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‘Trends in immigration’: Indians moving beyond UK and Canada

Migration to developed nations was traditionally driven by job opportunities, access to education and health care, a higher standard of living, and political stability. Over the past decade, millions of Indians have fled the country to avoid poverty, inequality, and unemployment. USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, EU Countries, and Gulf Countries were safe harbors for Indian migrants.

Today, migrants and their decisions are driven mainly by the aspirations of a growing global middle-class. Communications and technology have made it easier for people to travel and migrate to their favorite destinations. By utilizing robust technologies and relatively affordable transportation, it is far easier for migrants to stay in touch with family, pay for visits, or send money.

The Government of India estimates that approximately 1 percent of India’s population lives abroad. Over 1.33 crore Indians live and work abroad. Further, more than 6 lakh Indians in the past five years renounced their Indian citizenship to obtain citizenship in foreign countries. Below is a list of the Developed Countries and the Indian Migrants who live in these countries:

Why is immigration changing so quickly?

Immigration trends change due to three main factors – Covid impact, low population, and low birth rate. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and EU countries – especially Germany – deal with a severe shortage of skilled workers because of low birth rates and an aging population. In the EU, there is a disparity in development parameters that drives mobility.

According to recent case studies, the Russian population declined by over one million people in 2021. It is the largest population drop since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The current demographic issues were exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic that killed more than 660,000 people in Russia. As a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic uncertainty, birth rates have fallen. The population continues to decline despite various initiatives to boost the birth rate.

Media outlets refer to Japan as the ‘demographic time bomb’. Japan’s youth are choosing not to bear children. As a consequence, 20.7 million people will be displaced in the coming years. In addition, the population will drop from 126.5 million to 105.8 million, a 16.3% decline. As well as the declining population, Italy is expected to shrink from 61 million to 28 million by 2050. Data from the World Bank shows that over 23% of the Italian population is over the age of 65. Many developed countries have similar stories, making them more vulnerable and placing their hopes on immigration.

Where are Indians going other than Canada and the UK?

Global leaders in international migration, such as Canada and the UK, are major driving forces. Several immigration pathways aligned with faster processing entice skilled professionals to move to these countries. The pandemic has shifted preference towards the other developed countries, however. India is seeking to migrate to Europe due to the low population and shortage of skilled workers in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, and Italy.

Immigration systems have been improved and application processes have been streamlined in many countries. One of these countries is Australia. Immigration policies are being introduced at three levels of government – federal, state, and regional. It has a new skilled immigration program called ‘Specific Skilled Workers’ that targets specific occupations in certain industries. There are two types of employment-driven immigration schemes in Germany: Job Seeker Visas and Employment Visas.

Along with skilled immigration, these developed countries offer a variety of visas for business professionals. These include the startup visa, the investment visa, the entrepreneur visa, and the golden visa. There are enormous opportunities in these countries for business professionals and skilled workers alike. Currently, Indian migration is the largest in Canada, the US, and the UK, but Indians will eventually conquer the immigration charts of those countries as well.




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