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Different strategies for the future of immigration in Canada, US

It is no secret that immigration policies and laws vary considerably between the U.S. and Canada. The processes are different, as is the likelihood of admittance. 

These and other differences are unlikely to change in the coming years as both countries continue to take different approaches to welcoming immigrants.

Number of immigrants

One major difference between the two countries comes down to the number they plan to welcome. According to sources, by 2025, Canada aims to welcome 12.5 immigrants for every 1,000 residents, compared to the U.S. rate of 3.0 per every 1,000 residents.

In other words, in the coming years, we could see four times as many permanent residents per capita in Canada than in the U.S.

Another important distinction is that Canada plans to admit nearly twice as many family immigrants as the U.S. (as a percentage of the population). The admissions rate for humanitarian and refugee immigrants will also be much higher in Canada than in the U.S.

Points system

Canada has utilized a points-based system for immigration purposes for decades. The system gives points to candidates for dozens of factors, like age, familial connections, educational accomplishments, an existing job offer in Canada, work history and specialization. 

In contrast, the U.S. does not currently utilize a point system; it uses a quota system. The quota system restricts visas based on country caps and preference categories. 

However, some American lawmakers are proposing a points system, not to compete with countries like Canada but to reduce immigration. Some critics say the proposed RAISE Act would eliminate or significantly reduce family-based immigration. Whether this will move forward or not remains unknown.

How to use this information

If you are currently considering permanent residency in Canada or the U.S. or are interested in making the process easier for family members or workers, knowing what the future could help may be helpful. 

You might reassess plans for opening a business in one place or the other, or you might think about where you want to put down roots.

While there is no way to predict the future, you can use information like proposed legislation, statistical analyses and clarity into the existing process to make informed decisions.