You are here: Home Knowledge Base Society Designing Immigration Policy Solutions Make immigration policies for high-skilled immigrants much more open, such as by introducing a “blue card” for immigrants to the EU. Don´t allow concerns about a possible brain drain to ...
Symposium 2008

Solution for Designing Immigration Policy

The Challenge

While the world is becoming more integrated through cheaper transport and communication, large income differences persist between rich and poor countries. As a result, the pressures to migrate from ...

While the world is becoming more integrated through cheaper transport and communication, large income differences persist between rich and poor countries. As a result, the pressures to migrate from poor to rich countries are rising. Migration among rich countries and among poor countries is also on the rise.

Make immigration policies for high-skilled immigrants much more open, such as by introducing a “blue card” for immigrants to the EU. Don´t allow concerns about a possible brain drain to stop the opening of labor markets for high-skilled immigrants.

The success of hot spots of the knowledge economy such as Silicon Valley or the City of London relies heavily on high-skilled immigration and illustrates that high-skilled immigration can create jobs for natives and have a positive impact on public finances. Efforts to introduce a “blue card” that grant high-skilled immigrants access to the entire EU labor market are welcome.

In an EU-wide system designed to attract high-skilled immigrants, some EU countries will be more attractive than others. Therefore the national labor markets effects of a blue card system are difficult to predict. In fact, the proposed blue card system is more of a general “human capital accretion” mechanism rather than a system for filling high-skilled positions.

In countries that have such programs, such as Canada, there is evidence of substantial under-employment and underuse of skills by points tested high-skilled immigrants. This can be expected to be repeated in the EU unless a concerted effort to verify and recognize credentials and qualifications is undertaken in tandem with the launch of a blue card program. As a result, any future blue card system should be regarded as simply complementary to existing national programs for high-skilled immigration. Not all countries have a significant pool of potential migrants outside of their borders who speak the national language. This fact limits the potential effectiveness of the European blue card.

In some countries, there is a case for speeding up processing procedures for work and residence permits.

The impact of high-skilled emigration on source countries is ambiguous. In countries with extensive post-secondary education capacity, the potential for better earning opportunities abroad may act as an incentive to acquire more skills and may thus improve the overall skill level even of the non-migrant population.

Furthermore, labor markets in many developing countries do not provide productive employment opportunities for many bright young graduates. Nevertheless, aid aimed at increasing the supply of skilled workers in critical (high demand and high social value) occupations is desirable and should be coordinated among both developed and developing countries.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Redesign low-skill immigration policies through a combination of implementable restrictions and feasible border enforcement. Thereby channel illegal migration into legal employment.

    Redesign low-skill immigration policies through a combination of implementable restrictions and feasible border enforcement. Thereby channel illegal migration into legal employment.

    Redesign low-skill immigration policies through a combination of implementable restrictions and feasible border enforcement. Thereby channel illegal migration into legal employment.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Create a standing commission on immigration and to adjust immigration levels flexibly in response to changing market and institutional conditions.

    Create a standing commission on immigration and to adjust immigration levels flexibly in response to changing market and institutional conditions.

    Create a standing commission on immigration and to adjust immigration levels flexibly in response to changing market and institutional conditions.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Give irregular immigrants the opportunity and incentives to integrate through continuous “earned regularization” leading to naturalization.

    Give irregular immigrants the opportunity and incentives to integrate through continuous “earned regularization” leading to naturalization.

    Give irregular immigrants the opportunity and incentives to integrate through continuous “earned regularization” leading to naturalization.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Implement high-skilled immigration programs that rely on broad-based notions of skill, rather than the traditional notion of short-run “skill shortages.”

    Implement high-skilled immigration programs that rely on broad-based notions of skill, rather than the traditional notion of short-run “skill shortages.”

    Implement high-skilled immigration programs that rely on broad-based notions of skill, rather than the traditional notion of short-run “skill shortages.”

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society