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Global Immigration Study 2016

Belgium attracts international talent thanks to efficient migration policy for highly skilled workers

Deloitte’s 2016 global immigration study shows that Belgium is one of the most attractive countries for highly skilled third country nationals thanks to the speed, low cost and accessible conditions for obtaining a work permit. In view of the growing importance of the knowledge-based economy it is essential for countries to attract highly skilled people.

Every two years, the study compares the migration formalities for third-country nationals in the European Union. Previous editions of Deloitte’s immigration study showed that Belgium scored the best in Europe. Along with the Scandinavian countries, Belgium is in the leading group of nations pursuing an efficient and accessible policy. For the first time, this survey now also compares the European immigration regimes for highly skilled foreigners with the regimes of some major countries around the globe.

Some key findings to emerge from the survey are as follows:

  • Knowledge immigration is of essential and increasing importance to the European economy
  • Belgium remains attractive to highly skilled immigrants thanks to speed, cost and conditions, even when comparing ourselves with large countries outside of the EU
  • European policy  is not very successful because the measures taken have little harmonising impact and tend to complicate local immigration rules
  • Countries like the US and Australia also struggle to maintain quick and flexible immigration regimes
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