Points-based immigration: how does it work?

Migration Matters Trust factsheet 1, 2017

Points-based immigration: how does it work?

By Lauren Distler

A points-based system  is a way of selecting migrants based on their attributes and assets, such as age, education, occupation and language proficiency. This type of system is essentially a “‘human-capital accumulation’ formula”, which seeks to increase a country’s talent pool or fill gaps in the workforce for the benefit of the economy. In the “pure” form of this model, the immigration system would select only on the basis of these qualities, rather than prioritising migrants with jobs lined up. However, most points-based systems today are “hybrid”, in that they either require or reward having a job offer.

Here, we compare the points-based systems of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom to give an insight into how these systems operate.

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