Do skilled migration selection policies work: a case study of Australia?

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 10.04.2012, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Mark Cully (Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship)


Australia has been operating migration programs that are selective on the basis of skill since the 1970s. They are selective in the sense that certain threshold requirements must be met to be eligible for skilled migration for example, an applicant must be recognized as competent to meet the Australian work standard for defined occupations and also in the sense that applicants can be ranked and prioritized, which then determines if and when a skilled visa is granted. The policies that determine the selection process have evolved over time. While they are complicated in their detail, at heart they favor those who are young, more qualified and experienced, more fluent in English and with skills in demand among employers. Many countries now look to Australia, and other traditional settlement countries such as Canada, to emulate such policies. This article investigates whether skilled migration selection policies work, using Australia as a case study. It also provides an overview of recent reforms.

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