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  • Updated: December 14, 2023

Ten most Immigrant-Friendly countries in the world

Ten most Immigrant-Friendly countries in the world

The nations that welcome immigrants the most are those that combine social acceptance and approachable laws to create a hospitable environment. 

These countries facilitate the acquisition of work permits, permanent resident status, and legal access more easily. 

Notably, not all countries fall within the definition of permanent settlement; for example, certain Gulf countries confer citizenship rights to immigrants while allowing them entry with relative ease. 

In 2019, 67% of migrant workers lived in high-income countries (an estimated 113.9 million people), 29% in middle-income countries, and 3.6% in low-income host countries, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Report 2022. 

It only makes sense that there would be a large immigrant population in high-income nations, as the Best Countries in the World According to Immigrants are those that provide a combination of stable employment rates for populations born outside of the country and good living conditions. 


Methodology 

Based on the number of immigrants each country currently hosts, we ranked which countries are the most receptive to newcomers. 

However, we also looked at the migrant stock in the respective countries' overall population, since the number of migrants residing in a country does not necessarily indicate what percentage of the population they make up. 

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Report 2022, the Knomad Database, the Pew Research Centre, the World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees & Societies, and the Gallup Poll were some of the sources of data we used for this study.  

Below are the ten most Immigrant-Friendly countries in the world

 

10. Spain

Number of Migrants: 6.8 million

Spain is among the nations that support immigration globally. It has a sizable immigrant community, making up about 14.6% of the entire population. 

A significant portion of these immigrants came from Romania and Morocco, while the socioeconomic and political unrest in those countries has led to an increase in the number of arrivals from Latin America, especially Venezuela and Colombia.

Traditionally, the Spanish government has managed immigration through a comprehensive immigration strategy, emphasising integration in the immigration process. 

Regulated migratory routes, primarily in the Northern African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, are a part of the intricate dynamics of immigration in Spain, nevertheless.

 

9. France

Number of Migrants: 8.5 million 

Due to its varied migratory landscape, France has historically drawn immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, Portugal, Italy, and Spain, as well as North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia). 

Nonetheless, a greater number of refugees from Syria and Afghanistan are now making their way to France as a result of current conflicts and instability in the Middle East. 


8. Russia

Number of Migrants: 11.6 million 

With a landmass of the largest in the world, Russia is home to about 11.6 million immigrants from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. 

Although the Russian government supports certain skilled migration to counteract population decrease, managing the migrant population is difficult due to growing xenophobia and unclear legal status.


7. United Kingdom 

Number of Migrants: 9.4 million 

The United Kingdom has been a popular destination for immigration from around the world for a long time. Currently, 9 million foreign nationals live there, accounting for 13.8% of the total population. 

The majority of immigrants in the UK are from Romania, Poland, India, and Pakistan; but, since 2004, EU countries have contributed significantly more immigrants, owing to European freedom of movement regulations. 

They picked the UK because of its robust economy, linguistic ties, and established diaspora networks. 


6. Australia

Number of Migrants: 7.7 million 

Australia's established economy, stable political environment, and high level of living make it a desirable destination for immigrants. 

The World Migration Report states that China, India, and the United Kingdom account for a sizable portion of Australia's immigration population. 

This pattern is further influenced by Australia's distinctive immigration policy, the Points-Based System, which gives preference to young, talented, and English-speaking immigrants. 


5. Canada

Number of Migrants: 8 million 


Because of its inclusive immigration policies, Canada receives a significant number of new immigrants each year from China, India, and the Philippines, which are the top immigration sources because of things like family reunification and economic opportunities. 

Immigrants choose Canada because of its high standards of living, excellent educational system, and chances for professional advancement.


4. Germany 

Number of Migrants: 15.8 million 

With the largest immigrant population in the EU, Germany is highly sought after by immigrants, the majority of whom come from Turkey, Poland, and Russia. 

Germany's social welfare system, strong economy, and historical and cultural ties to many other nations draw immigrants. 

But since 2015, refugees and asylum seekers—particularly those from Syria and Afghanistan—have generated a lot of discussion. 

With the second-largest refugee population in the world as of 2023, Germany faces challenges like resource strain and a gap in public opinion.

 

3. United States Of America

Number of Migrants: 50.6 million 

The political inclinations and aversions of the nation create a complex immigration environment in the United States. 

In 2023, Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines account for the majority of immigrants entering the US. 

Opportunities for improved livelihoods, education, family reunification, or fleeing political unrest or violence are what drives them. 

But the circumstances are complicated, moulded by changing societal views, economic conditions, and policy frameworks.


2. United Arab Emirates 

Number of Migrants: 8.7 million 

With 88.1% of the world's population, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to the largest proportion of migrants. 

The Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India all contribute to the nation's immigrant population by offering employment in the developing industries of hospitality, construction, domestic assistance, and tourism. 

Despite enormous sociocultural obstacles and strict immigration laws, these immigrants want better living conditions, more pay, and better professional chances. 


1. Saudi Arabia

Number of Migrants: 13.5 million 

With a population of immigrants making up 38.6% of the overall population—one of the highest percentages indicating the country's pro-immigrant policies—Saudi Arabia tops the list of the ten most immigrant-friendly nations in the world. 

Southeast Asian countries account for the majority of immigrants, who are drawn to the kingdom by job possibilities. 

Interestingly, nearly all of these migrants are regarded as temporary employees or guests. 

Unlike those in other Gulf nations, they do not have citizenship rights in Saudi Arabia, even though many remain for years or even generations.

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