Merit based immigration

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Merit-Based Immigration

Merit-Based Immigration, also known as 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 in a different country. Among those factors regularly used in a merit-based immigration system are wealth, education level, fluency in language, and existing job opportunities.

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

Countries that use a Merit-Based Immigration system are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Australia and Canada are considered two of the most experienced nations when it comes to the 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 to distance itself from the widely adopted immigration system, which focuses on the immigrant’s race and country of origin.

Rather than emphasizing race, Canada’s new system 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 adopting this new system, 85 percent of all Canadian immigrants were European. After the adoption, this percentage dropped to just 15 percent as the country welcomed a more diverse set of immigrants. Canada is regarded 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 would be admitted into the country based on personal attributes and their capabilities to contribute to the overall welfare of Australian society. The country transitioned into the system in 1989.

Like Canada, Australia shifted from the race-based immigration system and adopted the Merit-Based Immigration system. Before assuming this new system, Australia implemented a strict immigration policy that favored British, white immigrants into the country. Over the years, the government devised and implemented countless revisions to the approach to attract more talented and skilled individuals. Australia’s immigration system is widely held as an inspiration for a sane and humane policy.

Rest of the World.

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

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