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Differences between Canada and the UK’s points-based system for immigration

Posted on August 7, 2020
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Differences between Canada and the UK’s points-based system for immigration

When the UK announced a points-based immigration system earlier this year, there were comparisons to other countries that use a points-based immigration system. One of them is Canada which has been using a points-based immigration system successfully for years to issue visas to immigration candidates.

To make a comparison between the immigration systems and know the differences, let us look at the UK’s points-based system.

The UK’s points-based system

Based on the new system, those wishing to immigrate to the UK must meet a variety of criteria.

Immigration applicants will be assessed on a number of factors that include their qualifications, specific skills, salary or profession. Those who get the required 70 points will only be eligible to apply.

Candidates will get 50 points based on their English language skills and for a job offer in the UK that is related to their education and training from an approved sponsor.

To get the remaining 20 points, they should meet other criteria which include a minimum wage threshold or job offer in a labor shortage sector or a Ph.D. in a subject related to their field of work.

To get the remaining required points, other criteria will have to be met, such as a minimum wage threshold, a job in an occupation where there is a labor shortage or a Ph.D. in a field relevant to their work. Here is a breakdown of the required 70 points:

  • Job offer from an approved sponsor (20 points)
  • A job with a relevant skill level (20 points)
  • Knowledge of the English language (10 points)
  • Job has a salary between 23, 040 to 25,599 pounds (10 points)
  • Job has a salary of over 25, 600 pounds (20 points)
  • Job is part of shortage occupation list (20 points)
  • An applicant has a Ph.D. (10 points)
  • An applicant has a Ph.D. in science, technology, math and engineering (20 points)

There are both similarities and differences between the points-based systems of the UK and Canada.

Canada’s immigration system

While Canada’s immigration system awards points for specific skills, occupations, etc., it also takes into account other factors such as work experience, age and adaptability factors of highly-skilled immigrants who apply for Canada permanent residence.

Such immigration candidates can submit their profile through the Express Entry system under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). To be eligible to apply, they must score at least 67 points under the following criteria:

Canada’s immigration system also allocates points for specific skills, occupations and pre-arranged jobs, but takes into account a broad range of other qualifications such as work experience, age or adaptability profiles of highly skilled workers applying for permanent resident (PR) status.

  • Language skills (maximum 28 points)
  • Work experience (maximum 15 points)
  • Education (maximum 25 points)
  • Age (maximum 12 points)
  • Arranged employment in Canada (maximum 10 points)
  • Adaptability (maximum 10 points)

However, unlike the UK, candidates applying for Canadian immigration under the economic class need not have a job offer with a certain salary.

Candidates with work experience in any skilled occupation may be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada via the Express Entry program. Canada has both federal and provincial economic immigration paths, and each has its own work experience requirement. Such Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are available to applicants in different job lines that match the labor requirements of that province.

Apart from this, Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS which determines a candidate’s place in the Express Entry pool considers both full time and part-time work experience of the candidate in a skilled occupation.

Since Canada has a limited population and an aging workforce, it aims to make access to jobs and PR status as convenient as possible for immigrants. It looks to immigrants for economic growth and offers multiple immigration pathways to help potential immigrants settle in Canada. It looks to immigrants to bring a variety of skills and contribute to its different industry sectors.

The UK’s points-based system is focused on inviting the best and brightest migrants to the country who can contribute to the development of the economy. The new program would ensure that only highly qualified migrants get a visa and give every applicant a fair chance.

The policy is aimed to end the dependence on low –skilled labor from abroad and urge local employers to train the local population for such jobs.

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