Tuesday 8th March 2011

The British Council and the Migration Policy Group have issued the latest Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) and it provides some interesting insights into the challenges faced by expats throughout the world.

The report—which ranks 27 EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA—uses 148 policy indicators across 7 categories in order to rank countries according to the immigration policies for legal immigrants. Countries are examined according to the employment opportunities, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to citizenship and anti-discrimination.

The top five nations for ease of integration were Sweden, Portugal, Canada, Finland and the Netherlands. On the other hand, any expats considering locating to Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Malta and Lithuania should be aware that these five countries were revealed to be the worst countries of those surveyed for ease of integration.

Sweden, the highest-ranking country in the index, was praised for offering expats good conditions in which they could more easily integrate with society and find gainful employment. Sweden was also praised for offering expats favorable laws pertaining to family reunification and anti-discrimination. Henrik Nilsson, member of Sweden’s national partner to the study, the Red Cross, disclosed that he believed the positive review of Sweden could be attributed to the right policies and willing volunteers:

“Sweden's first place shows that good forces can combine to produce results. We have a Parliament that passes laws giving newcomers the right to instruction in Swedish…and thousands of volunteers who support new arrivals when they enter into Swedish society,” he said in a statement.

The MIPEX project, which is funded by the European Commission, consists of 37 international organizations, including think tanks, foundations, universities and non-governmental groups. Experts in their respective fields in each country completed the score for each indicator before a peer-review process was invoked.

Top Countries for Integration:

1. Sweden: 83

2. Portugal: 79

3. Canada: 72

4. Finland: 69

5. Netherlands: 68

6. Belgium: 67

7. Norway: 66

8. Spain: 63

9. USA: 62

10. Italy: 60

Worst Countries for Integration:

1. Czech Republic 46

1. Estonia 46

2. Hungary: 45

2. Romania: 45

3. Switzerland: 43

4. Austria: 42

4. Poland: 42

5. Bulgaria: 41

6. Lithuania: 40

7. Malta: 37

8. Slovakia: 36

9. Cyprus: 35

10. Latvia: 31

Read the full article: http://www.britishcouncil.de/e/projects/mipex08.htm

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