Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Where do high-educated immigrants go?

  1. Sep 29, 2008 #1
    I am interested to study in a country that favors high-educated immigrants. My future profession is probably in Mathematics and Finance which would mean traveling a lot. Can someone recommend me a country to look at? US may not be the right choice because Economist reported, some time ago, that US accepts only a partition of its candidates, which was different in the past. This is really shame as there are the top universities. So where do the best immigrants now end up? Have some countries replaced the US or what is the trend among immigrants? Do they easily get the citizenship after their studies? In nutshell, where are the countries that favor high-educated immigrants?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2008 #2
    Actually the U.S. accepts a lot more people than it did in the past. IF you are highly educated (i.e. are gunning for a PhD) I hear it is fairly easy to get citizenship after your thesis defense.
  4. Sep 30, 2008 #3
    I would be happy to see the source and some investigation. Perhaps, they accept more in terms of real numbers but not in percentages. Yet, this is just speculation. Hopefully, someone can clarify this.

    What about if I make my thesis defense in some other country than I am planning to move to (still high-ranked university but lower tuition fees)? Are there some certain fields that are favored by gvts? Would it be easier to achieve citizenship (and hence lower tuition fees) with Economics than, let say, Mathematics?
  5. Sep 30, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I certainly can't speak generally about other countries. In the US, the fields that are favored are those that are underrepresented among US citizens. So, you'd have a better chance with a mathematics Ph.D. than an Economics Ph.D. Economists are a dime a dozen (and with the past week's events, they might be worth even less now). But, with the economy going down the drains right now, who knows. There may not be much demand for anyone if even the US citizens can't get jobs in the coming years.

    It would be a lot more helpful if you were more specific about what countries you were thinking about.
  6. Sep 30, 2008 #5
    Well, I have thought about a number of countries from Japan and China to US and UK. If you know about the position of immigrants in these countries I would be happy to hear. For example, how have high-educated immigrants reacted to the rising favor for protectionism in US? Are they returning to their homelands or even at all on the move?
  7. Sep 30, 2008 #6
    What does not wanting an extra 2 million uneducated mexicans illegally entering our country each year or jobs being sent to Hyderabad have to do with highly educated immigrants wanting to come here to work? Where exactly do you hail from that you have such a poor U.S. sentiment? (ok I just set myself up for a Bush joke)

    Edit: I'm chuckling a bit at your wanting to go to Japan but consider the U.S. too protectionist.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  8. Oct 5, 2008 #7
    You are right, the U.S. makes it very hard for highly-educated immigrants to live permanently in the U.S. Temporary work visas are somewhat easier to get. It's much easier to immigrate illegally into the U.S. (like the Mexicans) than to do it legally where your prospective employer has to fork over thousands of $$$ for lawyer and immigration processing fees as well as 6 to 24 months to convince the government that there is no qualified American to take your job. If you were born in India or China, forget about trying to immigrate legally to the U.S., there's a backlog of two years before they'll consider your application, and by that point your job's probably disappeared. Much easier to do something illegal like jumping the Mexican fence or faking a marriage.

    On the other hand, Canada makes it extremely easy for highly educated immigrants to come in. You don't even need a job offer. We let in virtually everyone who applies, unfortunately that includes potential criminals and terrorists. However, once into Canada, you will most likely be driving a taxi with your Ph.D. because Canadian companies only hire people with "Canadian experience" (WTF?)
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  9. Oct 5, 2008 #8
    You should read up on U.S. immigration law. If legal immigration was easy, there would not be illegal immigration.

    After your Ph.D., you have up to a year you can spend working in the U.S. ("Optional Practical Training") before they kick you out. In that time you had better find a company who will sponsor you for a H1-B (work visa). This is a temporary visa with an annual quota (if you apply too late in the year, say goodbye to America!) where the company has to pay almost $2000 in processing fees as well as prove that they are paying the industry standard wage. After this process, you can then apply for permanent residency (the "Green Card"), and even more complicated and convoluted process. Several thousands of dollars in fees, months to years waiting for a response, the company has to prove that there is no American qualified to fill the job, etc. And only then does an immigrant get the privilege of living permanently in the U.S. Five years after this may he or she apply for citizenship. In short, if everything goes smoothly, it takes at least seven years after one's Ph.D. defense to get citizenship. If it doesn't go smoothly, you'll be considered as illegal as the person mowing your front lawn and you'll end up learning Spanish sitting on the cold concrete floor of an immigration detention center.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  10. Oct 5, 2008 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Forget America.

    I worked there on a UK-USA-Canada project (i'm a Brit), although the UK funded 25% of the telescope and the camera I was working on was entirely UK funded the headquarters were in the USA. The UK/Canadian authorities counted it as an international project (like CERN) and so visas for visiting scientists are automatic (NATO visa) the US counts it as any other job and so requires an H1 visa.

    But in the dot-com boom H1 visas were impossible to get so most UK scientists on the project were given student visas - this meant having to return to the UK every year to renew them and on returning to the USA after each visit to the site in Chile, or to a conference you had to try and persuade the immigration officer why you were a 30 year old student - and why you were an 'astrologer' if it said Doctor on your passport.

    Canada is better - you can apply to emmigrate there with enough qualifications without a job offer, unfortunately it currently takes about 4years to process the paperwork under ideal conditions.
  11. Oct 6, 2008 #10
    There are other reasons to go to Japan. Fundamental reason is that their population is old and they need foreign workers. This is the reason why they give scholarships to foreign students. Moreover, the economic climate is very tempting. Yet, I do not neglect the protectionism in Japan. The other reasons have just so high weight, currently. Please, do not hesitate to comment.
  12. Oct 6, 2008 #11
    Thanks for your comment! Can you recommend me some Universities in Canada? I have only looked universities in UK and US but Canada sounds fascinating. I have to really do research about these countries. How do these countries favor different countries? Are Caribbeans favored over Skandinavians because of their closeness? Or are Norwegians and Saudis favored because of their oil? These rhetoric questions hopefully embark some discussion.
  13. Oct 6, 2008 #12
    Cold hard facts ouch.

    They give many Scholarships out every year to students but most of them are actually from third world countries (Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, so on etc) but the chances of an American or European getting it is possible but slim. Unless you are a Super Duper Genius, a one of a kind smarty out of your classroom. Because they know that somewhere in this world, say a poor student from Cambodia, as an example, really do need it more than some Western guy living the good life in New York. The ones in need comes first and for most.
  14. Oct 6, 2008 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I believe that the new points system only takes into account language skills.
    Previously there were extra points for 'cultural suitability' or something, which meant they favoured British/Australian etc - but this was abandoned.

    Basically there are points for qualifications, language, age etc - note this is for permament visas if you don't have a job. Student visas are much easier. Checkout the canadian immigration website.

    Particular univerisites would depend on your field - in general for ugrad all genuine canadian universities are good, on the same standard as UK or US state universities.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook