CANADA VS. AUSTRALIA: WHERE SHOULD YOU IMMIGRATE?
If you’re thinking about immigrating to a new country, it’s likely that you’ve considered a few possibilities for where you want to move. Canada is a great country, especially for immigrants, but why wouldn’t you compare your options before picking a location to start a new life? One big factor in deciding where to immigrate is the immigration system itself! Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you and compared Canadian immigration to another popular destination: Australia!
So, you’re trying to decide whether you should live down under with the kangaroos, or in the north with the moose? Well, before you make any decisions, take a look at our comparison of immigration programs between Canada vs Australia, and determine which immigration program gives you better options!
SKILLED WORKER PROGRAMS – OVERVIEW
This article is going to compare two popular immigration programs: Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program and Australia’s Skilled Independent program (subclass 189).
Both of these programs target new immigrants with skilled work experience. As well, neither of the programs require applicants to have a connection to the country in terms of work experience, educational experience, or a job offer. This means that these two immigration programs are excellent choices for highly qualified skilled workers from any country, regardless of whether or not they have any relation to the country to which they wish to immigrate.
The end result of both of these programs is permanent resident status. It allows holders to enter and exit the country as often as they’d like and provides a clear pathway to citizenship in the country.
Similarly, both of these programs utilize points-based systems to determine eligibility and to select applicants. We’ve taken the time to compare these points systems below.
Those who are familiar with Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program will know that the program requires candidates to have at least 1 year of full-time, skilled work experience. Canada defines skilled work experience as any job at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, or B.
Similarly, Australia’s Skilled Independent program requires candidates to prove that they are qualified to work in one of the program’s eligible occupations. Australian immigration maintains a Skilled Independent Occupations List indicating all of the program’s eligible occupations. In order to be eligible, a candidate must consult with the proper Assessing Authority (included on the list) to receive proof that they are eligible to practice that profession in Australia. If an occupation is not on the list, or if an applicant has not consulted with the Assessing Authority, then they are not eligible for this program.
POINTS SYSTEM COMPARISON
Both programs utilize points-assessment grids to determine the eligibility of candidates for immigration. The grids assign points for age, language proficiency, work experience, education, and other unique factors. In Canada, you must score a minimum of 67 points out of 100 in order to be eligible, while Australia’s program requires a minimum of 60 points out of 135.
If you meet the minimum points requirement, you are eligible to submit your interest in the program. However, please bear in mind that for both countries simply meeting the minimum point’s requirement does not guarantee that you will be able to immigrate. Meeting the minimum points is only the first step in the application procedure.
|Maximum Points Per Factor|
|Foreign Work Experience||15||15|
|In Country Work Experience||20||10|
Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is contained within the Express Entry immigration system, which manages immigration applications electronically. Through Express Entry, candidates who meet the 67 points first must create an Express Entry profile through the online immigration web portal. The Express Entry profile acts as an Expression of Interest (EOI), indicating that the candidate is interested in Canadian immigration.
Once a candidate creates their Express Entry profile, they are assigned a score, called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Note: The CRS score is a scoring system out of 1200 points, completely separate from the eligibility points grid we discussed above. An Express Entry profile remains valid for up to 12 months, if the profile is not selected within 12 months the candidate must resubmit.
Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government conducts an Express Entry draw, inviting the candidates in the pool with the highest CRS scores to submit official applications for permanent residence. If an applicant is successful, they receive permanent resident status for themselves, and all accompanying family members who were included on the application.
The application procedure for the Australian Skilled Independent Visa program is similar to Canada’s Express Entry system. First, candidates who meet the minimum of 60 points must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) using Australia’s online system: Skill Select. Unlike Canada, Australia does not have a secondary points system, and simply uses its eligibility grid to rank candidates against one another.
Australian immigration issues invitations approximately twice per month. Candidates with the highest ranking EOIs will be invited to apply. If multiple candidates have the same ranking score, the candidate whose profile was submitted earlier will be prioritized. Skill Select EOIs are valid for up to 2 years. If an EOI is not invited within 2 years, it will expire.
It should be noted that the Australian Independent Skills program determines occupation ceilings each year. Each eligible occupation is given a maximum quota and if that quota is met then no other professionals in that occupation will be invited until the next year.
After receiving an invitation, an applicant is given 60 days to submit an official application for Australian permanent residence. If the applicant is successful, they receive permanent resident status for themselves and any accompanying family members (including partner and children).
PROCESSING TIMES & COST
Canada demonstrates an advantage in terms of both processing time and cost of immigration.
Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program charges total fees of $1040 CAD per adult applicant, plus an additional $150 per child. Though, applicants to Express Entry programs should be aware of the various other costs they can expect during the immigration process.
Australia’s Independent Skills program costs $3560 CAD for the principal applicant, plus an additional $1790 CAD for a spouse or partner, and $900 CAD per child. As with Canadian immigration, Australian applicants should expect a range of other costs for documentation, postage, etc.
Canada’s Express Entry system boasts a speedy processing of 80% of all applications within 6 months of receipt. Australia’s Independent Skills program states that 75% of applications are processed within 8 months of receipt.
OTHER IMMIGRATION OPTIONS
As stated at the beginning of the article, both of these programs are ideal for high-skilled workers without a connection to either Canada or Australia. If a worker has a connection to the country, perhaps they completed their studies in Canada or they have a job offer in Australia, then they may have additional options.
Canada, for example, also manages the Canadian Experience Class, another program within Express Entry which prioritizes foreign nationals with at least 12 months of work experience in Canada. As well, Canada has a host of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) which often select candidates who have some sort of regional connection.
As well, Australia operates several immigration programs for skilled workers with connections to the country. There are visas available to those with an employer nomination, to those from certain regions, and for those with special skills.