What Is An Invitation To Apply (ITA)?

An ITA is a document issued by the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to people whose profiles are in the Express Entry pool.

An Invitation to Apply, abbreviated as ITA is an invitation the government of Canada gives to candidates who have submitted their profiles to Canada’s Express Entry. It is therefore popularly known as Express Entry Invitation to Apply.

The invitation allows candidates to apply for Permanent Residence so processing can begin immediately.

The ITA is a document issued by the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to people whose profiles are in the Express Entry pool.

You may choose to apply for Canadian permanent residence immediately after receiving this invitation.

If you accept the invitation, your application for permanent residence will be processed in no more than six months.

Once your application for Permanent Residence is completed and successful, you can immigrate to Canada with your family members, which may include your spouse or dependent children if you so wish.

But note that an invitation to apply does not guarantee that your application will be accepted.

It is therefore very important to know what to do to make sure your Canada immigration dream becomes a reality.

What Do You Need To Get An ITA?

Ultimately, what you need to get an ITA is to apply for Canada’s most popular immigration program – Express Entry.

Only those who have applied for these programs through the CIC can get an ITA.

However, certain things can make you have a high chance of getting an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada. These are:

Applying for Express Entry

As already stated, only those who are in the Express Entry pool can later get an ITA. Express Entry is the easiest pathway to use if you aim to become a Permanent Resident in Canada.

The program allows the IRCC to generate a pool of all candidates interested in becoming Permanent Residents of Canada.

You can apply for Express Entry for free through the online platform.

After you have received an invitation, you will then be required to pay certain amounts depending on the specific immigration program you are applying for under Express Entry.

Applying for the program requires you to have English Language or French proficiency results and a passport or any other travel document.

Once your application is complete, your profile becomes included in the Express Entry pool and you may receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence in the nearest future.

Having a High-Ranking Express Entry Profile

There are different immigration programs under Canada’s Express Entry and each comes with its requirements.

The profile you enter depends on the program you are applying through and you will rank high based on how best you meet the criteria for each program.

The IRCC uses a system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank all those who have their profiles in the Express Entry pool.

Each candidate is accorded a CRS score based on his/her profile and a minimum CRS score is chosen to determine those who will receive ITA.

Factors used to determine your CRS score include age, education, work experience, language proficiency, provincial nominations, etc.

When applying for Express Entry, you should choose a program that best meets its criteria so your ranking will be better influenced.

How To Improve Your Chances Of Getting An ITA In Canada

Doing any or all of these will improve your chances of getting an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada:

  • A valid job offer from an employer in Canada
  • A nomination from a Canadian province or territory through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • A very high language proficiency score in English Language and/or French
  • Ability to speak both English and French fluently (bilingualism)
  • Two or more degrees and or a Master’s degree.
  • Recent work experience in your field of work
  • Having a very close relative already residing in Canada

When Will I Get An Invitation To Apply (ITA)?

Usually, the immigration, refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has an up-to-date notice about the number of ITAs being issued for each month, and the minimum number of points to have to get an ITA.

If your Express Entry profile qualifies, there is a high chance you will be sent ITA during this period.

You should, however, be aware that your Express Entry profile expires after one year.

While you are waiting to get an ITA, you can make valid changes that will improve the ranking of your profile.

For example, if you retook the language proficiency test and you have a better score than the previous one, you can make the change in your profile.

If you do not receive an ITA to apply for Canada PR after one year or 12 months, you can withdraw your profile and resubmit to stand another chance of getting PR for another year.

It may be that you fall short of the qualifying marks to get an ITA.

Therefore, before you resubmit your profile, you should try to improve on your CRS score or Express Entry profile score, to be more highly ranked, and stand a chance of getting an ITA.

How To Make Changes To Your Express Entry Profile

If you need to make valid changes to your Express Entry Profile while you are waiting to get an invitation, these are the simple steps you need to take:

  • Login to your Express Entry account
  • On the welcome page, click on the option that says: “what would you like to do today?”
  • Choose the “view my submitted applications or profiles” option and then click on check status and messages
  • Click on “application/profile details” to view your application. at the bottom of this page, you will find an option that allows you to view your submitted profile
  • Click on your Express Entry profile and then click on “update form”
  • Select the sections you will like to modify and then make the corrections
  • At the bottom of the page, click on “save and exit”
  • Choose the continue option and go-ahead to submit your modified profile for the Express Entry pool

If you make any changes to your profile, the changes will reflect within 24 hours.

If you try to make a change to your profile but find out you can’t find the “update form” option but can see the option to view your profile, it means your profile has been reviewed and has been found to be ineligible.

This happens when your profile does not meet the criteria for any of the Express Entry programs.

In this case, you only need to submit a new application altogether to the Express Entry pool.

This time around, include important details that can make you rank higher than you did before.

If you have received an invitation to apply for PR, it is best not to make any changes to your profile anymore as doing this can render you disqualified and your application refused.

In general, you should try to avoid making mistakes or falsifying information in your Express Entry profile.

If you are found guilty of this, you are liable of being banned for making any other applications to the IRCC for the next five years.

What Happens After I get an Invitation to Apply (ITA)?

When you get an ITA to apply for permanent residence, you will be told what skilled immigrant program you have been accepted into.

After receiving an ITA, you only have three months or 90 days to apply for Canada Permanent Residence.

To be able to meet up with this processing time, it is advisable that you begin to put some things in place before your invitation comes.

For example, you can begin to prepare all the documents that will be required of you when applying for PR in Canada.

You will be required to submit all your supporting documents and fees to complete your application for permanent residence.

Your application may take six (6) months to process, depending on your country of residence and how accurate your profile information is.

If you miss the 90 days deadline to apply for PR, your invitation will become invalid and will be canceled from the Express Entry pool.

If you are still interested in the program, you will have to make another profile submission and wait for another invitation.

Due to one reason or the other, you can decline your ITA. This time, your invitation does not become invalid but will be withdrawn back to the Express Entry pool. If you meet the CRS points in other draws, you will receive another invitation to apply for permanent residence.

If your application for Canadian permanent residence is successful, you will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and/or a Permanent Residence Visa.

After receiving a Permanent Resident status, you are free to immigrate to Canada whenever you want. You may also bring your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children.

However, all close relatives you wish to bring with you to Canada must have been included in your Express Entry profile when you started the application process.


Q. How Long does it take to get an Invitation to Apply in Canada?

After submitting your profile in the Express Entry pool, you may receive an ITA from the IRCC a few days or weeks later.

This is not fixed however and depends on your ranking score. Your application still remains valid until after 12 months from your application date.

If you don’t receive an invitation after 12 months, you are free to make another profile submission to the Express Entry pool.

Q. What are the Eligibility Requirements for Express Entry in Canada?

To apply for Express Entry in Canada, you must:

  • Be less than 30 years old
  • Demonstrate moderate to high language proficiency in English Language or French, or both.
  • Qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).