In the dictionary, immigration is defined as the act of moving into another country. A person specifically travels to another country to reside there permanently.
Immigrating is not an easy decision to make. So many factors need to be considered. Migrating means leaving next of kin, friends, work, and the country where you grew up behind.
Why do people migrate?
Personal reasons and mitigating circumstances compel people to migrate to a country where they believe they can have a better life. They have to consider the quality of life, educational opportunities, and career prospects in their country of choice. The country should be immigrant-friendly, with multiple work and study opportunities, various work permits, flexible visa policies, and the ease of securing a visa.
Here are some of the reasons people decide to reside in another country outside of these factors.
- Seek refuge in a safer and more environmentally secure environment
- Escape danger, fighting, and conflicts in their war-torn countries
- Seek better employment opportunities and avoid poverty
- Enjoy a higher standard of living in a place that promises a better, healthier, and cleaner way of life
- Seek a country where they can freely express their personality
- Pursue higher education in fields that are not available in their country
- Love and personal relationships
- Influence of other family members who already migrated
- Better healthcare
- Escape political persecution and a restrictive society
- Carry out missionary work
Countries open to immigration in 2020
According to the website of WorkPermit.com, countries that are open for immigration this year include the following:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- South Africa
- European Union
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
Almost all of the countries on the list are looking for skilled professionals, skilled workers, tradespeople, investors, and healthcare providers.
Types of immigrant status
Each country has different immigrant status. Generally, immigration status falls into four broad categories:
- Economic migration. People move from one country to another to find better economic opportunities. Typically, migrants come from countries that are less economically developed.
- Political migration. People are often forced to leave their country and seek refuge in another country because of persecution or discrimination against particular people or groups of citizens, civil war or war.
- Environmental migrants. People have to migrate because of the long-term changes in their environment threaten their livelihood and well-being.
- Family reunion. In this category, family reunion members migrate to the country where their relatives are permanently residing. Family reunion migrants include elderly relatives, dependent children, same-sex or unmarried partners, spouses, civil partners (proposed), and fiancé(e)s.
Immigrants fall into different status in the United States, such as U.S. citizens, lawful permanent resident (LPR)/conditional residents, temporary visitors, and undocumented immigrants. Austria has work visas that can lead to permanent residencies, such as the Blue Card for EU residents and the Red-White-Red Card for non-EU residents.
Top immigration opportunities offered
Several countries that are open to immigration offer different opportunities to people wanting to relocate. It is a way to encourage people to choose their country, where immigrants, usually workers, have a chance to become permanent residents, or in some cases, become legal citizens of the country and receive all the benefits the country provides its citizens.
Here are some examples of work-related immigration options that can lead to permanent residency.
Canada has the Express Entry program, where applicants are rated based on their work experience, education, skills, and French and English language abilities. The visa categories under the Express Entry program are the following:
- Federal skilled worker program: skilled professionals with considerable adaptability, employability and work experience can receive permanent residency.
- Federal skilled trades programs: skilled workers who have experience in specific trades can later apply for legal permanent residency.
- Canada experience class: the category offers permanent residency to immigrants who have previous work experience in Canada.
Denmark offers immediate work and resident permits to applicants through the Positive List Scheme, which lists the jobs with a shortage of workers in various industries, including engineering, academia, education, information technology, healthcare, and medicine. Other categories include other jobs such as land surveyors, pharmacists, auditors, pharmacologists, business analysts, legal counselors, attorneys, and psychologists. Initial stay under this scheme is four years, which can be extended if the person remains in the same job.
Another work-related immigration program is the Pay Limit Scheme for people with job offers from Danish companies, with salaries under the specified rates. The initial residence and work permit is valid for four years, which can be extended if the employment in the same job is continuous. In both schemes, family members, such as spouses or partners and children under 18 years who still live with the applicant are eligible for residence permits. Likewise, the spouse is allowed to work during the same period.
Applicants with a job offer whose salary falls under a specific amount are initially allowed to stay for two years. In the General Employment Permit, the applicant stay can be extended for another three years. After staying in Ireland continuously for five years, the immigrant can apply for long-term residency.
If the immigrant’s job offer falls under the Highly Skilled Occupations List, the applicant can receive the Critical Skills Employment Permit, which allows the person to stay for two years and apply for Stamp 4 after the initial permit is over. With Stamp 4, the immigrant can work and live in Ireland permanently.
Top 5 immigration friendly countries
The ranking of immigration friendly countries varies depending on the organization doing the survey. However, several countries appear repeatedly in different rankings; thus, it is safe to conclude that many immigrants favor these countries.
According to USNews.com, the top five best countries for immigrants in 2018 include Canada, ranked #1, followed by Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, and Germany. These countries lack skilled workers, so many of the immigrants enter the countries through employment visas, most of which are on a job-offer basis, meaning they have a firm job offer from a local company. The immigrant or the company can apply for a work visa for the worker.
These countries provide free education, free healthcare, and other public benefits to its citizens and permanent residents. The quality of life is better, and the environment is safer. However, several of them use the points-system to quality as immigrants, so the immigration process is not as simple as it may seem.
The landscape differs if you are looking for countries where the immigration process is easier and the transition time to become a permanent resident or citizen is shorter. Here they are:
- Paraguay. It has a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of natural sceneries. The taxes are low, the economy is stable, and the cost of living is lower. The immigration policies of Paraguay are simpler. A person can become a permanent resident within three years and wait another three years to become a citizen. Purchasing a 10-hectare agricultural land or depositing $5,000 in the Paraguay Central Bank qualifies an immigrant for permanent residency.
- Mexico. Working for five years in a Mexican company opens the Mexican citizenship path, but the immigrant should pass the Mexican citizenship test and Spanish speaking skills.
- Panama. Continuous residence for five years is enough for an immigrant to apply for citizenship.
- Canada. As earlier mentioned, working continuously for four years in a specific job can qualify an immigrant to take a language test and the mandatory citizenship test.
- Argentina. It is possible to apply for citizenship after two years as an investor (Residency by Investment) in Argentina. The applicant should pass the Spanish language test and the mandatory citizenship exam.
Now you know which country to choose if you’re planning to migrate.
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Although the United States did not make it in the top five, it remains a favorite destination for many immigrants. If you’re planning to migrate to the U.S., eTranslation Services provides high quality and accurate certified translation services. The USCIS requires certified translations of all supporting documents that are not written in English. Kindly send us an email at [email protected] or call us at (800) 882-6058 and let’s discuss what you need.