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An immigration policy is any policy of a state that deals with the transit of persons across its borders into the country, but especially those that intend to work and stay in the country. Immigration policies can range from allowing no migration at all to allowing most types of migration, such as free immigration. Often, racial or religious bias is tied to immigration policy (for example, a country might only allow commonwealth citizens admission).[vague] Ethnic relations policy within a country can usually be broadly categorized as either 'assimilationist' or 'multiculturalist'.
Nowadays, immigration policy is often closely related to other policies and issues:
Tax, tariff and trade rules that determine what goods immigrants may bring with them, what services they may perform while temporarily in the country, and who is allowed to remain like the European Union has few immigration restrictions within it. Almost any citizen or resident of any of the signatory nations (with the possible exception of a few new member states)[vague] may move and seek work anywhere within the EU, and there is little that member states can do to stop it without leaving the EU or renegotiating the treaty.
Investment policy that permits wealthy immigrants to invest in businesses in exchange for favorable treatment, early issuance of passports and permanent resident status.
An important aspect of immigration policy is the treatment of refugees, more or less helpless or stateless people who throw themselves on the mercy of the state they enter, seeking refuge from poor treatment in their country of origin.
With the rise of terrorism worldwide, another major concern is the national security of nations that let people cross borders. The belief is that terrorists can come from overseas.[vague] These concerns often lead to intrusive security searches and tighter visa requirements, which can discourage immigration, temporary visitors, and even movement within countries or birth within countries.
There is often pressure on nations to loosen immigration policy or inspections to enable tourism and relocation of businesses to a country, from a destabilized region.[vague]