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Australia’s citizenship policies rank 3rd out of 33 countries


14 September 2011: Australia is a world leader on providing a clear path to citizenship, according to an international study on migrant settlement published today by the Migration Policy Group. Australia ranks 3rd out of 33 countries on citizenship policies and 5th in its overall approach to giving legal migrants opportunities to participate in society.

The MIPEX can be used by both the international and national media as a reliable, quick reference guide to provide in-depth understanding on where countries are doing well in providing equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities to migrants, and where they are falling behind. You can compare countries to neighbouring or other countries, and get an overview of what has changed and what could be done to improve integration. Since the MIPEX is updated continuously, you can regularly access contextual information and keep abreast of what is on the agenda in your country with regard to migrant integration and the impact it has on society. You can find the reasoning behind low and high scores in your country and use the results to supplement the human angle of stories on migrants and their experiences.

Play with the data

You can use the MIPEX online tool to visualise selected comparisons of policies, countries and changes over time as bar, map, radar or scatter-plot charts by choosing a chart, selecting the countries and policies to compare and generating your customised chart.

You can then share your chart on Facebook, add it to your own customised PDF of the MIPEX results, embed it onto your website or blog, or save it as an image or CSV. 

Improve your score

You can use the MIPEX online tool to monitor and recommend policy changes. By manually changing indicator scores the tool will calculate your changes and forecast how reform would improve policies in your country and compare them with other countries.

You can then visualise these scenarios by generating new comparative charts to share, publish, embed or save in your preferred format.

Press releases

14 September 2011: New Language Tests Could Threaten UK’s Progress On Integrating Migrants

The UK has become more effective at integrating new migrants, but new language tests could threaten this progress, a new study has shown.

The study, published today by the Migration Policy Group, shows that the UK government’s decision to remove the burdensome “Earned Citizenship” path has improved the UK’s standing in the “MIPEX” international ranking for effective integration policies. However, current proposals would make it harder for non-EU migrants to learn English, which is crucial in encouraging participation in local communities and employment.

Ranked 9th for its integration policies out of 33 countries, the UK guarantees better opportunities for migrants to integrate than most European countries, but still trails behind Canada (3rd) and Australia (5th), largely due to these countries’ strong support for all residents to successfully learn Englis h and their programmes on family reunion.

In particular, cuts to English classes means it is harder to learn English in the UK, and language requirements for family reunion and citizenship will be higher than all other English-speaking countries.

In addition, the new UK condition that applicant non-EU spouses must first speak the language before entering the country is totally absent from English-speaking countries like Australia, Canada and the US, and very rare in Europe.

As a contrast, Australia and Canada invest in migrant’s abilities to participate in society by providing free language classes once they arrive, and support for immigrant organisations in local communities.

The approach of combining demanding requirements with poor support may work more as an obstacle to learning English than as the incentive that has made integration work more effectively in Australia and Canada,” said the author of the study, Thomas Huddleston.

Rob Berkeley of the Runnymede Trust, the UK partner organisation for the project said: "Learning English is recognised as a crucial part of the route to integration. The UK government should ensure that there are opportunities for immigrants to learn English rather than making short term cuts which will lead to exclusion for migrants and their families in the longer term".

Commenting, Cedric Manen, Chair of the Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA), said:

“The UK can take lessons from Australia where they provide free English classes and additional support through settlement programs, particularly to those who are vulnerable. The settlement process has been strengthened through renewed focus on multicultural policy at a time when European counterparts took a more conservative stance on multiculturalism.”


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Media Gallery

The Media Gallery showcases MIPEX related videos and images. You can also look out for new videos on the MIPEXIII YouTube Channel  and the MIPEX photostream on Flickr.



The daily programme broadcast by the Portuguese national TV station RTP2 - Civil Society – hosted by the journalist Ms. Eduarda Maio, had an edition (17/1/2013) dedicated to the relation between the presence of immigrants in Portugal and the cosmopolitan character of Portuguese society. In order to discuss the issue the journalist invited Mr. Feliciano Barreiras Duarte (Secretary of State Assistant to the Deputy and Parliamentary Affairs Minister), Mr. Hugo Seabra (Human Development Programme of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation), Mr. Carlos Vianna (association of Brazilian migrants House of Brazil in Lisbon) and Mr. João António (Portuguese Catholic University). The starting point of the interview was the analysis of the results obtained in the research coordinated by João António and Verónica Policarpo based on a sample (n=1830) selected by the Catholic University’s research and poll centre (CESOP) and covering the mainland of Portugal. The results show a good acceptance of immigrants by Portuguese people but there are often ambivalent responses showing the complexity of the issues dealt with. Hugo Seabra stressed the role of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in sponsoring research in this thematic area through the project of recognition of qualifications of migrant nurses and doctors and also by hosting forums dedicated to different subgroups of migrants living in Portugal (ageing migrants, female migrants and the labour market). Mr. Feliciano Barreiras Duarte mentioned the good score obtained by Portugal in the MIPEX showing the ability of the country to host and integrate foreign citizens and also the changing features of the immigrant population residing here (feminization, for example). The president of the House of Brazil in Lisbon (Mr. Carlos Vianna) focused on the services provided by the association, its role in integrating immigrants and also the consensus among associations on the relevance of working together towards the definition of better integration practices...


There are newest developments in the field of integration and global cities. MIPEX and GCIF are particularly interesting innovations that are giving practitioners and activists opportunities to share information and learning at the global level, create new standards of excellence and allow for comparability across various settings and conditions.

MIPEX is a tool used to measure, assess, compare and improve integration policies, mostly in the European Union countries and recenlty including Australia and Japan. 
MIPEX project is led by the British Council and the Migration Policy group which is composed of 37 national-level organizations, including think-tanks, non-government organizations, foundations, universities, research institutes, and equality bodies in 31 countries in Europe, Canada, and the USA.

As MIPEX is filled out by independent scholars, practitioners in the field of migration,law, etc. basing from their country’s national data and peer-reviewed by external experts from that country...


view profileOne way to measure the impact of integration policies is to use comparative evidence as a benchmark. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the U.S. partner for a major international comparative study on integration laws across Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The Migrant Integration Policy Index, MIPEX, is a reference tool that measures and compares the immigration and integration policies of 31 countries...MIPEX also acknowledges that the lowest score goes to long-term residence because the U.S.’s complex immigration laws, limited visa availability, high fees, and long backlogs may make it challenging for immigrants to integrate fully in the American life. In addition, the second lowest score goes to political participation because unlike most European countries, non-citizens in the U.S cannot vote in federal elections and are not represented by federally sponsored advisory bodies. Finally, MIPEX mentions that states including Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington are taking the lead on immigrant integration.

The MIPEX report is not without some drawbacks. One limitation is related to the fact that the survey questions reflect European systems of government and policies that don’t necessarily apply to U.S. laws. Michele Waslin, a senior policy analyst at the IPC said, “Integration is happening in the U.S despite the fact that we don’t have a national strategy and don’t have some of the same laws and policies that other countries have”. One way to address the immigration issue is to develop appropriate, country-specific integration policies. The MIPEX index offers policymakers a framework for analyzing and comparing immigrants’ integration, in addition to assessing the best and the worst practices...


journalvfDu côté de l’Union européenne (UE), Catherine Withol de Wenden, directrice de recherche au CNRS de Paris, a sonné l’alarme face à une « européanisation croissante » des politiques d’intégrations en parallèle à une nationalisation grandissante de la gestion des flux migratoires. De nombreux pays de l’UE cherchent à contrôler davantage leur politique d’entrée, « ce qui est complètement inconcevable dans le dispositif européen où tout est communautarisé en la matière », a rappelé celle qui a aussi été consultante auprès de l’OCDE, du Conseil de l’Europe et de la Commission européenne. 
À l’inverse, les politiques d’intégration, où en principe les nations ont davantage de marges de manoeuvre, semblent s’uniformiser. L’UE « met son nez dans ces politiques » entre autres avec le Migrant Integration Policiy Index (MIPEX), par lequel « on compare, on met en parallèle, en permanence, non seulement des législations, mais aussi la mise en oeuvre des politiques d’intégration dans les différents pays européens. C’est presque une obsession de la Commission européenne », a-t-elle soulevé. 
« Le risque, c’est que, d’un côté, on ait plus de souverainisme dans le contrôle des frontières, avec toutes les dérives populistes auxquelles cela peut conduire […], et que, de l’autre, on impose un modèle unique d’intégration, alors que l’Europe, précisément, est le continent de la diversité. » À son avis, tout ce qui concerne le vivre ensemble devrait être de l’ordre de la négociation, du cas par cas, « puisque chaque pays d’immigration européen a ses étrangers, ses voisins, son histoire »...


immigration, reform, 2013, america, ranks, poorly, when, it, comes, to, immigration, policy, According to a May 2011 study by the Immigration Policy Center, the United States ranks ninth when comparing overall immigration policy to those of 30 other countries. In the report, titled "The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX III)," the highest ranking for the U.S. is first in anti-discrimination policies (to a low of 24th for long-term residency). With Congress and the president poised to address our immigration policies, we should not attempt to become number one. Rather, we must address the various issues involved as they apply to this country and implement solutions that will sever the best interests of the United States...According to MIPEXIII, eight other countries are doing a better job overall in immigration compared to the U.S. Twenty-three make it easier for immigrants to become long-term residents. What other countries do should not influence what changes we make to our immigration laws. The Senate has taken a bipartisan lead. The president needs to recognize this when announcing his plan. Our immigration system needs to be improved. The issue has been festering for at least 12 years. 2013 could be the year it gets done. The political climate in Washington may be changing. Climate change, in this sense is a good thing...