Although the world is becoming less welcoming of migrants, countries popular for Brits moving overseas, such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and USA, are bucking the trend.

This year’s Migrant Acceptance Index poll by Gallup has revealed that, generally, countries around the world are becoming less tolerant and accepting of migrants. The Index has declined from 5.34 in 2016 to 5.21 today. However, the good news for prospective British migrants is that popular countries for skilled migration such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA rank at the top.

The Gallup Migrant Acceptance Index is a system used to rate a country’s general outlook towards immigration on a scale of 0 to 9, with a higher score reflecting acceptance and positive feelings towards immigration. The value is determined by a survey conducted in 140 + countries, with questions to prompt a response used to gauge the level of openness and acceptance towards immigration in their home country, and categorising these into positive or negative responses.

Although the survey is more geared towards attitudes to migrant refugees than to skilled migrants, it still provides a useful indicator to the world’s changing attitudes.

This year Canada topped the rankings with an impressive 8.46 out of 9, with Iceland, New Zealand and Australia not far behind. Many people were surprised to see the USA in 6th position, which demonstrates that not all American’s share President Trump’s negative attitudes to migrants.

It’s not surprising that the countries will look to skilled migrants to support economic recovery from Covid-19, as occupations with higher paid salaries help boost the economy and also the housing market. Additionally moving abroad (whether that is for a new experience in your bustling 20s or maybe for a job relocation) can really be an eye opener towards new experiences, people, foods and cultures that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to experience in your home country that you may already have become accustomed to.

Australia’s Priority Migration programme announced in September earlier this month is one of the most spoken about with regards to an economic recovery plan that involves immigration. This is known as their Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) scheme that gives precedence to a list of 17 highly skilled roles that are considered to be critical occupations with the highest potential to aid economic recovery to Australia from the pandemic. These 17 occupations include a number of roles in different industries, though primarily focused on occupations in construction, healthcare and technology.

Last year, Canada declared their plans to introduce one million new immigrants by 2021 through two of their schemes – this being their federal skilled worker class and provincial nominee programmes which take into account both highly skilled and lower-skilled workers, with the intention to boost economic growth as well as to combat their ageing population. Immigration has always been largely responsible for the majority of Canada’s population growth (a substantial 75%), who have historically always strived to provide more work opportunities and permanent citizenship to migrants coming from all over the world. Even Covid-19 won’t change this, with Canada announcing their Immigration Level plans over the next 2 years despite being in the midst of the pandemic.

Though the year 2020 has been relatively challenging in almost all aspects, and particularly so for travelling plans or relocating abroad with stricter border controls, we would recommend keeping an eye out for new immigration programmes that may start being introduced, since it’s looking positive for a fair few number of countries like those listed above who recognise the potential of migrants supporting their country’s economic recovery.

Though it’s difficult to predict when exactly, we are feeling confident about migration policies becoming less strict, especially for countries like Canada, Australia and Europe generally. So hold onto those plans for a re-visit in the near future and bring on 2021!

Top 10 Countries MOST Accepting of Migrants

1 Canada 8.46
2 Iceland 8.41
3 New Zealand 8.32
4 Australia 8.28
5 Sierra Leone 8.14
6 United States 7.95
7 Burkina Faso* 7.93
8 Sweden 7.92
9 Chad* 7.91
10 Ireland* 7.88

Top 10 Countries LEAST Accepting of Migrants

1 North Macedonia 1.49
2 Hungary 1.64
3 Serbia 1.79
4 Croatia 1.81
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina* 1.85
6 Montenegro 1.87
7 Latvia 2.25
8 Malaysia* 2.24
9 Thailand* 2.48
10 Slovakia 2.52

*Not on Index in 2016

Need help with moving and migrating overseas?

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