Is Points Based Immigration the Answer?

  • POSTED: July 19, 2016
  • CATEGORY:
  • POSTED BY: LawrenceGruner

The Economist ran an interesting article recently titled: “Why points- based immigration systems don’t work.”

The article began with a take on the UK Immigration Policy.  As you know the UK voted recently to leave the European Union.  Apparently during the run up to the election the Leavers promised that they would pursue an Australian-style points based Immigration system.  (This points system is ostensibly for employment based (not family based) immigration.)

However, this points based system (for employment visas) has not worked out particularly well.  The article goes on the examine why it has not.

Under Australia’s system points are allocated for: ” youth, education, English-speaking ability and the possession of needed skills. Would-be immigrants who scored highly were allowed to settle. The system was tweaked over the years, but the basic principle stayed the same. Rather than accepting immigrants because employers wanted them, as America mostly does, Australia would let in people who seemed to have what the country needed. It would stuff the land with human capital. ”

Australia’s current system ” was a lot better than the racist immigration policy that Australia had pursued before the 1960s. Because it seems so dispassionate and scientific, it may have reconciled Australians to continued high levels of immigration, including of non-whites. ”

“But in other ways the points system has failed. It has been susceptible to backlogs (as has Canada’s points-based immigration system). And many of the promising-seeming immigrants it has let in end up severely underemployed or even unemployed. In late 2013, an estimated 13.5% of points-tested immigrants who had arrived in Australia earlier that year were unemployed. Just 1% of immigrants who had got in because they were sponsored by a company were unemployed. Clearly, businesses are much better than officials at knowing what sort of people businesses want to hire.

In the past few years Australia has handed out many more visas to people who are sponsored by companies. It has also tweaked its points system to give more weight to employers’ preferences. The immigration system has become more American. So it is not clear what British politicians mean when they say they want an Australian-style points system. But they might never have to explain themselves. Theresa May, who will become Britain’s new prime minister on July 13th, has not praised points systems. She knows better. ”

 

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Attorney and Sacramento Immigration Lawyer.  His office handles fiance visas and marriage green card cases.  He has clients throughout California, the United States, and the World. He may be reached at 888-801-6558 or 916-760-7270.

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