Invitation to Apply (ITA) and the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

Invitation to Apply ITA and the Comprehensive Ranking System CRS

So yeah, we’ve decided to migrate under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. Remember when I told you that we were choosing between New Zealand and Canada, our decision wasn’t that clear until we got our ITA, the much coveted Invitation to Apply. ITA is given when you meet certain criteria such as points. This means that you have what they are looking for and they want you to try and apply for immigration in their country. By the way, we got ITAs from both NZ and Canada. Please take note that getting an ITA does not mean getting an approval for migration.

NZ and Canada uses points in determining who they will invite to apply. These points are mainly based on you and your spouse’s(if applicable) age, education, work experience, your job and most of all your language ability. The higher your points are, the higher the chance that you will get invited. For the first few draws, points cutoff in Canada has been very high and until March 2015, it hasn’t gone down to 700 (we have 471 points) which prompted us to consider NZ. Since both have the same requirements, we also applied and paid Php15000++ (Canada’s initial application is free) as application fee (Expression of Interest) in NZ. We actually got an ITA the week before we got our ITA from Canada (when for the second time, scores went below 600). This is a not so wise decision since we shelled out money for nothing since we will not be pursuing the application from NZ since Canada has always been our priority.

Last January 1, 2015, Canada launched the express entry system. It is based on the NZ and Australia’s immigration system. Previously, it will take the immigration office years to decide on your application, but with the new system, they promise to make a decision on your application in less than 6 months after submission. True to their promise, we got ours in three months.

The whole Canada immigration process can be summarized as:
1. Create an online profile. Fill-out the forms and based on your answers, the system will determine your points.
2. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) conducts at least two draws per month. If you meet the minimum entry criteria (points) you will be given an Invitation to Apply.
3. The ITA will include a checklist of the requirements needed by CIC. Everything is submitted online. Documents include proof of all the details that you have declared in your profile and other documents such as birth and marriage certificates, medical examination results, police clearance and proof of funds to name a few.
4. After submission, wait for a decision; it could be an approval or a rejection. CIC may also require additional documents along the way.
5. If the CIC’s decision is positive, you will receive a passport request where in you need to submit your passport to the nearest visa office for visa printing.
6. After the issuance of visa, you need to land in Canada to finalize the immigration process before your visa expires (usually 1 year after your medical exam).

Going back to getting an ITA, you need to determine your points first before deciding to apply and create an online profile. In Canada, they call it Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). There are a couple of good CRS calculators online. You can check this link for your point calculation. As a friendly advice, do proceed only if you think you can get at least 450 points so that you need not waste money in securing the needed exam and documents, at least for this year. Note though that there are several ways to boost your score such as having your spouse take IELTS and Education Credential Assessment, securing a job offer from a Canadian employer or having a provincial nomination. For you to create a profile, you will be needing two things; IELTS general training exam result and Education Credential Assessment (ECA) from a recognized institution.

Also, it’s worth noting what NOC code does your job falls into as this will be asked a couple of times in creating your MyCIC profile. Remember that you are applying for skilled worker so it just makes sense that you are skilled enough in your job. You can check your NOC code here.

In the next entry I’ll be detailing the two major requirements (IELTS and ECA) for creating an online profile. Stay tuned.



  • Avatar Reply Alexander |

    Thanks for taking the time to write down your immigration adventure to Canada! Do you think that 300-310 points will be too low to try express entry?

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Alexander. You’re welcome. Glad to help. 300-310 is too low as of the moment. But, we’ll never know really. Currently, even those with 450 points will find it hard to be drawn. You can look at this link to see where you currently stand (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/reports/ee-midyear-2015.asp) . Looking at the data, there are at least 24,000 people in the 351->1000 points and out of that pool, only 1400-1500 entries will be drawn per draw. I suggest bringing your points up to at least 451. That way, you’ll have higher chance of being drawn. Cheers!

  • Avatar Reply Kisha |

    Hello! Hope you and your family are doing ok. I have 2 questions, if you may. First is how close or accurate is the crs calculator in CIC’s website vs the System generated points in your express entry profile? Second is, were you granted any points from job offer or PNP? Currently stand (frm crs calculator at 437..for me and my spouse) ?

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Kisha. I hope everything is great on your end. CRS Calculator is 100% accurate if you enter accurate inputs. You can also compute your points manually if you have the time. Score breakdown is in the mycic site. I was not granted a PNP nor a job offer. In fact, I’m still searching and hoping to get a job before landing but I think it will be really hard. Luckily I have a master’s degree and my wife and I got the maximum points from IELTS thus the 471 points.

      437 honestly is a little bit low given the number of entries in that bracket. If you can still push your points to greater than 450, your chances of receiving an ITA will be higher. You can also explore PNP as employment through LMIA is really not an option (or harder) for us outside Canada, but then you can always try.

      Goodluck to you and your family.

  • Avatar Reply Norly Bala |

    Hayy. para ayaw ko na tuloy mag process, tinatry kung e calculate yung sakin at nilagay ko sa language proficiency 7 kasi impossible nman makakakuha ako ng maximum points. Pero 399 lng nakuha ko. Goodbye to my canadian dream :((

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Norly,

      There are other ways to increase your points such as the Provincial Nomination Program and/or having a job offer. For the language proficiency, you can always practice before actually taking the exam. 399 is not so bad, but, you’ll definitely need to boost your points. Don’t give up. I pray that your dreams will come true. God bless.


      • Avatar Reply Norly Bala |

        Maraming salamat po sa advice nyo sir. Yun nlng po talaga pag-asa ko PNP tsaka yung job offer.
        Kung sakaling swertihin ako at makakakuha ako ng PNP or Job-Offer, kelangan ko pa po ba mag take ng IELTS?

        • Kulas Reply Kulas |

          You’re welcome. Yes. It is still needed, but, even if you get the minimum score required, you’ll have more than enough points to get an invitation. 🙂

          • Avatar Norly Bala |

            Pwedi po ba mag move sa canada for work just by obtaining work permit gamit yung PNP or Job Offer? At later na po yung pag process sa PR?

          • Kulas Kulas |

            Hi Norly,

            I have an officemate who only has a work-permit and he’s planning to apply for PR after 2 years. So, yes it’s possible. The hardest part though is to get the work permit.


          • Avatar Norly |

            I see, parang hindi din yata ako eligible for PNP kasi kelangan may relatives, Job-Offer nlng yung chance ko. Anyways, maraming salamat po sa pagsagot at sa time nyo po sir. God Bless you and your family.

  • Avatar Reply Kat |


    I am confused. When I attended an Express Entry in Canada Orientation. They initially computed our FSW scores and not our CRS scores. It seems that I got 72 (including spouse’s points), 67 should be the passing score. I am planning to get a consultancy firm to assist me with my application…then, I used the CSR calculator and I got 310 :'(.

    Help! I don’t know what to follow.

    Best regards,

  • Avatar Reply Kat |

    Hello again.

    One more request 🙂

    What requirements did you submit to CIC upon receipt of your ITA?

    Thank you po.

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Kat,

      First, thank you for reading through my blog. CRS score is being used for Express Entry. I’m not too sure with PNP if they use a different scoring system from EE. Anyway, for you to calculate your scores more accurately, you need to complete your IELTS (Or use assumptions on how much you can score). Your spouse can also take it too for an additional 20 points max. Once you receive an ITA, they will be sending you a list of documents that they need. Usually medical results, COEs, bank statements, ECA result etc. Basically, all files that will prove for the points the you are claiming. I hope I was able to help you.

      Goodluck on your journey and God bless.


  • Avatar Reply Khan |

    If you reach cut off point. Does it guarantee the receiving of ITA? I mean if the lowest cut off score is 450 and I have the score of 451, will that guarantee that I will definitely receive an ITA in the next draw?

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Khan,

      Yes. That’s how it is supposed to be. It may take a few hours or days for you to receive it. Good luck!


    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Cami,

      There are a lot of blogs out there that details what you are looking for. Good luck. 🙂


  • Avatar Reply Julius-Ver |

    Hi, I’m planning to apply via EE. Should my wife apply as well or I just declare her as dependent as well as my son? Hoping that we can go there all at the same time. Enlighten us please. Thank you!

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Julius,

      You can add her as dependent as well as your children. When you get approved, all of you can come together.


  • Avatar Reply KB |

    Thank you in advance for reading this message.
    I wanted to know if I would get some points for a certification called “FRM” – Financial Risk Management.
    I have done a 4 years degree course.
    Thank you
    Be happy!

Let me know about your thoughts.