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Merit based immigration

Merit based immigration
(Last Updated On: August 15, 2019)

Merit-Based Immigration

Merit-Based Immigration, also known as the Points-Based Immigration, is a system wherein immigrants are given points or merits that will determine whether or not they will be qualified to migrate to a particular country. This system has several factors, though these factors will differ when implemented on a different country. Among those factors that are regularly used in a merit-based immigration system are wealth, education level, fluency in language, existing job opportunity.

Merit-Based Immigration system is one of the most popular systems used in many countries. These countries that implement this system have, most of the time, different or alternative options given to potential immigrants in order to boost their points. Although these options are not necessarily given to all applicants. Among the options regularly used are immediate family status and for refugees. Potential immigrants also have to clear some additional criteria in order to satisfy their applications. Some of these criteria are criminal records and affiliation with terrorist organizations.

Countries that use Merit-Based Immigration system are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Australia and Canada are considered as two of the most experienced nations when it comes to implementation of this system.


Canada was the first to adopt the Merit-Based Immigration System. It implemented it way back in 1967. Canada adopted the system as part of its effort to distance itself from the widely adopted immigration system which focuses on the immigrant’s race and country of origin.

Rather than putting more emphasis on race, Canada’s new system instead focused on education, youth, experience, and fluency in English and French. Subsequent studies have revealed that the system is one of the major factors that leveled the field of immigration in the country. Before the adoption of this new system, 85 percent of all Canadian immigrants are European. After the adoption, this percentage dropped to just 15 percent as the country welcomes a more diverse set of immigrants in. Canada is held widely in regard as a prime example of a successful Merit-Based Immigration policy.



Australia adopted the Merit-Based Immigration policy in 1972. During this period, Australia’s Labor Government decided that migrants will be admitted into the country based on personal attributes and their capabilities to contribute to the overall welfare of the Australian society. The country transitioned into the system in 1989.

Just like Canada, Australia decided to shift out of the race-based immigration system and adopted the Merit-Based Immigration system. Prior to the adoption of this new system, Australia implements a strict immigration policy that favors British, white immigrants into the country. Over the years, the country devised and implemented countless revisions to the policy in order to attract more talented and skilled individuals. Australia’s immigration system is widely held as an inspiration as to what a sane and humane policy should be.

Rest of the World.

As some parts of the world continue to experience economic inequality and trepidation, the number of immigrants grow by the day. Despite this, some of the world’s most progressive countries are starting to ease up on immigration in order to accommodate immigrants who are fleeing from their countries.

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