligibility criteria, Canada follows the Comprehensive Ranking System. The CRS is a point-based grading and evaluation system for immigrants. The CRS is used to assign a score to immigrants in the Express Entry pool. Immigration applicants who submit their profiles to the Express Entry pool receive a CRS score of 1200 points. The Express Entry draw happens on a regular basis, with a new CRS score for each draw. For each draw, those who meet the CRS score standards will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a PR visa. Your chances of being selected improve if you have a high CRS score.

The assessment factors for the CRS score are:

  • Skills
  • Education
  • Language ability
  • Work experience
  • Other factors

The CRS score for a specific draw is determined by the average score of all candidates in the Express Entry draw pooI. The CRS score is directly proportional to the average CRS score of candidates in the pool. The CRS score increases as the average rises. If you wish to receive an ITA from the Express Entry lottery, you must have the highest score.

If your CRS score isn’t high enough, you’ll need to figure out how to improve it. The criteria that go towards determining your CRS score are listed below.

  • Age: You can score the maximum points if you are between 18-35 years. Those above or below this age will gain lesser points.
  • Education: Your minimum educational qualification must be equal to the higher secondary education level in Canada. Higher level of educational qualification means more points.
  • Work experience: To score the minimum points you should have at least one year of work experience. If you have more years of work experience you will gain more points. Canadian work experience also gives you more points.
  • Language ability: You must have at least 6 bands in your IELTS equivalent to CLB 7 to be eligible to apply and score the minimum points.
  • Adaptability: You can score ten points on the adaptability factor if your family members or close relatives are living in Canada and will be able to support you when you move in there. You can also gain points if your spouse or legal partner is ready to migrate with you to Canada.

Human capital and spouse common law partner factors: You can score a maximum of 500 points under both these factors. Your human capital score will be calculated based on the criteria mentioned above.

Regarding the points you can score under the spouse/common law partner factor, you can score a maximum of 500 points if your spouse/common-law partner is not coming with you to Canada.  You can score a maximum of 460 points if your spouse is coming with you to Canada.

Human capital factor Accompanied by spouse/common law partner Not accompanied by spouse/common law partner
Age 100 110
Educational Qualification 140 150
Language proficiency 150 160
Canadian work experience 70 80


Skill Transferability: You can gain a maximum of 100 points under this category. The three important factors considered under Skill Transferability include:

Education: You can get 50 points if you have a high level of language competence and a post-secondary degree, or if you have Canadian job experience combined with a post-secondary degree.

Work Experience: You will receive 50 points if you have foreign work experience combined with high-level language competence or if you have Canadian work experience mixed with foreign work experience.

Canadian qualification: A certificate of qualification from Canada with a high degree of linguistic proficiency will earn you 50 points.

Education Maximum Points
Language Skills (English/French) + Education 50
Canadian Work Experience + Education 50
Foreign Work Experience Maximum Points
Language Skills (English/French) + Foreign Work Experience 50
Foreign Work Experience + Canadian Work Experience 50
Certificate of Qualification (Trades) Maximum Points
Language Skills (English/French) + Education Certificate 50


Additional points: It is possible to gain a maximum of 600 points based on various factors. Here is a breakdown of the points for the various factors.

Factor Maximum points
Sibling in Canada who is a citizen or PR visa holder 15
French language proficiency 30
Post-secondary education in Canada 30
Arranged employment 200
PNP nomination 600


Comparison between the U. K’s and Canada’s points-based system

Candidates applying for Canadian immigration under the economic class need not have a job offer with a specific wage, unlike in the United Kingdom.

Candidates with work experience in any skilled occupation may be able to apply through the Express Entry program for permanent residency in Canada. There are two types of economic immigration in Canada: federal and provincial, each with its own set of requirements for job experience. Such Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are open to candidates in a variety of career sectors that fulfil the province’s labor needs.

Apart from that, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used by Express Entry to establish a candidate’s place in the Express Entry pool takes into account both full-time and part-time work experience in a skilled occupation.

The points-based system in the UK on the other hand, is aimed at attracting the best and brightest migrants to the country who can contribute to the country’s economic progress. The points-based system seeks to end the dependence on low –skilled labor from abroad and urge local employers to train the local population for such jobs.

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