A Closer Look

Immigration – The points system is dead

Canada in January 2015 is set to launch a revamped immigrant selection system known as “Express Entry,” after extensive preparations throughout 2014. After several years of upheaval in Canadian immigration policy, this moment marks the end of a quietImmigration formrevolution: the demise of the traditional points system worldwide.

Rather than giving permanent residence to any immigrant who passes Canada’s points test, as in the past, Express Entry will create a pool of eligible candidates who must market themselves to employers or participating provinces and territories to secure a place in the Canadian immigration program. Building on policies introduced over the past few years, the new system will make it difficult to immigrate without a job offer or local work experience.

The points system was a Canadian invention that dates back to 1969. In its traditional form, it admitted immigrants with characteristics such as university education, language skills, or experience in particular occupations. To qualify, candidates simply had to earn sufficient points across a range of criteria. They did not need a job offer, making this route an alternative to the widely used “demand-driven” system in which employers sponsor immigrants to fill specific vacancies. By contrast, points systems were often referred to as “supply-driven” because flows depended more on prospective immigrants’ decisions than on employers’ demand.

Australia introduced its own points system in 1979, followed by New Zealand in 1991. In the 2000s, variants on the points system became rather fashionable. An array of countries newly opening up to skilled immigration adopted the model. The United Kingdom introduced it in 2002 and was joined over the next five years by the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Denmark. In China, some subnational jurisdictions introduced points systems to award hukou registration to internal migrants, rewarding criteria such as property ownership, charitable giving, and even blood donation. (For more on Chinese migration, see Issue #10: Migration with Chinese Characteristics: Hukou Reform and Elite Emigration.)

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Top 10 of 2014 – Issue #9: The Points System Is Dead, Long Live the Points System | migrationpolicy.org.

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2 thoughts on “Immigration – The points system is dead

  1. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Interesting strategy. You can come to live in Canada if you can find a job.

    Posted by Mike | January 16, 2015, 2:33 pm


  1. Pingback: University-Educated Immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the US – Performance advantage in US | Job Market Monitor - April 3, 2018

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