Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that the deadline to submit Express Entry permanent residence (PR) applications upon receiving an ITA will be returning to 60 calendar days.
IRCC had initially implemented the longer 90-day deadline due to COVID-19. This allowed applicants more time to secure the documents needed to submit their applications. As more Canadians receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, immigration is slowly returning to a pre-pandemic normalcy.
What is an ITA?
An Invitation to Apply, or “ITA”, is a document issued by the Canadian government to Express Entry candidates. Only candidates who meet the minimum criteria of an Express Entry draw will receive this document.
ITA recipients now have just 60 calendar days to submit an Express Entry application upon receiving an ITA. Since candidates may include their accompanying spouse or children on their application, collecting the required documents can often take significant time and planning.
After an applicant receives an ITA and submits a permanent residence application, the application takes approximately six months to process. Since the pandemic, many applications have experienced processing delays far beyond the standard six month pre-COVID-19 processing time. However, Federal Skilled Worker applications are seeing hopeful signs of movement in recent days.
What does this mean for Express Entry permanent residence applications?
The deadline update applies only to new applications – applicants who have already received an ITA prior to this update will remain subject to the 90-day deadline.
Due to the shortened timeframe, applicants in the Express Entry pool should start preparing their documents ahead of receiving an ITA. This will help to avoid missing the deadline and opportunity to apply for permanent residence.