A Comparison of Skilled Migration Policy: Australia, Canada and New Zealand
14 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016
Date Written: October 16, 2014
Australia, Canada and New Zealand are global competitors and collaborators in relation to skilled migration. In the recent decade they have operated large permanent migration programs, sharing two priority goals: nation-building and economic growth. In terms of policy, their primary focus is on skills, accounting for two-thirds of permanent intakes. In the past two decades each country has expanded quotas, diversified source countries and fields, and dramatically increased temporary labour flows (driven by state and employer sponsorship). They have cultivated ‘two-step migration’, facilitating category-switching by temporary employed workers, and the retention of former international students. They have developed substantial migration databases, including longitudinal surveys to allow constant monitoring and refinement of policy strategies. By 2014 Australian, Canadian and New Zealand strategies had converged to a remarkable degree, informed by the national and international research evidence. Each government aims to attract ‘the best and brightest’ in an increasingly competitive global environment, defined as skilled migrants capable of securing early and demonstrably beneficial fiscal outcomes.
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