Changing face of migration to Australia

The Asia region is becoming a leading source for permanent migration to Australia according to Australia’s Migration Trends, a new report released recently by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor.

Members of the Chinese Community in NSW get ready for a Blacktown festival parade
Members of the Chinese Community in NSW get ready for a Blacktown festival parade
Members of the Chinese Community in NSW get ready for a Blacktown festival parade[/caption]

For the first time, India and China were the two main source countries of permanent migrants.

The report contains comprehensive analysis and commentary on migration activity for 2011-12, and provides a clear picture of substantial changes in the origins of Australia’s migrants, reflecting the trend towards an Asian Century.

‘Seven of the top 10 source countries in 2011-12 were located in the Asia region,’ Mr O’Connor said.

‘Between 1996 and 2011, Australia’s overseas-born population grew by more than 40 per cent to reach six million. This was more than double the rate for the Australian-born population and is essential in addressing the demographic challenges of an ageing population,’ Mr O’Connor said.

‘With the government’s strong emphasis on skilled migration, this sort of growth is also crucial to ensuring depth in Australia’s labour force.

Mr O’Connor said patterns of migration are also changing.
‘In 2011-12, half of Australia’s skilled migrants applied while they were already living in Australia on a temporary visa. This was more than twice the rate of a decade earlier and reflects a growing trend of migrants seeing what Australia has to offer before making a commitment to settle permanently,’ Mr O’Connor said.

‘There is also clear evidence of Australia’s commitment to international refugee protection. By granting more than 13 700 humanitarian visas in 2011-12, Australia continued to earn its place as one of the top three resettlement countries in the world, along with Canada and the USA.

‘These and other findings, along with extensive policy discussion make Australia’s Migration Trends essential reading for anyone wanting to learn more about migration’s role in our society and its importance to Australia’s future.’

New Visa Prices

Talk about rising costs of living in Australia and, well, there’s more.

The Government has announced that new prices on specific visas will take effect from January 1 2013.

Partner visas allowing for people already in Australia to enter or remain on the basis of their married or de facto relationship, to increase from $3060 to around $4000

Partner visas for people outside Australia who want to join their partner in Australia will increase from $2060 to around $2700

Skilled Graduate visas to increase from $315 to $1260 for the highly-valued post-study work rights for people in Australia on a student visa

The 457 temporary skilled worker visas to increase from $350 to around $455

Working Holiday maker visas will increase from $280 to around $360.

In a press release issue recently, acting minister for immigration and citizenship Senator Kate Lundy said the visa pricing system makes for a ‘fairer user-pays approach’.

‘The government has made a targeted increase in the cost of visas where there are high levels of demand, and therefore areas that are less likely to be significantly impacted by the added costs,’ Senator Lundy said.

‘The fact is that there are plenty of people around the world who want to work in Australia because of our substantial economic strengths during these times of global economic uncertainty – it is only appropriate for visa costs to reflect that demand.’