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What attracts talented migrants to OECD countries?

Posted on July 29, 2020
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OECD Countries

The OECD is a group of 34 member countries that develops economic and social policies. A unique feature of OECD countries is that they attract some of the most highly-skilled immigrants.

The fact is these OECD countries are increasingly competing with each other to attract and retain highly talented workers by making their migration policies more favorable towards migrants so that they can attract the best and the brightest who will contribute to the country’s growth.

According to a recent report, OECD countries that are most attractive for talented immigrants are Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada, partly owing to their favorable policies for admission and stay of migrants.

Interestingly in the race to attract and retain talent, the migration policies of these countries have seen a convergence, yet significant differences also remain. Besides providing favorable conditions for migration, there are other factors that contribute to attracting foreign talent to these countries.

The OECD has reiterated that countries can become attractive to immigrants provided they streamline their visa application procedures and provide better residence conditions to immigrants.

In order to define what can attract potential migrants, the OECD has come up with the OECD indicators of talent attractiveness. These indicators are quality of opportunities; income and tax; future prospects; family environment; skills environment; inclusiveness; and quality of life. The indicators also consider the difficulty for prospective migrants who have the required skills to obtain a visa or residence permit.

Based on these indicators, the most attractive OECD countries for highly qualified workers are Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada, which offer favorable labor market conditions and provide opportunities for highly skilled workers to thrive in.

OECD countries that favor immigrant entrepreneurs are Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway. These countries require low capital investments and have minimum job creation requirements.

Every country belonging to the OECD have to try their best to attract international talent, each country has its advantage and drawbacks and must improve or enhance the factors to attract the best talent.

These countries have to make policy changes to attract the best talent. For instance, the United States which is among the top countries to attract talented workers and entrepreneurs has a drawback. The strict policies make it difficult for many immigrants to get a visa and there are numerous restrictions to bring in family members.

These analyzes can provide fresh and interesting knowledge for policymakers on their success in attracting international talent. Nonetheless, one key lesson from the OECD indicators of talent attractiveness is that for all profiles, migration policy packages matter a great deal.

The report also indicates that different countries have different levels of appeal to different types of talented migrants and there are many factors that influence this. The OECD report gives a better insight into this.

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