There are both similarities and differences between Scotland and Canada. Both countries today have diversified economies, market-oriented economic systems, similar patterns of production, and high average living standards. For both countries, there has been a movement towards employment in the service industries and information technology.
Canada, however, is a partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the USA and Mexico, sharing a land border with the USA. Also foreign workers tend to flow from Canada to the USA. In contrast, the closest counterpart for Scotland is New Zealand. But New Zealand is small relative to Scotland, it is not Scotland's largest export market and the countries do not share a land border. In addition, migrants from New Zealand are a substantial portion of the inflow of residents to Scotland from overseas.
Scotland and Canada both share a desire to ensure that migrants settle smoothly into their new country and contribute effectively to its prosperity. To this end, policy has been altered in recent years to place an increased emphasis on the skills and employability of migrants. In Scotland, the resulting increase in the proportion of skilled migrants indicates that this approach has been successful. At the same time there has been a decrease in the proportion of Family migrants, although the number of Family migrants has not fallen since about 1997-98.
There are strong similarities between the official reasons for the composition of the Migration Program for Canada and Scotland. This is most obvious in the encouragement of more skilled/qualified migrants, and the 'capping' of family reunion immigration.
Canada's migration policy
The Canadian Constitution requires federal and provincial governments to share responsibility for immigration. Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which governs the immigration program, is administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Under the Act, CIC retains responsibility for defming migrant categories, selling immigration levels, and enforcing the government's program.7 The Act also allows the Minister to enter into agreements with Provinces and Territories that can grant further responsibility for immigration to provinces. For example, the 1991 Canada-Quebec Accord, the most comprehensive of province agreements, gives Quebec selection powers and control over its own settlement services. In contrast, in Scotland immigration is entirely a federal responsibility.
The three broad objectives that guide immigration to Canada are to reunite families, fulfil the country's international obligations and humanitarian tradition, and to foster a strong viable economy. These objectives are reflected in the three main classes of migrants under which people are admitted to Canada as permanent visaed residents: Family-class migrants, Economic-class migrants, and Humanitarian or Refugee status migrants. People admitted under the Economic class include Primary Applicants (PAs) and accompanying spouse and dependants of Skilled Workers, Business Migrants, and Provincial Territorial Nominees.
Generally, allocation of skilled visas is based on a system that assigns points for age, education, work experience, intended occupation, knowledge of Canadian languages, and ...