The paper "Comparing Migration Policies in Australia and Canada" is an outstanding example of a macro and microeconomics case study. Migration is a significant factor in a country’ s economy, which then affects business and the native population (Coppel et al, 2001). A report by UK’ s ‘ House of Lords’ (2008) cited correlations between migration and trends in the labor market and macro-economy, labor shortages, public finance and services, as well as the impacts of the resultant population increase on housing and even wider welfare issues (e. g. in terms of demand, prices and rents, homelessness, etc.
And Peri (2010) cites the US state-level data showing that, while immigrants increase a country’ s economic productive capacity as they stimulate investment and promote specialization, they also diminish employment opportunities for workers born in the US. But perhaps it is only a matter of approach. There are many similarities between Canada’ s and Australia’ s approaches to migration. These approaches are characterized by major migration programs that have strong economic focus and aim for a balanced geographical distribution of migrants in the countries and based on similar economies (Richardson & Lester, 2004).
Yet, despite these similarities, Australia seems to have achieved labor market success for migrants than Canada. Many factors have been credited for this trend, including economic environment, e.g. the state of the Australian labor market; the environment within which immigration policies operate or are implemented; the criteria for migrants’ selection; migrants’ characteristics, e.g. age, gender, education and skills, language, business and cultural attitudes, etc; and the acceptance of non-permanent foreigners who increase labor market competition (Richardson & Lester, 2004). But all these factors rest on the policies adopted in Australia; the very policies that set it apart from Canada’ s.
This paper aims to compare the migration policies in these two countries, i.e. both similarities and differences, including how they influence the labor market. Discussion: Comparison Generally, the two countries have relatively similar policy environments. Both of them share a rationale on the basis of which particular migrants are accepted/encouraged or refused/discouraged. This is in line with both countries’ objective to improve their economic prospects through the inflow of more skilled migrants. However, differences, perhaps attributed to contextual factors, still remain. For instance, the two countries place responsibilities for immigration at different levels of government.
In Canada immigration is in the hands of both the provincial and federal governments. This is based on Canada’ s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which is administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). According to the Act, CIC is still responsible for defining categories of migrants, setting levels of immigration and enforcing the immigration programs Also, the Act permits the Minister to enter into deals/agreements with territories and provinces that can offer more provincial responsibility of immigration (CIC, 2003; Hagopian, 2003; ).
In Australia, the responsibility is solely in the hands of the federal government. As a result, it is more cumbersome to recognize the qualifications of migrants in Canada than it is in Australia (OECD, 2003a). This comparison also takes into account the selection criteria, based on migrant characteristics. Selection criteria, i.e. assessment of applications, in both countries are complex (OECD, 2004), and combine certain thresholds, e.g. age. The criteria simplify key qualities of focus and assign a weight to each. Both countries implement the immigration policy based on the points system for economic class/skill stream migrants, i.e.
potential migrants are awarded points for specified attributes, and based on a set minimum range of points. However, evaluating both systems reveals that Australia subjects potential migrants to a set of demanding requirements than Canada does, especially with regard to skilled migrants. The selection criteria in both countries can be evaluated on the basis of: