05 August 2008

Australian skilled migration more successful than Canada's

Research from the University of Melbourne found changes to the Australian immigration policy caused a dramatic turnaround in the efficiency and effectiveness of the country's migration program, reports Canadian Immigration. The research also showed the immigration system in Canada seems to be failing in comparison in its attempt to match immigrants to the right jobs.

At the end of the last decade, Australia changed its immigration policy so that immigrants applying for skilled migration visas are now only approved if they have a skill which is on a 'high in demand' list.  The purpose is to allow the government to fill skills shortages that are most in need, so that immigrants in the country will be employed and will contribute positively to the Australian economy. 

Lesleyanne Hawthorne, Associate Dean at the University of Melbourne, conducted the comparative research on the two countries.  At the end of the last century, both Australia and Canada had similar results for the success of their migration programs.  After changes to the Australian program began to take effect, Ms Hawthorne found that "economic migrants have performed indisputably better in Australia than in Canada in the past decade." 

The researcher also found that between 1995 and 2001, those migrants who found work within the first six months of arrival in Australia jumped from 57 per cent to 81 per cent, while in Canada it slipped from 64 per cent to 60 per cent.

"Since 1999, Australia, in contrast (to Canada), has used research evidence to exclude economic category applicants at risk of poor employment outcomes at point of entry, by considerably expanding pre-migration English language testing and mandatory credential assessment, and awarding bonus points for high-demand occupations," she added.

Currently, Australia and New Zealand are heavily campaigning for skilled migrants from India and the UK to fill specific shortages in the workforce.  Australia is particularly desperate for overseas workers to move to Australia in regional areas so that construction, mining, and farming industries can reach their full economic potential.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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