The ITA is an auto-generated correspondence issued to Express Entry candidates through their Express Entry account. The ITA is issued to candidates who rank the highest in a round of invitations, based on their score in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
How to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) through Express Entry
In order to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through Express Entry, a candidate must meet two criteria.
First, the candidate must demonstrate eligibility for one of the skilled worker immigration programs that are aligned with Express Entry:
If you are eligible for at least one of these programs, you may create an Express Entry profile and enter the pool of candidates. Once your profile is submitted and deemed eligible, you will be automatically given a score under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on the information provided when you created your Express Entry profile.
The second criteria used to issue ITAs is the Comprehensive Ranking System Score. Express Entry is a competitive immigrant selection system and the CRS score is a points-system used to rank candidates against one another. Only the most competitive candidates receive ITAs.
Receiving an invitation to apply
When IRCC conducts a draw from the pool, candidates who meet the cut-off threshold are invited to apply for permanent residence. The receipt of a precious invitation to apply means they are now in a position to settle in Canada with permanent resident status within a matter of months.
The invitation to apply is valid for 60 calendar days. Extensions are not granted, no matter what. Consequently, it is a good idea for candidates who have not yet been invited to gather, prepare, and review all of their supporting documentation before they receive an invitation to apply. By the time they are invited, and taking into account the 60-day validity, it may already be too late to get everything in order.
If a candidate misses the 60-day deadline, the invitation to apply is no longer valid. The candidate does have the option to decline the invitation. In this case, the candidate will have their profile returned to the Express Entry pool (if they are still eligible) and will be considered in future Express Entry draws.
What is included in the ITA?
The ITA invites the candidate to apply under a specific class (i.e., FSWC, FSTC, CEC or PNC). A candidate cannot apply under a class other than the one specified in their ITA, even when the candidate appears to be eligible for multiple classes.
The ITA includes the following chart, which outlines how the candidate’s points were calculated in the CRS at the time of the round of invitations:
|Express Entry criteria||Your Score|
|CRS – Human Capital – Age||###|
|CRS – Human Capital – Level of Education||###|
|CRS – Human Capital – First Official Language Proficiency||###|
|CRS – Human Capital – Second Official Language Proficiency||###|
|CRS – Human Capital – Canadian Work Experience||###|
|CRS – Spouse – Level of Education||###|
|CRS – Spouse – First Official Language Proficiency||###|
|CRS – Spouse – Canadian Work Experience||###|
|CRS – Skill Transferability – Education||###|
|CRS – Skill Transferability – Foreign Work Experience||###|
|CRS – Skill Transferability – Certificate of Qualification||###|
|CRS – Arranged Employment||###|
|CRS – Provincial or Territorial Nomination||###|
|Your overall points score||###|
Deadline for responding to an ITA
Upon receipt of an ITA, a candidate has 60 calendar days to do one of the following:
- Submit a complete application for permanent residence (APR) in their online account. This includes providing all supporting documentation up front.
- Decline the ITA in their online account, if the candidate is not ready to apply within 60 calendar days of receiving the ITA or if they believe that a change in their circumstance has made them ineligible to be invited. In this case, the candidate’s profile will become “active” in the pool for the remaining days of the profile’s validity and the candidate will be considered for future rounds of invitations, as long as they continue to meet the MEC.
When a candidate’s situation changes after the ITA is issued
Candidates are responsible for ensuring that the information in their Express Entry profile is up-to-date and accurate at all times.
Candidates’ Express Entry profile is automatically “locked” when they are issued an ITA. Candidates can only revise their profile information if they formally decline the ITA through their online account; however, their information may be updated in their APR. When a candidate declines an ITA, they are automatically returned to the pool and will be able to update their profile information, as they wait for a new ITA.
Your ITA options: Accepting / Declining / Expiration
|Scenario||How this happens||What happens next|
|Accepting an ITA||The submission of a complete profile within 60 days is considered acceptance||IRCC assesses the application. Most files are successfully processed to completion within six months.|
|Declining an ITA||This is easily done by clicking a button provided on the ITA notice itself.||The candidate’s profile is placed back in the pool and is eligible for selection in subsequent draws.|
|Letting an ITA expire||The invited candidate fails to submit an application within 60 days.||If the individual still wishes to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, he or she will have to create a new profile.|
Note: It is the candidate’s responsibility to check their online account frequently. IRCC does not grant extensions to the 60-calendar-day deadline for submitting a complete APR. Where candidates claim they did not check their online account or read their ITA letter, this is not a valid reason for an extension.
Getting help with your Express Entry application
Do you need assistance in preparing an application for Canadian permanent residence?