Devolved immigration policy: will it work in Scotland? Evidence from Canada

Irene Mosca, Robert Wright
University of Strathclyde, UK

The UK points-based immigration system is a minor variant of the system introduced in Canada in 1967. In this paper, we investigate what adding regionality to the UK points-based immigration system could mean for Scotland, a country committed to maintaining high levels of net-migration. In particular, we investigate if specific Provincial Nominee Programmes (PNPs) similar to those introduced in Canada to attract and retain immigrants in specific regions could work in Scotland. We empirically assess the degree of success of PNPs in Canada by comparing the inter-provincial migration behaviour of native- and foreign-born individuals before and after the introduction of PNPs. Micro-data collected in the Canadian censuses is used to calculate interprovincial migration rates for specific cohorts of immigrants. However, there is no natural comparison group since there is no cohort of “non-immigrants”. In attempt to provide a comparator, matching methods are used.

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