E.g., 10/23/2020
E.g., 10/23/2020

Selection Systems

Selection Systems

Immigration flows are comprised of various streams: economic-based, family reunification, and humanitarian. Immigrant selection systems—for example points systems or employer-led selection—represent means by which countries determine the types and numbers of permanent and temporary workers they seek to bring in legally. The research offered here examines the various immigrant selection systems that have been tried in major immigrant destinations around the world, analyzing their success, failures, and evolutions.

Recent Activity

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Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, radically altering U.S. policy and reshaping the demographic profile of the United States. Examining the foreign policy and domestic concerns leading to the law's enactment, David S. FitzGerald and David Cook-Martín argue that the demise of the national-origins quota system was driven by geopolitical factors.

2014 marked the quiet demise worldwide of the traditional points system for selecting skilled immigrants. Canada, which in 1969 invented the points system, in 2015 will join other countries in adopting a hybrid system that places more emphasis on a demand-driven system. This article examines how following the economic crisis, governments have revamped, hybridized, or ended such programs.

For economic and political reasons, more governments are turning to visas to admit select groups of highly skilled immigrants (especially in high-tech and high-growth fields) to their countries to boost entrepreneurship and enhance job creation. A look at the challenges, opportunities, and increasing popularity of these entrepreneur visa programs.

The U.S. Congress is considering a bill that includes a points system for permanent immigration. MPI's Demetrios G. Papademetriou outlines how points systems work, which countries have used them, their political benefits, and trends in points-system use.

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Recent Activity

Reports
January 2018

Looking back after one year in office, it is striking how just closely the Trump administration’s actions on immigration have hewed to priorities Donald Trump outlined in an uncommonly detailed policy speech in August 2016. This report revisits those pledges to assess where the administration has made the most and least headway, and what its policy agenda ahead might look like.

Articles

During its first year, the Trump administration methodically put in place a series of bureaucratic barriers that could significantly reduce opportunities for foreigners to come to the United States legally. Among the actions taken during 2017: Imposition of a much-challenged travel ban suspending the entry of nationals from certain Muslim-majority countries, cuts to refugee admissions, and increased scrutiny for visa applicants.

Articles

Even as the United States and countries in Europe have made a right turn on immigration in recent years, Canada has remained a largely welcoming country. Underlying this resilience is an approach to immigration focused on active management and refinement of policies as well as long-term economic, social, and political integration, as this article explores.

Articles

Over the past decade, immigrant investor programs have proliferated around the world, and Chinese applicants have dominated in a number of countries. In 2015, about 9,000 Chinese millionaires moved to other countries, many through so-called golden visa programs. This article explores the social and cultural factors driving well-off Chinese to move abroad and examines perceptions of elite emigration in China.

Commentaries
August 2017

The RAISE Act endorsed by President Trump would have dramatic effects on family-based immigration to the United States, with disproportionate effects for immigrants from several countries in particular. While much focus has been given to the sponsors' pledge of "merit-based" immigration, the effects on the U.S. employment-based immigration system would be more modest in terms of outcomes, as this commentary explores.

Video, Audio
July 13, 2017

A reflection by MPI's co-founder, Demetrios Papademetriou, on the challenges and opportunities ahead for international migration systems in the United States and internationally over the next few decades. After opening remarks, Papademetriou engages in a conversation with incoming MPI President Andrew Selee about the trends and realities confronting policymakers and publics, including over immigrant-selection systems, the disruptions artificial intelligence will bring to workforce needs, and more.

Articles

One of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, Japan is looking to immigration to address increased labor shortages—albeit slowly and largely without public debate. This country profile offers a brief overview of Japan’s migration history and examines the current immigration system, in particular policies and programs to bring in foreign workers, particularly on a temporary basis.

Commentaries
March 2017

The revised travel ban executive order signed by President Trump on March 6, 2017 significantly narrows an earlier order that provoked chaos at U.S. airports and sparked many legal challenges. Still, as with the earlier version, it represents a sharp cut in the refugee resettlement program and restricts nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from newly entering the United States, as this commentary explores.

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