In 2020, Indian citizens received the highest number of Express Entry Invitations to Apply (ITAs) — earning a whopping 47 percent of all ITAs issued. Chinese and Nigerian citizens followed, receiving the second- and third-highest numbers. 

These figures were released in the 2020 Express Entry Year-End Report, published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in December, 2021.

In 2020, a total of 107,350 invitations were issued. 50,841 of these went to Indian citizens, 8,955 to Chinese citizens, and 6,532 to Nigerians. India, China, and Nigeria were also the top three countries for ITAs in 2018 and 2019. 

Receiving an ITA enables an Express Entry candidate to submit an official application for Canadian permanent resident status. ITAs are issued periodically through Express Entry draws

The top 10 countries of citizenship to receive ITAs in Express Entry in 2020 are as follows: 

Express Entry ITAs issued by Top 10 Countries of Citizenship (2020)
CountryTotal ITAs issued, 2020Percent of total ITAs issued, 2020
India50,84147%
China8,9558%
Nigeria6,5326%
Pakistan2,8233%
United Kingdom2,6893%
Brazil2,4282%
Iran1,9232%
South Korea1,6532%
United States1,6322%
Ireland1,5631%
Other26,31125%
2020 percentage figures are based on a total of 107,350 ITAs, which is the total number of ITAs issued through Express Entry in 2020.

The distribution of ITAs was impacted dramatically in 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada did not conduct any draws for Federal Skilled Worker candidates, choosing instead to prioritize candidates who were already residing in Canada. This may impact the distribution of ITA by citizenship for 2021, but this will only be clear when the 2021 report is published.

More than half of Express Entry ITAs issued to candidates residing in Canada

In 2020, candidates residing in Canada received 63 percent of all ITAs issued through Express Entry. This is an increase of 15 percent from the previous year. Those residing in India and the United States received the second- and third-highest number of ITAs with Indian residents landing 10 percent and U.S. residents receiving 6 percent. 

The Express Entry points system offers candidates a high number of points for work experience and education obtained in Canada — making it unsurprising that Canadian residents receive the highest number of ITAs. 

It is likely that the percentage of ITAs issued to Canadian residents will increase even further in 2021 due to the government’s decision to prioritize in-Canada Express Entry candidates during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are the top 10 countries of residence for ITAs received in 2020:

Express Entry ITAs issued by Top 10 Countries of Residence, 2020
Country of ResidenceNumber of ITAs received, 2020Percent of total ITAs issued, 2020
Canada67,57063%
India11,25910%
United States7,2667%
Nigeria4,0954%
United Arab Emirates1,4121%
Pakistan1,3091%
Australia1,0811%
Lebanon998<1%
China916<1%
Morocco850<1%
Other10,59410%
Total ITAs107,350100%
Percentage figures are based on a total of 107,350 ITAs, which is the total number of ITAs issued through Express Entry in 2020.

If you would like help with your Express Entry process, we suggest booking a consultation with one of our recommended Canadian immigration consultants.