Successful candidates under Express Entry receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Canada issues ITAs approximately every two weeks. If you successfully receive an ITA, you will then need to submit your completed permanent residence application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This comprehensive CanadaVisa page provides you with everything you need to know on ITAs.
About the ITA
An Invitation To Apply is offered to any candidate in the Express Entry pool who has been selected to apply for immigration to Canada by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through the Express Entry immigration selection system. Invitations to Apply are issued on a priority basis when IRCC performs a draw from the Express Entry pool, which is made up of candidates who have made an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada.
An Invitation To Apply should not be confused with initial eligibility to enter the Express Entry pool, nor should it be confused with a job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial nomination certificate. The Invitation To Apply is an auto-generated letter issued to Express Entry candidates through their Express Entry profiles.
Obtaining an ITA
Only candidates eligible to immigrate to Canada by meeting the minimum entry criteria of a federal economic immigration program may enter the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS ranks candidates under the following components:
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- core human capital factors;
- accompanying spouse or common-law partner factors, if applicable;
- skill transferability factors; and
- factors relating to a provincial nomination, a qualifying offer of arranged employment, previous study in Canada, having a sibling in Canada, or proof of French ability.
There are a total of 1,200 points available under the Comprehensive Ranking System.
The government of Canada issues Invitations to Apply to certain candidates in the Express Entry pool according to their ranking by publishing a minimum CRS cut-off score at the time of the draw and notifying those candidates who have been invited to apply for permanent residence.
All candidates who receive an Invitation To Apply are currently required to submit the following supporting documents along with their application, along with government processing fees:
- Valid passport
- Birth certificate
- Language test results
- Documentation attesting to work experience
- Police clearance certificate(s)
- Upfront medical receipt
- Photographs of principal applicant and family members
Depending on the program under which a candidate was issued an Invitation To Apply and the information provided in his or her Express Entry profile, the following documentation may be required:
- Canadian Education Credential OR Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
- Letter of attestation
- Official transcripts of post-secondary education study program courses taken
- Secondary education documents
- Original letter from a Canadian employer indicating an offer of arranged employment
- Proof of family relationship(s) in Canada
- Proof of settlement funds
- Legal documents showing changes in name or date of birth
- Marriage certificate(s)
- Signed Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union and documents attesting to cohabitation for a period of at least 12 months
- Divorce or annulment certificate(s)
- Death certificate(s) for former spouse(s) or common-law partner(s)
- Children’s birth certificates
- Adoption papers
- Proof of full custody for children
- Travel documents (non-passport)
- Certified copy of a certificate of qualification in a skilled trade occupation issued by a Canadian provincial/territorial authority
- Copies of work contracts and/or pay stubs
- Documents relating to income taxation
If the information provided by the potential candidate turns out to be false, this is known as misrepresentation and, depending on the nature and severity of the false claim, carries penalties. The purpose of the misrepresentation provisions is to ensure that applicants provide complete, honest, and truthful information in every manner when applying for entry into Canada, and to ensure the integrity of Canadian immigration programs.
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A potential candidate who has been found to have provided false information going into the Express Entry pool can be banned from re-entering the pool for five years. Therefore, it is hugely important to provide accurate and correct information always.
An applicant may be found inadmissible to Canada due to misrepresentation for directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the processing of his or her application. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is truthful and that the supporting documents are genuine, and he or she may be found to have misrepresented him or herself whether or not that misrepresentation was intentional.
Examples of misrepresentation may include:
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- An applicant asks a relative or friend to obtain information in support of an application. The information provided by the applicant’s representative turns out to be false and the applicant claims to not be aware of the inaccuracy. Nevertheless, the applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is truthful and the supporting documents are genuine. The applicant could therefore be inadmissible for misrepresentation due to having submitted false documents and/or information, even though he or she was not the one who fabricated evidence.
- An individual states that he or she has never been convicted of a crime, but a criminal background check reveals a criminal record. This is direct misrepresentation.
The scope of misrepresentation is not limited to such cases. In cases of possible misrepresentation, the applicant may be given the opportunity to respond to concerns raised about his or her application.
Accepting an ITA
The original profile information will be kept for 60 days after the Invitation To Apply is issued. Candidates will have this length of time to submit a complete and accurate application along with all supporting documents.
Because of this limited time period, candidates are encouraged to begin collecting these documents and ensuring they are in good order before an Invitation To Apply for Canadian permanent residence is issued. If a candidate misses the 60-day deadline, the Invitation To Apply for permanent residence that was issued to him or her is no longer valid and he or she will have to re-enter the Express Entry pool.
Once all portions of the document checklist are uploaded and complete, applicants are given the option to submit an application. The option to submit is not available until after all fields are accounted for. The submission of the complete application is considered the acceptance. An Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) will be automatically issued once the file is submitted.
IRCC will review the application and determine whether or not it is both complete and eligible. IRCC aims to complete this process within six months of the applicant having submitted his or her application.
Expiration of an ITA
If no application is made by that time, it will be deleted. Candidates who do not decline an Invitation To Apply and who do not apply within 60 days will see that the Invitation To Apply will expire. At this point, candidates who still wish to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry will have to complete and submit a new Express Entry profile and be accepted to the pool again in order to be considered in future rounds of invitations. To re-enter the pool, candidates will have to still meet the minimum criteria.
Declining an ITA
Candidates who decide to decline an Invitation To Apply will have their profiles placed back into the Express Entry pool to be considered in future rounds of invitations, as long as they still meet the minimum criteria of a federal economic immigration program.
There is no guarantee that candidates will receive another Invitation To Apply at a later date. Declining an invitation, however, will not have a negative effect on whether or not candidates could be invited to apply at a later date.
Click here for more information on draws from the Express Entry pool that have taken place, including details regarding:
- how many Invitations to Apply were issued for each draw;
- the minimum number of CRS points required in order for candidates to receive an Invitation To Apply; and
- the program(s) under which candidates were issued Invitations to Apply for each draw.