With the goal of attracting skilled immigrants who can address gaps in the national labour force, Canada has adopted a points based assessment (PBA) system as part of its immigration policy since 1967. In contrast to the United States, which pursues an employer-driven immigration policy, the Canadian policy allows potential immigrants to assess their prospects of success in the Canadian labour market using the PBA, and once accepted, to land in Canada without having first procured employment. I trace the historical and economic reasons behind the development of current Canadian immigration policy and the points based assessment system and examine the PBA’s shortcomings in its adherence to the rubrics of assessment standards such as reliability and construct validity. I conclude that the micro issues of the PBA are reflective of an overall Canadian immigration policy that is unsustainable and inequitable in its approach to foreign skilled workers.


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