Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residence (ITAs)

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Applicants who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) will become eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada.  Applicants who receive an ITA will also receive a message from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) indicating which skilled immigration program they should apply under and how to apply for permanent residence.

It is important to note that receiving an ITA DOES NOT automatically mean that an applicant will be accepted as a permanent resident. After receiving an ITA, an applicant must submit a fully completed application for permanent residence. This application will be accepted or rejected depending on whether or not the applicant meets relevant criteria.

Note: Applicants who receive an ITA may be asked to prove that the information they entered into their Express Entry profile is accurate. If it is found that the applicant gave false information in his or her profile, the application will be refused and the applicant may be subject to further punishment such as:

  • Being deemed inadmissible to Canada
  • Being barred from entering Canada in any way for five years

Applicants who receive an ITA will have 60 days to submit an application for permanent residence. During the 60-day period, it is recommended that applicants be sure to complete the following:

1. Check Language Test Results

Applicants should check to make sure that their language test results will still be valid on the day that they submit their permanent residence application. Language test results are valid for two years. If the test results will expire before application submission, applicants should either.

  • Be tested again, or
  • Make sure to submit their application before the results expire, or
  • Decline their invitation to apply

2. Get a police certificate

Permanent residence applicants must obtain a police certificate for themselves and all family members over 18. Further, each family member must get a police certificate from each country in which they lived for more than six months while older than 18. It may take a long time for these police certificates to be processed, so applicants should begin obtaining the certificates as soon as possible.

3. Check program requirements

Once applicants have determined which skilled immigration program they will be applying to, they should confirm that they meet the requirements for that program:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program requirements
  • Federal Skilled Trade Program requirements
  • Canada Experience Class requirements

4. Update Personal Information

Applicants whose personal situation has changed since receiving an ITA should recalculate their Comprehensive Ranking System score. If an applicant’s new score is lower than the minimum score selected in the same draw, it is recommended that the applicant deny the ITA.

If an applicant applies for permanent residence and it is discovered that their score is no longer high enough, the application will be refused and the application fee will not be refunded. Changes that can lower an applicant’s score include:

  • The loss of a job offer
  • The loss of provincial nomination for permanent residence
  • Expired language test scores
  • New language test results that are lower than prior results

Note: Adding a spouse or common-law partner can increase or decrease the applicant’s score based on the spouse or partner’s:

  • Language skills
  • Education
  • Chances of becoming successfully established in Canada

Applicants with an ITA who fail to apply for permanent residence within 60 days will be removed from the candidate pool. Applicants removed from the pool will have to make a new Express Entry profile and be accepted into the pool again in order to receive a new ITA.

5. Declining an Invitation to Apply

As seen above, in some cases, applicants will be better served by declining their ITA. Applicants who decline their ITAs will be placed back in the pool of candidates as long as they are still eligible for the Express Entry system. While in the pool, applicants should be sure to keep their personal information up to date.

Candidates in the pool should also seek opportunities to increase their Comprehensive Ranking Points Score score by:

  • Obtaining a job offer
  • Obtaining nomination for permanent residence by a provincial government
  • Improving their language test scores

Declining an ITA does not, in and of itself, have a negative effect on an applicant’s chances of getting another ITA in the future.

Candidates who fail to respond to an invitation to apply by either accepting or declining the invitation will be removed from the Express Entry pool.

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