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In 2018, 55 percent Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued through Express Entry were issued to candidates residing outside Canada, with the remaining 45 percent going to candidates who were already living in Canada.

(Check out our complete overview of the official 2018 Express Entry Report here.)

A total of 89,800 ITAs were issued in 2018, with Canadian residents scooping up 40,046 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.

Year after year, as the total number of invitations issued globally increases, the number of invitations issued to candidates outside Canada has been increasing at an even greater rate.

Canada #1

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 Comprehensive Ranking System, 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 34 percent of all ITAs issued through Express Entry in 2018, the second-most popular Express Entry-aligned program, after the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program.

The proportion of ITAs issued to Canadian residents through Express Entry in 2018 remained relatively consistent with the number issued in the previous year. In 2017, a total of 49 percent of invitations went to Canadian residents.

Indian and United States residents also highly competitive

Both Indian and U.S. residents received a significant proportion of ITAs in 2018. Indian residents received the second-highest number of invitations, with a total of 17,445 ITAs received, equivalent to 19 percent of all invitations issued through Express Entry in 2018.

U.S. residents received the third-highest number of invitations, with a total of 10,084 ITAs received, or 11 percent of the total for 2018.

Please note that there is an important difference between citizens and residents. Many people residing in one country may actually be citizens of another country. For example, many Indian citizens choose to immigrate to Canada while residing in the United States on a temporary H-1B visa. However, if they are living in the U.S., these workers are included in the figures as residents of the United States.

For detailed information about ITAs issued based on country of citizenship, please check out our article on the topic.

Invitations issued by Top 10 countries of residence

Below are the total numbers of ITAs issued based on the top 10 most common countries of residence.

Express Entry ITAs issued by Top 10 Countries of Residence, 2018 & 2019
Country of ResidenceNumber of ITAs received, 2018Percent of total ITAs issued, 2018Number of ITAs received, 2019Percent of total ITAs issued, 2019
United States9,98111%10,18512%
United Arab Emirates2,0292%1,7082%
United Kingdom1,1861%699<1%
Total ITAs89,800100%85,300100%
Percentage figures are based on a total of 89,800 ITAs, which is the total number of ITAs issued through Express Entry in 2018.Percentage figures are based on a total of 89,800 ITAs, which is the total number of ITAs issued through Express Entry in 2019.

The information in this article is from the year-end 2018 Express Entry report, which was published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in early July 2019.

See our other summaries from the 2018 Express Entry Year-End Report, including:

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