Candidates who apply for Express Entry are assessed by the Canadian Government using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Those who are successful are placed in the Express Entry pool. If selected, the applicant is sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada.

ITA Explained

Candidates who are put in the Express Entry pool are ranked on points. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) executes a draw regularly. Those selected will receive an ITA. Once the candidate has an ITA they may begin the application process.

Applying for an ITA

If a potential immigrant meets the requirements of the federal economic immigration program, as defined by their score on the CRS, they may be entitled to be placed in the Express Entry pool. The CRS ranks applicants on the following:

  • Core Human Capital Factors which include age, education, work experience and marital status, as well as ability in English and French. If a spouse or common law partner is also applying, then they will be scored too.
  • Skills Transferability Factors including work experience and skills the candidate possesses that may be of benefit to Canada and the community. No points are awarded for an accompanying spouse.
  • Additional Factors such as a standing job offer in Canada, work experience in the country, having studied in Canada and having siblings in the country. Perhaps most notable is the possession of a provincial nomination, whereby the candidate has been recognised as offering skills important to a province.

A maximum 1200 points are available within the CRS, with 600 awarded in the additional category.

How to Accept an ITA

Once issued with an ITA the candidate has 60 days to put in an application. The candidate can decline the invitation, in which case their profile returns to the Express Entry pool for future draws. Declining does not have a negative impact on future draws.
The application for permanent residence must be completed correctly and submitted within the 60-day deadline along with all documents required (see below). Once received the application will be checked and IRRC will issue an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) to the applicant. The process from here will be completed within 6 months.
If an ITA is not acted upon within 60 days, it is considered to have expired. A new profile must be submitted if the applicant wishes to apply for Express Entry again.

Documentation required includes the following:

  • Current and valid passport
  • Valid birth certificate
  • Results of required language tests (English and French)
  • Proof of work experience
  • Relevant medical certificate
  • Police clearance documentation
  • Current photographs of applicant and family members (where applicable)

As there are many immigration programs in Canada there may be requirements for further documents such as education and skills certificates, marriage licences, proof of family in Canada and income and tax documents.