In today’s globalized world, nations compete to attract the best talent to fuel their economies. This competition is clearly reflected in the immigration policies of countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. In this post, we will delve into how these nations approach skilled migration and how New Zealand’s recent policies, such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) Employer Accreditation, compare with those of its counterparts.
New Zealand: A Comprehensive Approach to Skilled Migration
New Zealand’s immigration policies are designed to attract skilled professionals to contribute to its economy. A crucial part of this strategy is the AEWV Employer Accreditation, where employers are accredited to hire overseas workers. The initial accreditation periods have been extended by 12 months if employers apply before 4 July 2023, effectively offering a 24-month first accreditation12
Another notable feature of New Zealand’s policy is the “Green List” pathway for skilled migration. This list identifies professions that are in high demand in the country, offering a direct path to residency for professionals in these fields. The list is frequently updated to reflect changing economic needs, with professions like registered nurses, midwives, auditors, and various skilled trades recently added3.
Australia: Focusing on Economic Contribution
Like New Zealand, Australia also operates a skilled migration program designed to attract migrants who can significantly contribute to the Australian economy and fill positions where no local workers are available. This program plays an essential role in regional development, providing skills and labor which can’t be sourced locally, and encourages investment and local spending in regional areas45.
Australia maintains a combined list of eligible skilled occupations that summarizes the occupations Australia needs to fill skill shortages. However, the Australian immigration system does not provide as clear a pathway to residency as New Zealand’s Green List, and more research is needed to understand how the process for obtaining residency may vary by profession.
Canada: A Point-based Approach to Skilled Immigration
Canada’s approach to skilled migration is quite distinctive, using a points-based system known as Express Entry. Express Entry manages applications for three federal programs, namely the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Each of these programs caters to a specific group of skilled workers, from those with Canadian work experience to those with foreign work experience and those who are qualified in a skilled trade1.
Applicants who are eligible for one or more of these programs are ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS is a points-based system used to assess and score the applicant’s profile and rank it in the Express Entry pool. Applicants with the highest scores in the pool are invited to apply for permanent residence23. This process is highly structured and transparent, with clear steps and criteria at each stage of the process.
The Canadian system stands out for its use of a points-based system to rank applicants, a feature not present in New Zealand’s Green List or Australia’s skilled migration program. This approach allows Canada to systematically and objectively assess the potential contribution of each applicant to the Canadian economy.
Comparing Approaches: New Zealand, Australia, and Canada
Each of these three countries uses a unique approach to attract skilled migrants, shaped by their specific economic needs and policy priorities.
New Zealand’s approach, with the AEWV Employer Accreditation and the Green List, offers a clear pathway to residency for professionals in high-demand occupations and provides employers with a certain level of predictability and stability in terms of their access to overseas talent45.
Australia’s skilled migration program focuses on the economic contribution of migrants and regional development. While it lacks the clear residency pathway offered by New Zealand’s Green List, its combined list of eligible skilled occupations provides an overview of the professions in demand67.
Canada’s Express Entry system offers a transparent and structured process for skilled immigration, with a points-based system to rank applicants. This systematic approach allows Canada to objectively assess each applicant’s potential contribution to the Canadian economy89.
These differences reflect the unique contexts and policy goals of each country, highlighting the complexity of international migration policy. However, all three countries share a common objective: to attract skilled migrants who can contribute to their economies and fill gaps in their labor markets. As such, these immigration policies play a critical role in shaping the future of these nations, driving economic growth, and facilitating cultural exchange and diversity.