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Get Ready for Merit-Based Immigration

It seems like the U.S. is headed towards a more economic-based or merit-based immigration system. This would put more value on education and skills. And, the Canadian system could be a potential model.

In the Canadian model, an applicant is scored on six factors, which can add up to a maximum of 100 points. The six factors are language skills, education, experience, age, arranged job, and adaptability.

Canada scores some factors higher than others such as speaking English and French. An applicant needs a minimum score of 67 points to qualify as a possible immigrant.

Currently, the U.S. grants nearly 65% of permanent resident visas through a family reunification process versus 14% through employment or skills-based process.

If the government moves towards a more merit-based immigration system, it would be a big shift.  And, it wouldn’t necessarily mean more immigrants from Europe, which has been the coded message about a merit-based system. In merit-based systems, the top qualifying countries of origin tend to be India, China, and the Philippines.

Employer-Friendly Change: Easier Proof for Unpaid Internship

The Department of Labor (DOL) will no longer use the longstanding “six-factor test” to determine whether an unpaid intern or student qualifies as an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It will now use the “primary beneficiary test.”

DOL is following recent case law and eliminating unnecessary confusion for employers and investigators. It is championing the primary beneficiary test that includes, “The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.”

There are 7 factors to consider under the primary beneficiary test. The courts see this as a flexible test dependent on the unique circumstance of each case.