Magazine article Review - Institute of Public Affairs

Some Facts about Migration

Magazine article Review - Institute of Public Affairs

Some Facts about Migration

Article excerpt


Australia is one of four countries with permanent immigration programmes-others are Canada, New Zealand and the US. Although the US has the highest annual intake of immigrant numbers, and New Zealand the highest immigration rate (per capita), Australia has the highest proportion of overseas-born residents in its population.This suggests that, over the last generation, Australia had the highest immigration rate of the four countries.

All four immigration countries have three broad categories of entry. famiiy reunion, supply of needed labour skills, and humanitorn considerations. Strong emphasis is given to family reunification, which is the largest category of entry-except in New Zealand, where demand for entry under this category is relatively low.

In 1995-96, there were 99,139 settler arrivals in Australia.The main birthplaces in rank order were New Zealand, the UK and the People's Republic of China Five of the top ten source countries of immigrants are in the Asian region.

The numbers from China trebled from previous years.This was largely due to family migration arising from Chinese students who had previously gained permanent residence in Australia after being allowed to extend their visas following the Tienanmen Square massacre.

In 1995-96, 47 per cent entered Australia in the family stream (including 8 per cent in the concessional family category who are points-tested), 20 per cent in the skill stream (selected by pointstesting for skill, expertise, age and English-language ability), and i 4 per cent in the humanitarian programme (which includes refugees as defined by the Geneva Convention, and other humanitarian entrants). …

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