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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.



EU Observer

The score should not be seen as a criticism of member state but as a motivation to improve policies that favour integration of immigrants coming to the EU, said Jan Niessen from the Migration Policy Group and co-author of the report. "The idea is not to name and shame the member states," he said at the launch of the 191-page report in Brussels on Monday. "We want to help create a discussion on the issue that will hopefully lead to better policies and again to better integration..." READ FULL ARTICLE.



Sweden scored 100% on the rights it gives to foreign workers and just missed out on the top rating for long-term residency laws.

Researchers scored Sweden and Portugal highest on policies allowing migrants to bring in members of their family - but Austria, Denmark and Cyprus scored lowest.

Sweden was also judged best at giving migrants the right to stay for the long-term, by having what researchers found to be a fair, simple and transparent system... READ FULL ARTICLE.


The Times of India

Going by the newest league table, potential migrants to Europe should head for Sweden and avoid Latvia like the plague.

Britain, favoured European destination for Indians because of the linguistic and legal comfort zone, scores enough to come half-way up the index, but only just, say researchers on this European continent-wide evaluation of how well different countries promote 21st-century integration.

British Council head Martin Davidson said that the league table's results aimed to foster debate over the nature of migration and integration across the continent and beyond... READ FULL ARTICLE.



The Migration Integration Policy Index (Mipex) may come with a technocratic-sounding Brussels acronym, but the pages of data reveal hidden stories and subtleties about the history of migration to and within the continent. 

It provides a snapshot of how migration has been handled by the biggest economies on the block - but also of the domestic political challenges that migration poses to societies. 

So how was this study compiled and what did it conclude? Researchers looked at laws and policies in each country and drew up a list of what they saw as an ideal climate for integrating migrants into a society... READ FULL ARTICLE.



The continental-wide review praised the UK's nationality and residency laws, but said migrants did not have enough workplace or political rights.

The study looked at policies across the continent and ranked countries on key factors affecting immigrants' lives.

The British Council-led study found Sweden doing the most to help migrants settle - and Latvia the least

The project compiled a league table by looking at laws and policies towards immigrants once a nation has allowed them to enter a country... READ FULL ARTICLE.