Can I apply for permanent residency if my CRS score changes after receiving an invitation to apply?

Express Entry Candidates have two options if their Comprehensive classification system (CRS) score changes after receiving a Invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence (PR): reject your ITA or continue filing your Application for PR (APR).

Through the Express Entry application management system, which handles immigration applications from three different economic immigration programs*, the only way to apply for Canadian PR is to receive an ITA from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC) when the department conducts an Express Entry draw.

*The Express Entry system manages applications from the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

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Click here to learn more about Express Entry and visit this link to learn more about IRCC’s new category-based selection draws for Express Entry.

Once an Express Entry candidate receives their ITA, they are moved to “applicant” status and IRCC gives the individual 60 days to submit their APR.

What happens if my CRS score changes after I get an ITA?

However, in some cases, there may be a material change that affects a candidate’s eligibility for the ITA they received from IRCC (both negatively and positively). Below are examples of such changes that may affect a candidate’s CRS score.

At this time, IRCC clarifies that “if a candidate becomes aware… that their circumstances have changed or that the information in their profile, [based on] that they were issued an ITA, is no longer accurate,” they have two options on how to proceed.

Note: Before proceeding with any of the following options, IRCC instructs candidates to recalculate their CRS score reflecting the changed circumstances.

Option 1: Reject the ITA

IRCC “encourages” Express Entry candidates who experience a change in circumstances that may have a negative impact on their CRS score to decline their ITA. Declining an ITA is the only way for candidates to review the information in their Express Entry profile.

A negative change in circumstances can mean anything that negatively affects a candidate’s ability to meet the minimum entry criteria (MEC) for the program to which they applied or that reduces their recalculated CRS score below the minimum CRS score for their round of invitations.

Option 2: Continue with the presentation of the APR

Candidates who experience a change in circumstances but do not want to reject their ITA can still submit their APR to IRCC. However, it is important to note that candidates who choose to continue with their application are responsible for ensuring that the change in circumstances is appropriately reflected in their APR.

This means that, whether the change in circumstances has been positive or negative, the candidate must take the time at this stage of the process to correct the information that IRCC brought from their Express Entry profile into their APR before submitting the application.

Examples of changes that may affect your CRS score

Below are different ways a change in circumstances can affect an applicant’s CRS score after receiving an ITA.

The applicant’s CRS score may increase if:

  • Graduate from a higher educational level.
  • Reach the threshold for one additional year of Canadian work experience.
  • Obtain a qualification certificate
  • Improve your language test scores

The applicant’s CRS score may decrease if:

  • Retake your language test after your original scores expire, but complete the test with lower scores.
  • Losing a qualified offer of arranged employment.

An applicant’s CRS score may increase or decrease depending on the addition of a spouse or partner in common law to your Express Entry application. This addition can positively or negatively affect a primary applicant’s CRS score because their score may increase or decrease depending on the human capital of their spouse or partner.

Note: One change for which applicants are not penalized relative to their CRS score after receiving an ITA is if their birthday occurs after their ITA was issued. Although age is a prominent factor in the human capital section of an applicant’s CRS score calculation, IRCC provides an exemption that prevents ITA recipients from losing CRS points in this case.

What happens when you reject an IRCC ITA?

When an Express Entry applicant rejects their ITA, they revert to “candidate” status.

At this point, the candidate’s profile will return to the Express Entry pool and remain active as long as the profile remains valid. Once a profile returns to the candidate pool, the candidate will be able to update their profile information and will continue to be considered for a new ITA in future Express Entry draws as long as they continue to comply with the MEC.

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