Indians Comprise Largest Group of Skilled Visa Immigrants in Australia

Over 200,000 permanent migrants born in India arrived in Australia between 2000 and 2016, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


India tops the list of countries from where immigrants arrived and settled in Australia from 2000 to 2016. Almost 300,000 permanent migrants came from India to Australia during this period, with most of them arriving on skilled worker visas.

Indians comprised the largest overseas-born group to move to Australia, according to new census data. A majority of them speak English fluently, and many have gone on to buy homes in the country.

As many as 291,916 permanent migrants born in India arrived between 2000 and 2016, of which 154,012 individuals acquired Australian citizenship, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on July 18.

China figured after India in terms of the number of  permanent migrants to Australia, with 247,202 people, followed by England (221,187), Philippines (116,992), and South Africa (91,579).

In 2016, the majority of Skill stream migrants had India as their country of birth (234,395 people, making up 19%), followed by England at 160,558 (13%), and China at 146,842 (12%).

The top country of birth for family migrants was China at 95,532 immigrants (14%), followed by England at 60,108 (8.8%), and India at 56,406 (8.3%).

Only 1,097 Indian migrants came to Australia on a humanitarian visa.

More than 95 percent of Indian immigrants spoke only English (25,551 individuals), or spoke it very well (190,907) or well (63,368). The number of Indians who did not speak English well or not at all was only about 10,000. On the other hand, 32 percent of permanent migrants born in China did not speak English at all or did not speak it well, reported.

Concerns have been raised in Australia that over one million people could have little to no English skills in the country by 2021. The Malcolm Turnbull government is now considering a mandatory basic English language requirement for all permanent resident immigrants.

About 54 percent of the arrivals in Australia since 2000 own a home, the ABS data shows. However, home ownership rates among recent migrants fell over the five years to the 2016 Census, “as they have for Australians more broadly,” ABS director of migration statistics Myles Burleigh said, reported.

The inflow of immigrants to Australian cities is causing a demographic shift in various regions, with wealthy locals moving out of the neighborhoods. Cheap and affordable housing has been driving migrants to Sydney’s west, and making residents move out since they did not relate to their suburb anymore and could afford moving, Bob Birrell, the head of the Australian Population Research Institute, was reported to have said earlier. “The only immediate solution to take the heat out of population stress was to cut back on overseas migration,” Birrell had said.

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