What is an Invitation to Apply (ITA)? 

The first thing that one needs to understand is what exactly an Invitation to Apply is? In simpler words, it is one of the most important steps within the Canadian Immigration Application which is received by a candidate who is part of the Express Entry pool, and has been further selected by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to apply for immigration via the selection procedure of the Express Entry program. 

However, one should never consider this as an initial eligibility to enter the Express Entry pool. Also, it is not equivalent to a job offer from a Canadian sponsoring firm, nor it serves the purpose of a Provincial Nomination Certificate. 

The Invitation to Apply (ITA) is an automated letter issued to Express Entry candidates selected from the pool of individuals who have expressed interest in immigrating to Canada. These ITAs are issued based on priority during draws conducted by IRCC through the Express Entry profiles.

How can one obtain an Invitation to Apply (ITA) by IRCC? 

Once a candidate becomes successful under the Express Entry Visa Program, they receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for securing their permanent residency spot in Canada. 

This happens only when candidates who are deemed eligible to migrate to Canada enter the Express Entry pool, where they are further sorted and ranked as per the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). 

The key criteria to determine an individual’s rank under the CRS includes a range of factors for evaluating candidates, such as core human capital factors, factors related to an accompanying spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), skill transferability factors, and considerations such as provincial nominations, qualifying job offers, previous study in Canada, having a sibling in Canada, or demonstrating proficiency in French.  

Canada's immigration process involves selecting candidates from the Express Entry pool by establishing a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off score during each draw. Subsequently, individuals who meet or exceed this cut-off score are issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence, showing their eligibility to proceed with their application.

The Canadian Immigration authorities issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in every two weeks’ time approximately. 

Once you receive your ITA, you will then have to move towards the next step in the process, which is, to submit all the required documentation and the permanent residency application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

What documentation is required for processing the ITA? 

If any candidate receives an Invitation to Apply by Canadian Immigration, then they are required to submit the below mentioned documents in support of their application and pay the government processing fee. 

The primary documents for an ITA include –

1. A valid national passport 

2. Birth certificate issued by a government body

3. Language proficiency test results for English and/or French language 

4. Work experience certifications 

5. Police clearance certificate 

6. Receipt of medical examination conducted for Canadian immigration purposes 

7. Photograph of the applicant and family members 

However, apart from the above-mentioned documents, depending on the program under which the Canadian Immigration sent across an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to the candidate, the following set of documentation may be required to be submitted to ITCC by the candidate: 

1. If a candidate has completed their education in Canada, they need to submit the Canadian Education Credential

2. However, if their education is from a foreign country, they may be asked to submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

3. Along with this, they also need to submit the original transcripts of your post-secondary education courses they have pursued

4. Secondary education documents

5. Letter of attestation

6. One needs to submit an official employment offer from a Canadian sponsor, which clearly mentions the terms of the arranged employment

7. Proof of family relationship(s) in Canada

8. Proof of sufficient funding for settling in Canada 

9. Legal documents showing changes in name or date of birth [only if applicable]

10. Marriage certificate(s)

11. Signed Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union and documents attesting to cohabitation for a period of at least 12 months

12. Divorce or annulment certificate(s)

13. Death certificate(s) for former spouse(s) or common-law partner(s)

14. Children’s birth certificates or if the child is adopted one needs to submit the adoption papers

15. In case an applicant is separated from its partner, they need to present the proof of full custody for children

16. Travel documents (non-passport)

17. Certified copy of a certificate of qualification in a skilled trade occupation issued by a Canadian provincial/territorial authority

18. Documents relating to income taxation  

What happens if a candidate misrepresents information in their immigration application?

If the Canadian Immigration identifies that the potential candidate, at any phase of their immigration application has provided false/misrepresented information, then depending on the nature and severity of the information provided as false, there are certain penalties that are imposed on the applicant. 

This is to ensure that all those who apply for immigration to Canada provide the authorities with information that is true to every sense and in every manner, thus ensuring the integrity of Canadian immigration programs.

One of the foremost penalties that is applied on a candidate who is found indulged in misrepresentation of information is a ban of five years from re-applying to the Express Entry pool. Thus, it becomes highly important to provide correct and most accurate information every time documentation is requested by the immigration authorities. 

If someone applying to come to Canada tells lies or hides important information that could cause a mistake in their application process, they might not be allowed to enter Canada. It's the applicant's job to make sure they're honest and provide real documents. Even if they didn't mean to misrepresent and may have done it unintentionally, they could still be considered dishonest, and severe penalties can be imposed on them by IRCC.

Some of the common examples of misrepresentation include but are not limited to – 

Asking a close acquaintance or a relative to acquire information in support of an applicant, and the application information thus submitted by the representative turning out to be false, with the applicant claiming not to be aware of the falsification. 

Please be aware that the person applying has a duty to make sure their application is honest, and the papers they give are real. So, even if they didn't make up fake information themselves, they could still be refused entry to Canada if they sent in fake documents or information.

Another and a grave misrepresentation of information includes hiding one’s criminal record from their native country. In the early stages of the process, an individual claims that they have no prior criminal records, yet when a deeper inquiry is conducted of their criminal background, a record of past offenses is found. 

This makes a clear case of intentional misrepresentation.

However, this is one of the many cases through which information can be misrepresented within an immigration application for Canada. Although, in cases where there is a possible misrepresentation of information within the applicant’s file, they may be provided with a chance to respond to the issues raised by the immigration authorities in regards to the facts provided. 

The provisions to accept the Invitation to Apply (ITA)

The original profile information is retained for 60 days after receiving the Invitation to Apply (ITA). During this time, candidates should gather and organize their documents for a complete and accurate application. 

Missing the 60-day deadline invalidates the ITA, requiring re-entry into the Express Entry pool. Once all required documents are uploaded and the checklist is complete, applicants can submit their application, which provides an Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR). The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to review and process applications within six months after submission.

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. 

If an applicant doesn't submit an application within 60 days, their Invitation To Apply (ITA) will expire and get deleted. To pursue Canadian immigration through Express Entry subsequently, the individual must create and submit a new profile, ensuring they still meet the minimum criteria for consideration in future invitation rounds.

What happens when you decline and Invitation to Apply?

Candidates who decline an Invitation to Apply will have their profiles re-entered into the Express Entry pool for future consideration, provided they still meet the minimum criteria. However, there's no assurance of receiving another invitation later, and declining won't affect future invitation chances.

According to the Express Entry Ministerial Instructions, candidates should decline an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if changes in their situation affect their eligibility to a federal immigration program or lower their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score below the lowest-ranked candidate in their invitation round. 

If an applicant cannot provide proof of the information in their profile that led to the ITA, they may be refused and assessed for misrepresentation, with no refund of cost recovery fees.

Examples of changes that impact a candidate's CRS score positively include graduating from higher education, gaining an additional year of Canadian work experience, obtaining a qualification certificate, or improving language test scores. 

Conversely, changes that could lower the CRS score include achieving lower language test scores upon retesting or losing a qualifying job offer. 

Adding a spouse or common-law partner may either increase or decrease the CRS score, depending on their qualifications. Notably, candidates are not penalized for losing points due to their birthday occurring after receiving an ITA.

Know more about the ITA by visiting the link below –

Know more about the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) by visiting the below link –