Check out our complete overview of the official 2019 Express Entry Report here.
In 2019, candidates residing outside Canada were issued a slim majority of the ITAs through Express Entry. 52 percent of invitations went to candidates outside Canada with the remaining 48 percent going to those inside the country.
A total of 85,300 ITAs were issued in 2019, with residents of Canada scooping up 40,550 of those spots.
When Express Entry was first introduced in 2015, 78.1 percent of invitations were issued to candidates in Canada. This dropped to 69 percent in 2016 and then 49 percent in 2017. In 2019, Canadian residents received the lowest percentage of ITAs on record, at only 45 percent.
While the data has remained consistent over the past several years, we can anticipate a dramatically different dataset for 2020, as COVID-19 has caused Canadian immigration officials to prioritize granting ITAs to candidates already living in Canada.
Canada remains #1 for ITAs
It is unsurprising that Canadian residents have again topped the list of invited candidates by country of residence, considering the way Express Entry is designed. Express Entry is a highly competitive immigration system, which uses the points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates, only inviting those with highest CRS scores to submit applications for Canadian permanent residence.
In the CRS, candidates receive points if they can demonstrate a certain amount of Canadian experience, either through education or work experience, or both. As such, Express Entry candidates living in Canada can often achieve competitive CRS scores by virtue of the points they receive for their Canadian merits.
In fact, one of the three programs aligned with Express Entry is only available to candidates with Canadian work experience. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) requires eligible candidates to have a minimum of one year of skilled work experience in Canada. CEC was responsible for 36 percent of all ITAs issued through Express Entry in 2019, the second-most popular Express Entry-aligned program, after the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program.
The proportion of ITAs issued to provincial nominees also increased in 2019, to 18 percent, up from 12 percent the year prior. Many PNPs require candidates to have experience in the province, thereby increasing the proportion of Canadian residents receiving ITAs.