Which countries are making legal immigration a top priority?


Australia – The country that’s been the biggest contributor to legal immigration in the past few years is now actively considering a move away from a blanket approach, with a number of nations looking at options to reduce the number of refugees coming to Australia.

“Australia has a strong history of welcoming people from all over the world,” Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.

“We should not be turning our back on the world.”

It’s the same approach the US is taking, as the US has a net flow of about 2 million refugees and migrants in 2017, with about half coming from the Middle East.

“In the US, the number is now well below what it was before the election,” Morrison said.

“The US is one of the largest resettlement nations in the world, and there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the US and other countries have the resources to support these people in a way that Australia can’t.”

Australia is also the biggest recipient of asylum seekers in the EU, but with only 10,000 applications processed in 2017 and only a few hundred applications in 2018, the numbers are likely to have grown substantially in the coming months.


Canada – The government has made it a priority to cut legal immigration, with Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen saying he is “working to increase the number and speed of processing of asylum claims”.

“Asylum seekers in Canada have the opportunity to live, work, and contribute to our country in ways that are not only humane but also economically viable,” Hussen said.

Canada has about 8,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

“As we look ahead to 2019, we will continue to focus on a reduction in the number, speed and scope of asylum applications,” he said.


France – The Government has been looking to reduce legal immigration for years now, but the country has been one of its biggest recipients of refugees and immigrants in the last few years.

“France is a country that has seen its immigration levels increase in recent years, and in the process has seen the number increase,” the Immigration Minister said.

Immigration Minister Bernard Valcourt has previously called for a “decade of action” to reduce immigration.

“There is no silver bullet for a reduction, but a year of action on the part of the Government will be a crucial one,” Valcourt said in February.

“I hope we will be able to achieve the kind of change we have called for over the past year.”


Germany – Germany is one the world’s top resettlement countries for refugees, but it’s also one of only two countries in Europe that doesn’t allow refugees to settle permanently.

That means that the country’s asylum system is one step further towards full closure, with Germany also considering introducing a temporary residence policy, which would allow asylum seekers to stay for up to six months and then be returned to their home country.

The temporary residence ban is likely to be reintroduced as a legislative measure in the spring, but if it’s approved, Germany’s asylum application system would become a little more restrictive.

In 2019, the country expects about 3,000 asylum applications to be processed in the first quarter, with the country set to receive an additional 1,500 applications.

“A significant increase in the numbers of asylum applicants coming to Germany in the years ahead will have a direct impact on the asylum system and on the quality of the asylum claims,” said Markus Köttke, a spokesman for the German Interior Ministry.

The Migration Policy Institute says that Germany is set to lose almost two million people in the next two years, with 1.3 million people living in asylum centres.


France’s biggest refugee recipient – the UK – has been under pressure to reduce its numbers of refugees in the wake of the Brexit vote, with Chancellor Philip Hammond warning that the UK could lose about 10,800 people a year.

The UK is the biggest resettlement nation in the European Union, but only has around 5,000 people registered for asylum in the country, according to the Migration Policy Initiative, with more than 1,000 in the UK.

“With the UK having a much more conservative immigration policy than many other EU member states, there is a very real possibility that the number could rise,” Migration Policy’s Körtke said.

He added that the Government has “taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all immigration for a period of up to three months until we can make the necessary adjustments”.

“We have already seen that the process of resettlement is now being extended in the most efficient way possible,” Költke said, with many asylum seekers being resettled in the countryside, where they can live, train and study without facing the same restrictions as in the capital.


Germany’s biggest beneficiary of asylum – the Netherlands – has a very long history of resettling refugees in its country.

However, a large part of its population is not citizens of the European Economic Area, which includes all of the countries in the Schengen Area.

The Netherlands is currently processing