implications for migration policy and planning in Australia


Research Paper Index

Research Paper no. 10 2003-04

A new paradigm of international migration: implications for migration policy and planning in Australia

Professor Graeme Hugo
Consultant, Social Policy Section
8 March 2004

Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

Executive summary

The last decade has seen a major increase in both the scale and complexity of international population movements. The proportion of the global population for whom international movement is part of their calculus of choice as they examine their life chances has increased massively. The constellation of forces driving movement between countries is different and the context in which migration is occurring has been transformed in both origin and destination countries. A half century ago relatively few countries were influenced in a major way by international migration. Now a majority of the worlds nations are so affected. Australia was one of a handful of traditional migration countries (along with the US, Canada and New Zealand), which drew the bulk of their immigrants from Europe. Overwhelmingly the main type of international population movement was of more or less permanent migration involving settlement in the destination country.

This paper argues that in the contemporary situation the drivers of international migration have changed and as a result the international population movement influencing Australia has changed dramatically. Yet much Australian thinking and study of international migration remains anchored in a paradigm of migration which applied in the first four post-war decades. Policy making and research into international migration in Australia needs to be undertaken in such a way as to take account of the shifts which have occurred in the drivers of international migration and in the types of international movement affecting Australia.

Perhaps the greatest change which has occurred in Australian immigration in the last decade is that whereas in the first five post-war decades Australia emphatically eschewed acceptance of temporary workers in favour of an overwhelming emphasis on settlement migration there has been a reversal with a number of new visa categories designed to attract temporary residents to work in Australia (especially the temporary business and student visa categories). As a result there has been an exponential increase in non permanent migration to Australia so that while in 20012002 there were 88 900 incoming permanent settlers to Australia there were a total of 340 200 foreigners granted temporary residence in Australia in that year. On 30 June 2001 there were 554 200 people in Australia on a temporary basis of whom 289 300 had the right to work. These people differ in many important ways from permanent settlers but the bulk of our research and knowledge relates to the impact of the permanent settlers. The much larger numbers of temporary residents are also having significant effects on labour and housing markets as well as other areas of Australian society.

However, settler migration to Australia has also undergone profound change in the last decade or so. There has been a substantial reduction in the proportion of our migrants drawn from traditional sources of the UK and Europe while the numbers from Asia, Oceania and Africa have increased. Also our model of the immigrant settler being someone, who applies for immigration in a foreign country, is processed and then some time later arrives in the country needs modification. Three out of every 10 settlers to Australia are onshore immigrants in that they are already in Australia under a temporary residence visa and seek to transfer to permanent residence. There has been a substantial shift in the balance of the settlement program away from family and humanitarian to skill selected immigrants. Accordingly the labour market performance of recent migrants has improved substantially while in the United States and Canada it has declined. There has also been a substantial increase in governmental efforts to influence where new immigrants settle in Australia. There has been a raft of State Specific and Regional Migration Schemes introduced in an attempt to reduce the proportion of immigrants being attracted to Sydney, and, to a lesser extent, some other major urban centres.

There is a tendency for Australia to be thought of purely as an immigration country. Yet it has a substantial outflow of emigrants which has increased in recent years with the internationalisation of labour markets and other globalisation effects. It is estimated that there are around one million Australians living on a permanent or long term basis overseas. In relation to the resident population this is one of the worlds major diasporas. The of Australian residents is highly selective of young, highly educated, skilled and high income groups and has led to discussions of brain drain. Undoubtedly however, there is a brain gain since skilled immigrants outnumber their emigrant counterparts yet suspicions remain that we may be losing the brightest and best among our young people. The setting up a senate Inquiry into Australian Expatriates indicates the significance which is now being given to Australians overseas. It is argued that Australia needs to develop a policy toward its skilled workforce which includes four elementsrecruitment, retention, return and re-engagement. A diaspora policy is an important part of that. It should seek to include the diaspora more on a cultural level; it is important that expatriates who still consider themselves Australian are included more in the mainstream of Australian life. On an economic level, there are a myriad of ways in which the expertise, experience and contacts of the diaspora can be harnessed to benefit Australia in a rapidly globalising economy. We must realize that there is much to gain from young Australians leaving Australia and acquiring experience, knowledge and connections in foreign nations. However, if a substantial proportion can return, the country can gain a double dividendnot just retaining their talents but having those talents enhanced by the period away. Perhaps we should be working toward policies which facilitate brain circulation as opposed to attempting to stem brain drain.

There is no doubt that the last few years have seen a transformation of the scale, characteristics and significance of international population movements. This demands a continuous reassessment of Australias immigration policy and program as well as a full assessment of the global situation impinging on population movements to and from Australia. Australia can no longer confine its consideration of immigration to what is happening in Australia. The globalisation of capital, the transformation of international travel and communications systems, the instant worldwide distribution of information, the increasing levels of education, the internationalisation of many labour markets and the creation of political and environmental refugees, are among only a few of the processes and trends which are producing an exponential increase in all forms of international population movements and opening up such movement to a much broader spectrum of the worlds population. No nation can isolate itself from the global system of which population movement is an important part. These changes not only have important implications for people wishing to come to Australia, but also for Australian residents wishing to move elsewhere.

All of the worlds nations are facing challenges associated with the new global regime of international migration in what has been termed the Age of Migration. However, few are as well positioned to meet those challenges as Australia. The long experience as a country of immigration, especially during the post-Second World War era, has given Australia an almost unique capacity not only to cope with new migration pressures but also to develop policy and program approaches which maximise the benefit of those developments. Australia has developed a culture of migration in which there is broad acceptance in the community of the benefits that immigration can deliver. This contrasts sharply with community attitudes in many nations. Moreover, Australian politicians have developed a more sophisticated understanding of the issues surrounding migration and settlement than in most other nations so that the capacity to formulate, develop, introduce and operate sound and effective policy is considerable. Finally, it is often overlooked that Australia is one of very few nations that has had a federal government department devoted to immigration and settlement for more than half a century. This has meant that there has been the development of a skilled and committed cadre of immigration bureaucrats over a number of generations. This substantial body of people with a level of professionalism, knowledge and experience gives Australia a huge advantage in confronting the challenges created by the New Migration. The need for Management of Migration has become the mantra emerging from international fora, conferences, summits and meetings concerned with international migration. However, an essential element in any migration management is the availability of human resources, institutions and infrastructure to develop and operate effective management strategies and Australia is extremely well positioned in that respect.

Introduction

The last decade has seen a major increase in both the scale and complexity of international population movements.(1) The proportion of the global population for whom international movement is part of their calculus of choice as they examine their life chances has increased massively. The constellation of forces driving movement between countries is different and the context in which migration is occurring has been transformed in both origin and destination countries. A half century ago relatively few countries were influenced in a major way by international migration. Now a majority of the worlds nations are so affected. Australia was one of a handful of traditional migration countries (along with the US, Canada and New Zealand), which drew the bulk of their immigrants from Europe. Overwhelmingly the main type of international population movement was of more or less permanent migration involving settlement in the destination country.

The present paper argues that in the contemporary situation, the drivers of international migration have changed and as a result the international population movement influencing Australia has changed dramatically. Yet much Australian thinking and study of international migration remains anchored in a paradigm of migration which applied in the first four post-war decades. Policy making and research into international migration in Australia needs to be undertaken in such a way as to take account of the shifts which have occurred in the drivers of international migration and in the types of international movement affecting Australia. This paper attempts first to briefly consider the main dimensions of the new global international migration and then considers the shifts which are occurring in Australias international migration patterns. It concludes with a consideration of some of the implications for future policy development and research to inform that policy.

The new international migration

International migration has increased in scale and complexity as both a causal factor and effect of globalisation. For half of the post-war era, global international migration has been dominated by movement from Europe to the traditional migration countries of Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand. However almost all nations of the world are now influenced significantly by migration and non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations have become the dominant sources of migrants. One way in which the significance of the changes can best be demonstrated is by examining Table 1, which shows the numbers moving permanently between Australia and the United Kingdom since 1991. Australia has experienced a significant net gain of immigrant settlers from the UK for more than two centuries. Yet Table 1 indicates that while in the early 1990s, there were significantly more people moving permanently from the UK to Australia the net flow was reversed in 2001 and 2002. There was a net gain in 2003 but there may have been a new method adopted by the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) to make estimations.

Table 1: Australia: permanent migration to and from the United Kingdom

Year

From

To

Net

1991

20 867

6332

14535

1992

14465

6251

8214

1993

9484

5392

4092

1994

8661

4815

3846

1995

10 238

4835

5403

1996

10 520

5228

5292

1997

9001

5773

3228

1998

8424

6561

1863

1999

7211

6789

422

2000

7561

7466

95

2001

7027

7854

-827

2002

7525

8273

-748

2003

11 842

8408

3434

Source: DIMIA, Immigration update and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Migration Australia, various issues.

This reflects a number of developments:

        Europe has been transformed from being the major global source of international migrants for much of the twentieth century to being a major destination for migrants

        London as one of the worlds global cities is now drawing people from all over the world due to its key role in the globalisation process(2)

        much of the contemporary flow from the UK is of people who come to Australia and seek temporary residence rather than permanent residence as working holiday makers, temporary business migrants and job transfers. Of course there is also a significant non-permanent flow from Australia to the UK.

Australia continues to be an important global player in migration but it is within quite a different context.

Figure 1 shows that in terms of total stock of migrants, Australia ranks ninth in the world. Other major destinations include the traditional migration countries, several European nations, areas of refugees settlement and Middle Eastern countries receiving large numbers of guest workers. Figure 2 indicates that Australia ranks similarly in the percentage that migrants make up of the total resident population in those destination countries.

Figure 1: Countries with the largest international migrant stock, 2000

Figure 1: Countries with the largest international migrat stock, 2000

Source: United Nations, International migration 2002, United Nations, New York, 2002.

Figure 2: Countries with the highest percentage of international migrant stock, 2000
(countries with population of one million or more inhabitants
)

Figure 2: Countries with the highest percentage of international migrant stock, 2000

Source: United Nations, International migration 2002, United Nations, New York, 2002.

 Whereas the dominant global flow in the early post-war decades was from Europe to the traditional migration countries it now is from less developed to more developed nations, the so called south-north movement. In all more developed countries in 2000, 40 per cent of net population growth was due to net immigration from less developed countries (LDCs).(3) Table 2, for example, indicates the estimated Asian-born population in a number of OECD nations.

Table 2: Traditional migration countries: Asian populations around 2001

 

Europe/Japan

Australia

US

Canada

New Zealand

Total

 

2000

2001

2001

1996

2001

 

Afghanistan

29 465

11 296

39 000

11 815

735

92 311

Bangladesh

91 701

9078

104 000

12 405

1185

218 369

Brunei

216

2068

na

4310

na

6594

Burma

187

10 973

22 000

3125

513*

36 798

Cambodia

48 879

22 979

92 000

19 505

4770

188 133

China

480 060

142 780

947 000

238 485

38 949

1 847 274

Hong Kong

10 720

67 124

223 000

249 175

11 301

561 320

India

248 800****

95 452

1 024 000

240 560

20 889

1 629 701

Indonesia

185 300***

47 158

72 000

9340

3792

317 590

Japan

9983

25 469

334 000

24 300

8622

402 374

Korea, Republic of

653 906

38 902

826 000

52 170

17 934

1 588 912

Laos

32 293

9565

117 000

14 905

1017

174780

Macao

84

1948

na

7110

na

9142

Malaysia

35 300****

78 858

39 000

20 930

11 460

185 548

Mongolia

136

126

na

20

na

282

Nepal

335

2628

na

540

na

3 503

Pakistan

932 568**

11 917

241 000

41 085

1317

1 227 887

Philippines

237 761

103 942

1 273 000

190 395

10 137

1 815 235

Singapore

2,574

33485

23 000

8580

3912

71 551

Sri Lanka

167 000

53 460

na

72 355

6168

298 983

Taiwan

1916

22 418

246 000

52 480

12 486

335 300

Thailand

82 100****

23 602

142 000

8085

5154

260 941

Vietnam

180 100****

15 4833

758 000

141 080

3948

1 237 961

Other Asia

na

12458

491 000

55 120

1485

560 036

Total Asia

3 431 384

982 519

7 013 000

1 477 875

165 774

13 070 552

* 1996

** 1997

*** 1998

**** 1999

Source: ABS 2001 Census; US Census Bureau Current Population Survey 2001; New Zealand 2001 Census; Statistics Canada 1996 Census; OECD, Trends in international migration, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

The increased south-north mobility has taken a distinctive bifurcated form:

(a) barriers have been greatly reduced to the flow of the highly skilled between nations which has facilitated the permanent and temporary movement of skilled and wealthy persons, especially that from south to north countries, and

(b) barriers have been increasingly created against the flows of people who do not have high levels of education or wealth. Hence, while there is a flow of such people in the family and refugee-humanitarian components of migration from south to north countries, the flow is greatly constrained.

An important element in the south-north flow has been the increasing numbers of foreign students. Australia is one of the worlds major destinations of these students and in proportion to its native university students, Australia has the highest ratio of foreign students of any nation.

Figure 3 shows the growth of overseas students in Australian universities over the last two decades. It will be noted that the great majority are from Asian countries.

Figure 3: Overseas students in Australian universities, 19832001

Figure 3: Overseas students in Australian universities, 1983-2001

Source: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) Selected higher education student statistics, various issues

The expansion of south-north migration has re-ignited debates about brain drain with increased flow of skilled migrants from less developed to more developed economies.(4) There have been suggestions from commentators that destination countries accepting such migrants compensate origin countries for the costs incurred in educating and bringing up migrants. However, in the last few years, while there has been recognition of the negative effects of brain drain, it has been shown that can have positive developmental implications for origin nations. This results from remittance flows from expatriate communities, economic linkages developed between origin and destination countries and return migration.(5) The developmental implications of south-north migration are far from simple and are not well understood.

Other important developments in global migration include the increasing flows between non OECD nations. These are not predominantly skilled migrants but involve, particularly, an increased flow of temporary contract workers and refugees are also significant especially in Africa. In addition, there has been an expansion in the level of undocumented migration and of trafficking, especially of women and children. This undocumented migration (as well as the legal movement) is greatly facilitated by the massive growth of the global immigration industry. This involves a complex web of migration agents, travel providers, immigration officials, police, recruiters, and job placement agencies who facilitate international movement. Part of this industry is illegal and in some areas has been penetrated by large criminal syndicates such as the mafia, yazuka (Japan) and Chinese snakeheads. It is now one of the most profitable and pervasive forms of international crime.

A distinctive feature of the new migration is the greatly increased involvement of women in international movement.

The elements driving the new patterns and levels of international migration are complex but some are briefly summarized below:

        the internationalisation of labour markets which has meant that many people now have knowledge of, and compete for, jobs in many countries

        the increasing demographic gradient between nations which has meant many developed economies (which have experienced low fertility over a long period) where local workforces are not growing or declining have labour shortages; while in less developed nations (where workforces are rapidly growing), labour surpluses are large

        widening gaps in economic well-being between less developed and more developed nations

        globalisation of media, which increases peoples information about other places

        universalisation of education in most countries

        reduction of time and travel costs between countries

        activities of transnational organisations especially companies with operations in many nations

        labour market segmentation, which has seen people in higher income countries eschewing low status, low income jobs which open up niches for migrants

        the proliferation of the international migration industry

        the increased involvement of national governments in origin countries realising the benefits that can accrue through migration

        the massive growth of social networks which facilitate the migration of family and friends by providing information about migration and help new migrants once they arrive at destinations.

All this has meant that international migration has become within the calculus of choice of a major part of the worlds population when they consider their life chances. The proliferation of migration networks and the migration industry have meant that international movement is being brought within reach of more and more of the worlds population. In addition to, and partly in response to, these global developments there have been a number of major shifts in Australian immigration policy and the impact has been a veritable sea change in the nature of Australian international migration. Before examining these shifts, it is necessary to make a few comments about the data sources employed.

The shift in Australias international migration regime must be seen in the context of a massive shift in global international population movement levels and patterns and the processes shaping them.(6) Globalisation has seen an exponential increase in flows of goods, ideas, information, money and people between nations. However, while developed nations like Australia have sought to maximize the first four of these types of flows, most have sought to restrict the in-movement of people, especially those from south nations. Nevertheless, there is considerable evidence that international population movement is inextricably linked to the other flows which constitute globalisation.(7) Moreover, the full implications of contemporary global political, social and economic change for evolving levels and patterns of international migration are yet to be established.

Some data considerations

One of the outcomes of Australias long history of substantial international migration is that the data sources regarding both stocks and flows of the movement are of high quality by international standards. Firstly, regarding flows, the main source employed here is the Movements Data Base (MDB) maintained by DIMIA. Each person entering or leaving Australia is required to complete arrival or departure cards containing questions on citizenship, birthplace, birth date, gender, occupation, marital status, type of movement, origin/destination, reason (for short-term movers only) and address in Australia. This information forms the basis of the MDB which is one of the few in the world to contain comprehensive information on both immigrants and emigrants. People leaving or coming in to Australia are classified into three types of categories according to their intended length of their stay in Australia or overseas:

        Permanent Movements

      Immigrants are persons arriving with the intention of settling permanently in Australia.

      Emigrants are Australian residents (including former settlers) departing with the stated intention of staying abroad permanently.(8)

        Long-Term Movements

      Overseas arrivals of visitors with the intended or actual length of stay in Australia of 12 months or more.

      Departures of Australian residents with intended or actual length of stay abroad of 12 months or more.

        Short-Term Movements

      Travellers whose intended or actual stay in Australia or abroad is less than 12 months.

Clearly there are some problems associated with the use of intentions as the key element in the definitions of type of movement for the MDB. It is apparent that there are no guarantees that intentions will become reality and as a result there is a significant amount of category jumping which occurs.(9) Zlotnik has also been critical of the concept of residence used in these definitions as a fertile breeding ground for confusion.(10) Nevertheless the MDB provides useful and comprehensive information on flows of people into and out of Australia which has few equals globally.

Turning to sources of information about the stocks of migrants, the quinquennial national censuses of population and housing are utilised. Table 3 shows the immigration-related questions asked at Australian censuses and indicates that a comprehensive range of questions has been asked, especially in post-war censuses. Of particular interest was the introduction from 1971 of a birthplace of parents question which has been in each subsequent census and the experiment with an ancestry question in 1986 and 2001. The latter has been excluded from several censuses because, although it produced a great deal of new insight into the diversity of Australias population, it generally failed to identify third and older generations of immigrants.(11) Censuses have been conducted in Australia each five years since 1961 and have a low rate of under-enumeration (less than 2 per cent). The census allows us to identify the first generation migrants and their Australia-born children and a number of their characteristics with a high degree of accuracy. However, the census does not provide information on former residents who have emigrated out of Australia. With respect to persons travelling out of Australia on a temporary basis, some information is obtainable if those persons left households behind who could report their absence in a question on the census schedule relating to usual residents who are absent on the night of the census. Visitors to Australia who happen to be in the nation on the night of the census are counted in the de facto enumeration but excluded from most data on birthplace.

Table 3: Immigration and ethnicity related topics included in Australian Population Censuses, 19112001

Topics Persons

1911

1921

1933

1947

1954

1961

1966

1971

1976

1981

1986

1991

1996

2001

Birthplace

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Birthplace of parents

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Year of arrival

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

(Period of residence in Australia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citizenship

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*(1)

*(1)

*(2)

*

*

*

Aboriginal/TSI origin

*

*

*

*

*

*

*(3)

*(4)

*(4)

*

*

*

*

*

(Race)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethnic origin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*(5)

 

 

*

Number of overseas residents or visitors

 

 

 

 

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Language use

 

*(6)

*(7)

 

 

 

 

 

*(8)

*(9)

*(10)

*

*

*

Religion

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Source: J Paice, The 1990sis the Australian Census of Population and Housing revelant?; ABS, How Australia takes a census.

Notes:

(1) Prior to 1976, nationality rather than citizenship was asked.

(2) Since 1986 the person has been asked whether or not they were an Australian citizen.

(3) In all censuses prior to 1971 respondents were required to state their race and, where race was mixed, to specify the proportion of each.

(4) In the 1971 and 1976 censuses a question with response categories of European, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other was included.

(5) A question on each persons ancestry was asked for the first time in 1986.

(6) Question asked whether the person could read and write.

(7) Question asked whether the person could read and write a foreign language if unable to read and write English.

(8) The 1976 census asked for all languages regularly used.

(9) In 1981 ability to speak English was asked.

(10) Since 1986 two separate questions have been asked Language used and ability to speak English.

Changes in the origin of settlers to Australia

Table 4 demonstrates that for the bulk of Australias post European settlement history, immigration has been dominated by Europeans, especially people from the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the early post-war years European migration reached its peak both in numerical and proportional terms (Figure 4 and Figure 5).


Table 4: Europe-born persons in Australia, 18612001

Census Year

Per cent
Overseas-Born

Europe-Born Population

Europe- Born Percent of all Overseas Born

British-Born Percent of all Europe Born

1861

62.8

671 049

92.8

93.8

1871

46.5

726 323

93.9

93.5

1881

36.8

757 514

91.5

92.0

1891

31.8

901 618

90.3

91.0

1901

32.8

753 832

88.5

90.6

1911

27.1

664 323

88.3

91.6

1921

25.5

744 244

89.1

88.8

1933

23.6

807 358

89.7

83.5

1947

9.8

651 606

87.8

57.7

1954

14.3

1 155 064

90.3

47.5

1961

17.0

1 596 212

90.2

47.5

1966

18.4

1 893 511

88.9

49.6

1971

20.2

2 196 478

85.7

50.0

1976

20.1

2 210 817

81.3

52.4

1981

20.9

2 232 718

75.0

52.4

1986

21.1

2 221 802

68.4

50.9

1991

22.5

2 300 773

62.4

51.1

1996

22.8

2 217 009

56.7

50.9

2001

23.1

2 136 052

52.0

50.9

Source: Price et al., Birthplaces of Australian population 18611981; Australian Censuses, 19012001.

Figure 4: Australia: immigrants from Europe, 19512003

Figure 4: Australia: imiingrants from Europe, 1951-2003

Source: CBCS, Demography Bulletins; DIMIA, Australian immigration: consolidated statistics and Immigration update, various issues; DIMIA, unpublished data; ABS, Migration Australia, various issues.

Note: From 1960, data are for financial years. Prior to this, data are for calendar years.

Figure 5: Immigrants from Europe as a percentage of total immigrants, 19512003

Figure 5: Immigrants from Eurpoe as a percentage of total immigrants, 1951-2003

Source: CBCS, Demography Bulletins; DIMIA, Australian immigration: consolidated statistics and Immigration update, various issues; DIMIA, unpublished data; ABS, Migration Australia, various issues.

Note: From 1960, data are for financial years. Prior to this, data are for calendar years.

There was a slowing down in the growth of the Australian European population in 1971 as the pressures to migrate out of many European countries diminished. At the same time the gradual dismantling of the White Australia Policy saw a considerable widening of the countries from which Australia drew settlers. Figure 6 shows how after 1970 the intake has increasingly been drawn from Asia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and to a lesser extent the Americas and Africa.

Figure 6: Australia: settler arrivals by region of last residence, 19472003

Figure 6: Australia: Settler arrivals by region of last residence, 1947-2003

* Oct 1945June 1947

Source: DIMIA, Australian immigration: consolidated statistics and Immigration update various issues; DIMIA unpublished data.

The demographic impact of post-war immigration in Australia has been considerable. Rebecca Kippen and Peter McDonald of the Australian National University estimated that between the Second World War and 2000 immigration was responsible for adding 7 million to the population and that if post-war net immigration was zero the national population would be 12 million instead of over 19 million.(12) However, more important than this numerical impact have been the social, cultural and economic transformations in which immigration has played a role. A major element in this has been the transformation of Australia from an overwhelmingly British dominated population to a multicultural society. Table 5 indicates this, showing that the proportion of the national population born in dominantly English speaking nations declined from 98.1 to 86 per cent between 1947 and 2001, while that born in Asian countries increased from 0.3 to 6.5 per cent. The shift which has occurred is evident in the rates of growth of various foreign-born groups.

Table 5: Change in the composition of the Australian population by place of birth, 1947 and 2001

 

1947

2001

 

Number of Persons

Per cent

Number of Persons

Per cent

English speaking origin

7 438 892

98.1

15 232 338

86.0

Australia

6 835 171

90.2

13 629 685

76.9

United Kingdom and Ireland

543 829

7.2

1 086 480

6.1

New Zealand

43 619

0.6

355 765

2.0

United States and Canada

10 304

0.1

80 983

0.5

South Africa

5969

0.1

79 425

0.4

Non-English speaking origin

140 466

1.9

2 485 110

14.0

Other Europe

109 586

1.4

1 046 967

5.9

Asia*

23 293

0.3

1 151 438

6.5

Other Africa

1531

0.0

104 811

0.6

Other America

1323

0.0

79 821

0.5

Other Oceania

4733

0.1

99 361

0.6

Total

7 579 358

100.0

17 717 448

100.0

Includes Middle East

Source: ABS, 1947 and 2001 Censuses.

Table 6 shows that the Russian Federation was the only European group among the 10 fastest growing birthplace groups in the nation in the 1990s expanding at 6 per cent per annum. It will be noted that virtually all of the 10 fastest growing countries are south nations, mainly from Asia. On the other hand, the slowest growing (indeed decreasing) birthplace groups were all European.


Table 6: Australia: fastest and slowest growing groups of foreign-born persons, 19912001*

Country of Origin

Number of Persons 2001

Per cent Growth per Annum
19912001

Fastest growing groups:

 

 

Iraq

24 832

16.9

Afghanistan

11 297

15.3

Samoa

13 254

8.7

Pakistan

11 917

7.2

Korea, Republic of

38 902

6.4

China

142 781

6.1

Russian Federation

15 020

6.0

Taiwan

22 418

5.6

Thailand

23 599

5.3

South Africa

79 425

4.9

India

95 455

4.5

Slowest growing groups:

 

 

Germany

108 220

-0.6

Cyprus

19 482

-1.3

Austria

19 313

-1.3

Malta

46 998

-1.3

Netherlands

83 325

-1.4

Spain

12 662

-1.5

Italy

218 718

-1.5

Portugal

15 441

-1.5

Greece

116 430

-1.6

Poland

58 113

-1.7

Hungary

22 752

-1.8

Countries with 10 000 or more persons in 2001.

Source: ABS, 1991 and 2001 Censuses.

Increased temporary migration

Perhaps the greatest change which has occurred in Australian immigration in the last decade is that whereas in the first five post-war decades Australia emphatically eschewed acceptance of temporary workers in favour of an overwhelming emphasis on settlement migration, there has been a reversal with a number of new visa categories designed to attract temporary residents to for work, business and study purposes.(13) As a result there has been an exponential increase in non permanent migration to Australia so that while in 20012002 there were 88 900 incoming permanent settlers to Australia there were a total of 340 200 foreigners granted temporary residence in Australia in that year.(14) On 30 June 2001 there were 554 200 people in Australia on a temporary basis of whom 289 300 had the right to work. Although there has been a long history of significant non-permanent flows to Australia the contemporary flow is quite different in scale, in the involvement of large numbers of temporary residents with the right to work and in a plethora of new kinds of temporary migration to Australia.(15) As Boyle(16) points out: It is the high intensity of exchanges and the new modes of contact that makes this an exciting new research arena.

A key point here is that Australian knowledge of immigration remains largely focused on permanent settlement.(17) There has been some consideration of flows of temporary workers such as students, working holiday makers as well as skilled workers.(18) Nevertheless, these studies concentrate mainly on policy issues and there remains little analysis of the characteristics of temporary migrants and how they compare with settlers and the non-migrant population. Further, there is little in the way of an assessment of the effects of this large scale movement on housing and labour markets in Australia or on regional demographic change.

The exponential increase in non-permanent migration has not been confined to Australia. In the United States, for example, there were 4.6 million immigrants admitted between 1995 and 2000 while 142.8 million non-migrants were admitted, of whom 2.2 million were temporary workers, 2.8 million students and 3.6 million others with the right to work.(19) Indeed in the international literature there have been calls for replacing the concept of international migration which implies permanent settlement, with the term transnational migration. As Glick Schiller et al. point out:

several generations of researchers have viewed immigrants as persons who uproot themselves, leave behind home and country, and face the painful process of incorporation into a different society and culture A new concept of transnational migration is emerging, however, that questions this long-held conceptualisation of immigrants, suggesting that in both the US and Europe increasing numbers of migrants are best understood as transmigrants.(20)

The new concept of transnational migration emphasises the two-way and circular nature of many flows between countries.(21) However, as in Australia these temporary movements to more developed economies have attracted little research attention compared with permanent settlement. A partial exception is the transfer of highly skilled managerial and professional workers.(22) Nevertheless, careful studies of the nature, causes and impact of temporary movement compared with settlement are lacking especially in Australia. Despite this, policy makers in Australia and other more developed contexts are developing policies to encourage skilled temporary immigration.(23)

The shifts in the balance between permanent and temporary immigration of skilled workers to More Developed Countries, together with a more general transformation in the global context of international migration, have greatly reduced the contemporary relevance of much existing research on Australian international migration. This presents a substantial challenge to researchers and policy makers alike.

This transformation can be seen in Table 7 which shows that over the last two decades there has been an increase in non-permanent movement. Firstly, regarding short-term movement, it is clear that there has been an acceleration in both foreigners visiting Australia and Australians going overseas on a short-term basis. Figure 7 shows there has been a consistent increase in the number of overseas visitors until 199798 when the onset of the crisis in Asia saw a downturn in tourists and business travellers from countries such as South Korea and Indonesia which were hit hardest by the crisis. There was also a flattening off in 200102 reflecting the downturn in international travel following the 11th September events and the impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). It will be noted that while the number of overseas visitors to Australia more than quadrupled over the period following 198283, the short-term movement of Australians overseas only increased by 153 per cent. Nevertheless, it is clear that short-term visiting has greatly increased and this represents much more than an expansion of global tourism. It also represents a new global regime in which many people work for considerable periods in more than a single country.

Table 7: Growth of population movement into and out of Australia, 198283 to 200203

 

 

198283

200203

Percent Growth

19822003

Arrivals

 

 

 

 

Permanent

 

83 010

93 914

13.1

Long-term

- residents

48 990

95 784

95.5

 

- visitors

30 740

184 095

498.9

 

- total

79 730

279 879

251.0

Short-term

- residents

1 240 800

3 309 851

166.8

 

- visitors

930 400

4 655 802

400.4

 

- total

2 171 200

7 965 653

266.9

Departures

 

 

 

 

Permanent

 

24 830

50 463

103.2

Long-term

- residents

47 020

86 211

83.3

 

- visitors

25 440

82 894

225.8

 

- total

72 460

169 105

133.4

Short-term

- residents

1 259 100

3 293 336

161.6

 

- visitors

907 500

4 714 636

419.5

 

- total

2 166 600

8 007 972

269.6

Source: Bureau of Immigration and Population Research, Immigration update, June Quarter 1992; DIMIA, unpublished data.

Figure 7: Australia: short-term movements, 197071 to 200103

Figure 7: Australia: stort-term movements, 1970-71 to 2001-03

Source: DIMIA, Australian immigration: consolidated statistics and Immigration update, various issues; DIMIA, unpublished data.

However it is not only in short-term movement that there have been substantial changes. As indicated earlier, Australia has long had an emphasis on attracting permanent settlers to the country and a strongly expressed opposition to attracting temporary and contract workers. During the labour shortage years of the 1950s and 1960s, Australias migration solution to the problem contrasted sharply with that of European nations like Germany and France when it opted to concentrate on attracting permanent migrants to meet worker shortages rather than contract workers. However, in recent years attitudes have changed in Australia and it has been recognised that in the context of globalised labour markets it is essential to have mechanisms to allow non-permanent entry of workers in certain groups. Nevertheless, this form of entry has not been extended to unskilled and low-skilled areas and has been only open to people with particular skills and entrepreneurs. Hence there has been an increase in people coming to Australia as short-term or long-term entrants and being able to work here. There has been increasing pressure from some groups to include some unskilled workers to enter the country temporarily to meet labour shortages in some areas. The most notable example of this is in the area of harvest labour, especially in fruit, vegetables and vines where significant seasonal labour shortages have occurred in recent years.(24) Nevertheless, the Government has not responded positively to these suggestions.

Figure 8: Australia: long-term arrivals and departures, 195960 to 200203

Figure 8: Australia: long-term arrivals and departures, 1959-60 to 2002-03

Source: DIMIA, Australian immigration: consolidated statistics and Immigration update, various issues; DIMIA, unpublished data.

The significance of people coming to work in Australia temporarily is especially evident in the increase in long-term arrivals to Australia shown in Figure 8. This has had an impact, at least in the short-term, on overall net migration gains in Australia. It will be noted from Figure 9 that an increasing proportion of Australias net migration gain in recent years has been from an excess of long-term arrivals over long-term departures and a reducing proportion has been from an excess of settler arrivals over permanent departures. Indeed since 19992000 the net migration gain from long-term movement exceeded that from permanent movement.

Figure 9: Australia: net permanent and long-term movement as a percentage of total net migration gain, 19832003

Figure 9: Australia: net permanent and long-term movement as a percentage of total net migration gain, 1983-2003

Source: DIMIA, Immigration Update, various issues and unpublished data.

Figure 10 shows some recent trends in the major forms of temporary migration to Australia. One type of short-term movement of particular significance is the increasing tempo of migration of Asian students.(25) Over the 1987 to 2000 period the number of full-fee overseas students in Australia increased from 7131 to 188 277.(26) The crisis in Asia had some impact as shown but the numbers of new student visas given off-shore increased by 6 per cent to 67 130 over 199899, by 11 per cent to 74 428 in 19992000, by 15.5 per cent to over 86 000 in 200001, by 13 per cent to 97 560 in 200102 and by 12 per cent to 109 610 in 200203. The major sources are the USA (10 477 visas) and Asian countries such as the Peoples Republic of China (14 215), Korea (7323), Malaysia (8032) and Hong Kong (6576).

Figure 10 also shows that there has been a significant increase in working holiday maker (WHM) temporary migration in recent years. This has been comprehensively reviewed in 1997 by the Australian Parliament Joint Study Committee on Migration.(27) WHMs are foreign nationals aged 1830 from selected countries with which Australia has a reciprocal arrangement, who can work under certain conditions for up to 12 months. Their numbers have increased dramatically and reached 85 200 in 200102 and 88 758 in 200203, more than doubling in the 1990s. Kinnaird reports that while the economic impact nationally of WHM migration is limited it has significant impacts in specific industries in specific areas.(28) While Europeans dominate this category, there are significant numbers from Japan (9711 in 200203), Korea (5858) and Hong Kong (130).


Figure 10: Temporary migration to Australia by category, 1986 to 2003

Figure 10: Temporary migration to Australia by category, 1986 to 2003

Source: DIMIA Population flows: immigration aspects, various issues; A Rizvi, SOPEMI 2004: Australia.


Since 1995 there has been a new visa category in Australia of Temporary Business Migrants. These are five types:

        business visitors who come for short periods and are in the short-term arrival category

        temporary business residents who come for longer periods and are usually in the long-term arrival category

        independent executives who enter Australia for the purpose of establishing or buying into a business and managing that business

        medical practitionersqualified general and specialist medical practitioners where there is a demonstrated need for employing practitioners from overseas

        educationalthis visa is for qualified people to join educational and research organisations to fill academic teaching and research positions that cannot be filled from within the Australian labour market.

Figure 10 indicates there has been a fall in this category since a peak in 199697 and a slight decrease after 200102 primarily due to the impact of SARS.(29) Among the Business visitors, the USA accounts for 17.4 per cent and the United Kingdom 8.7 per cent and the main Asian groups are from China (19.4 per cent), Japan (6.3 per cent), India (4.8 per cent) and Indonesia (3.5 per cent). The Temporary Business Entry (Long Stay) subclass 457 visa enables highly qualified/skilled persons to enter Australia for up to four years to take up pre-nominated positions with approved Australian sponsor-employers, mostly in professional or management positions.(30) The number of visas granted fell by 8.7 per cent from 36 902 in 200001 to 33 705 in 200102 but increased by 12.2 per cent to 37 859 in 200203. Rizvi attributes the fall to the 30.8 per cent drop in the number of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals applying from offshore and the downturn in the Australian ICT industry in 200102.(31) This was offset by some increase in nomination from other groups. For example, nurses increased by 144 per cent from 1049 to 2563. Rizvi attributes the increase in the last year to the:

strong demand for skilled workers in the health industry with growth in the number of visas granted to registered nurses experiencing a 54 per cent increase in visa grants in 200203 over 200102 (1,901 visas in 200203 compared to 1,228 visa grants in 200102). Registered nurses are the largest single occupation sought by Australian employers. The Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) industry is the largest represented occupational group with 19.3 per cent of the top 50 occupations nominated by Australian employers seeking skilled overseas workers on a temporary basis.(32)

Rizvi explains that at 30 June 2003, there were 56 344 subclass 457 visa holders in Australia, an increase of 2.4 per cent on the 30 June 2002 figure of 55 001.(33) Table 8 shows that Asians are not as predominant in this visa category as among some others, although four of the nine largest nations of origin are Asian (India, Japan, Korea and China).


Table 8: Temporary business entry visa grants 200102 and 200203

Country

200102

200203

% Growth

United Kingdom

9662

11 677

20.8

India

3078

3670

19.2

USA

2642

2846

7.7

Japan

2441

2278

-6.7

South Africa, Republic of

1892

2210

16.8

Irish Republic

1628

1648

1.2

Korea, Republic of

1608

1259

-21.8

PRC

1117

1165

4.3

Canada

1052

1138

8.1

Other countries

8653

9968

15.5

Source: ARizvi, SOPEMI 2004: Australia, p. 7.

As a result of the changed patterns of non permanent migration the number of temporary residents in Australia at any one time make up a significant proportion of the population.

Table 9: Temporary entrants to Australia

 

Flow

20002001

Flow

200102

Flow

200203

Stock

as at

30 June 2001

Stock

as at

30 June 2002

Visitors

3 279 549

3 074 384

3 050 492

201 700

184 942

Overseas students

86 277

97 650

109 610

138 200

154 017

Working holiday makers

76 576

85 207

88 758

46 600

48 203

Temporary business visitors

260 957

258 020

254 180

12 600

12 462

Temporary business residents

40 493

33 705

37 859

56 000

55 001

Bridging visa holders(1)

-

-

-

63 200

61 431

Social, cultural, international

relations program

 

37 912

 

35 167

 

34 252

 

25 700

 

26 849

Other

65 476

64 296

na

11 200

17 273

Total

3 847 240

3 648 429

na

554 200

560 178

(1) Bridging visas provide lawful status to non-citizens who would otherwise be unlawful.

Source: DIMIA, Population flows: immigration aspects, 2002; A Rizvi, SOPEMI 2004: Australia; DIMIA, Immigration, population and citizenship digest, 2003.

Table 9 presents official (DIMIA) estimates of the number of persons temporarily in Australia in mid-2001 and 2002. This indicates that there were over 200 000 people in Australia temporarily with work rights and a similar number without work rights. This represents a substantial number of people equivalent to 23 per cent of the permanently resident workforce. DIMIA estimates that at 30 June 2001 there were 554 200 persons in Australia on temporary visas 202 500 had been in Australia for less than three months, 193 800 between three and twelve months and 157 800 longer.(34) The largest group of the 554 200 were from the UK (93 400), followed by the USA (42 100), China (36 700), Japan (33 200) and Korea (33 100).

The increased flow of non permanent migrants has created problems for the ABS in calculating Australias annual levels of net migration. Since the mid-1980s the ABS has estimated net migration as the balance between permanent and long-term immigration and permanent and long-term . However, a problem in the approach arose through category jumping by people who changed their stated length of residence in, or absence from, Australia. The ABS overcame this through indirect estimates of this category jumping. A review of this in 1999 identified a number of problems in the methodology and the ABS announced in 2003, that given the increasing problems of estimating category jumping using this method, it would not estimate it until a new method could be devised.(35) McDonald, Khoo and Kippen showed that the failure to take into account category jumping is leading to a systematic over-estimation of net international migration. This is largely because the increasingly large number of long-term temporary migrants to Australia often leave the country on a short-term basis while in Australia (e.g. students returning home during vacations, temporary business migrants on business and holiday trips, etc.).(36) These people tend to identify as a long-term entrant on each arrival and as a short-term departure each time they leave on such a trip. This is leading to an over estimation of long-term arrivals. McDonald, Khoo and Kippen have proposed one new approach to estimating category jumping but it is understood the ABS is likely to adopt an alternative approach.(37)

As a result, there is a degree of uncertainty about current estimates of net migration in Australia. Nevertheless a key dimension of recent net migration gains, however, is that in recent years an increasing proportion of that gain has been derived from an excess of long-term (as opposed to permanent) arrivals over long-term departures such that by 19992000 they accounted for over half of the net gains. This is evident in Table 10, which shows that net migration gains by permanent movement were much larger than net gains by long-term movement until the mid-1990s. With the introduction of new temporary business movement categories, not only did the numerical net gains of long-term movers increase but their size relative to net permanent gains also increased until 2000 when for the first time it was larger. In the subsequent years the gap has increased such that in 2002 long-term net gains were twice as large as net permanent gains. This represents a significant departure in Australian immigration and raises a number of issues including the following:

        to what extent is the excess of long-term arrivals over long-term departures for the reasons discussed above? What is clear, however, is that even allowing for these problems, there is still an excess of long-term arrivals over long-term departures and this raises a number of important questions.

        to what extent is the long-term net gain a temporary phenomenon, which will eventually disappear? If all workers arriving under visa categories like temporary business, working holiday, student, etc. eventually leave Australia, one would expect the losses to eventually be more or less equal to the gains.


Table 10: Components of net overseas migration (000), 19832003

Year Ended
30 June

Permanent Movement

Long-Term Movement

Category Jumpersa

NOM

Permb

L-tb

Arrivals

Departures

Net

Arrivals

Departures

Net

1983

93.0

24.8

68.2

79.7

72.5

7.3

-2.2

73.3

90.4%

9.6%

1984

68.8

24.3

44.5

76.5

74.4

2.0

2.6

49.1

95.6%

4.4%

1985

77.5

20.4

57.1

85.7

74.9

10.9

5.7

73.7

84.0%

16.0%

1986

92.6

18.1

74.5

93.8

74.4

19.4

6.4

100.4

79.3%

20.7%

1987

113.5

19.9

93.6

90.9

75.4

15.5

16.6

125.7

85.8%

14.2%

1988

143.5

20.5

123.0

98.8

78.6

20.2

6.1

149.4

85.9%

14.1%

1989

145.3

21.6

123.7

104.6

91.0

13.6

20.2

157.4

90.1%

9.9%

1990

121.2

27.9

93.4

110.7

100.2

10.5

20.8

124.6

89.9%

10.1%

1991

121.7

31.1

90.6

114.7

110.5

4.2

-8.3

86.4

95.6%

4.4%

1992

107.4

29.1

78.3

126.8

115.2

11.6

-21.3

68.6

87.1%

12.9%

1993

76.3

27.9

48.4

127.4

113.2

14.2

-32.6

30.0

77.3%

22.7%

1994

69.8

27.3

42.5

137.6

112.7

24.9

-20.8

46.5

63.1%

36.9%

1995

87.4

26.9

60.5

151.1

118.5

32.6

-12.9

80.1

65.0%

35.0%

1996

99.1

28.7

70.5

163.6

124.4

39.2

-5.5

104.1

64.3%

35.7%

1997

85.8

29.9

55.9

175.2

136.7

38.5

-7.3

87.1

59.2%

40.8%

1998

77.3

32.0

45.3

188.1

154.3

33.8

7.2

86.4

57.3%

42.7%

1999

84.1

35.2

49.0

187.8

140.3

47.5

-11.0

85.1

50.7%

49.3%

2000

92.3

41.1

51.2

212.8

156.8

56.1

-8.2

99.1

47.7%

52.3%

2001

107.4

46.5

60.9

241.2

166.4

74.8

-

135.7

44.9%

55.1%

2002

88.9

48.2

40.7

264.5

171.4

93.0

23.1

110.6

30.4%

69.6%

2003

93.9

50.5

43.4

279.9

169.1

110.8

-28.9

125.3

28.1%`

71.9%

Source: DIMA, Population flows: immigration aspects, 2000, p. 106; ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics: June Quarter 2003, p. 24.

a Category jumping is the net effect of persons whose travel intentions change from short-term to permanent or long-term, or vice versa.

b The percentage contributions of permanent and long-term movement are based on the net migration totals before adjustment for category jumpers.

        Clearly, there is some leakage across from long-term to permanent settlement. It has been estimated that in 200001 about 10 per cent of skilled temporary entrants changed to permanent residence.(38) This suggests that there is significant category jumping from long-term to permanent status and hence some double counting in the net gains of permanent and long-term residents. The extent of category jumping has been estimated by the ABS and is included in Table 10. It would appear that the category jumping has been quite large (35 100) in 2002 suggesting that this is becoming a most important phenomenon. Table 11 presents data regarding the number of holders of a subclass 457 (Temporary Business Long Stay Migrants) visa who were granted permanent residence over the 19992001 period. This indicates that a significant proportion of this group are transferring to permanent residence and the numbers and rate appear to be increasing.

A number of issues flow from the last point. To what extent is temporary entry now becoming a de facto settlement migration category? To what extent are individual persons seeing temporary entry as a strategy to eventually obtain permanent residence? To what extent have people who intended to come to Australia to work and live for a limited period entered as settlers in the past because there was no temporary visa category available to thembut since 1995 have come into Australia under the new temporary visa categories?

Table 11: Australia: temporary business long stay migrants (Category 457) who were granted permanent residence 19992001

Year

Number Granted Permanent Residence

As a Percent of 457 First Arrivals

As a Percent of all Business Temporary Residence Visas

19992000

3019

27.8

8.6

20002001

5699

41.8

14.1

Source: GJ Hugo, Temporary migration to Australia, 2003.

The Government has introduced some mechanisms to facilitate the transfer from temporary to permanent residence. For example, some categories of foreign students can obtain more or less automatic permanent residence if they have particular skills in high demand in the labour market. Accordingly, in 200203 more than a half of skilled migrants accepted into Australia as permanent residents had a qualification from an Australian university.

Table 12: Australia: origin countries of permanent and temporary resident arrivals 200203

 

Permanent Resident Arrivals

Temporary Resident Arrivals

Region

No.

%

No.

%

UK/Ireland

12 346

13.1

96 700

39.5

Northern Europe

2285

2.4

39 000

16.0

Southern and Eastern Europe

4674

5.0

2900

1.2

North America

2521

2.7

31 700

13.0

Other America

1064

1.1

2 000

0.8

Asia

34 529

36.7

59 600

24.4

Middle East

7827

8.3

2100

0.9

Africa

10 859

11.5

7900

3.2

Oceania

18 021

19.1

2700

1.1

Other/Not Stated

12

0.0

100

0.5

Total

94 138

100.0

244 700

100.0

Source: DIMIA, unpublished tabulations.

The interface between permanent and temporary work-related migration to Australia is an important area of both policy and theoretical significance but little is currently known regarding it. There are a number of important ways in which the temporary migrant intake differs from the permanent migration intake which need to be taken into account(39). These include:

        the origins of temporary migrants are more focused on traditional origin countries than permanent migrants. Table 12 shows that Europe and North America account for 70.5 per cent of temporary resident arrivals and 23.2 per cent of permanent arrivals

        the temporary migrants have a more skilled profile, and

        the temporary migrants are more concentrated in Sydney and New South Wales.

Increasing onshore migration

Following from the increasing inflow of temporary residents has been a substantial increase in the proportion of new settlers in Australia who apply for settlement from within Australia because they are already in Australia as temporary residents. This reflects the strong connection and inter-relationship between various types of migration to Australia. Indeed, the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA) found that 43 per cent of all settlers coming to Australia had been to Australia previously30 per cent on tourist visas and 5 per cent on student visas. This points to the growing interconnections between the various different types of international migration affecting Australia.

Figure 11 shows that there has been an increase in the numbers of onshore settlers to Australia. In the early 1990s an important group who transferred from temporary to permanent status were the temporary residents of Chinese origin who were granted temporary protection visas following the Tiananmen Square incident. Many later applied for, and were granted, permanent residency. Others included people who came to Australia on holiday or to study and subsequently married an Australian. In recent years, however, the numbers of temporary residents seeking to become settlers has expanded. Indeed the Government has facilitated this process in some cases. It has been made easier, as noted, for students who have studied in Australia and gained an Australian qualification to become a settler on completion of their courses. There are also a significant number of the people entering Australia as temporary residents with temporary business visas who subsequently apply to settle in Australia. One study of long-standing temporary residents (Visa subclass 457) has found that 41.8 per cent of the group arriving in 200001 subsequently applied for permanent residency.(40) Of particular interest currently are the substantial numbers of onshore asylum seekers who were granted Temporary Protection Visas. These were usually issued for three years and the next year will see this period having elapsed so that many of the holders will be onshore applicants to become permanent settlers.

Figure 11: Australia: onshore residence visa grants, 198990 to 200203

Figure 11: Australia: onshore residence visa grants,

Source: DIMIA Population Flows: Immigration Aspects, various issues and A Rizvi, SOPEMI 2004: Australia.

Table 13 shows how the various settlement categories are split between offshore and onshore applicants. It will be noted that in comparison with other recent years, the number of onshore applicants under the Refugee/Humanitarian category has been drastically reduced due to the Government interventions discussed earlier. However, it will be noted that the proportion of family settlers who are onshore (29.5 per cent) is a little greater than is the case for skilled settlers (27.7 per cent). This is mainly due to the substantial number of cases where temporary residents have partnered with an Australian resident and qualified to settle under the spouse/fianc sub-categories, more than a third of whom are onshore. Among the skilled migrants, it is among the Employer Nominated and Regional Migration programs that the highest rate of onshore settlement occurs. These are clearly cases where people have entered as students or other workers and worked for an employer who has subsequently nominated them for permanent residence.

Table 13: Migration Program 200203, offshore and onshore outcomesrefugee/humanitarian

Category or Component

Offshore Outcome

Onshore Outcome

Total Outcome

Percent Onshore

Spouse/interdependency(a)

19 060

10 670

29 710

35.9

Child(b)

2410

270

2680

10.1

Parent

370

150

510

29.4

Preferential/Other Family(c)

1570

960

2520

38.1

Fiance(a)

5350

-

5350

-

Total Family

28 760

12 040

40 790

29.5

ENS/LA/RSMS/STNI(d)

2770

7760

10 540

73.6

Business Skills(e)

5020

1720

6 740

25.5

Distinguished Talents

60

120

180

66.7

Skilled Independent

30 210

7920

38 120

20.9

Skilled Australian Sponsored(f)

9710

750

10 470

7.2

1 November

-

20

20

100.0

Total Skill

47 770

18 280

66 050

27.7

Special Eligibility

210

1010

1230

82.1

Total Program/Outcome

76 740

31 330

108 070

29.0

Refugee/Humanitarian

11 656

869

12 525

6.9

Source: A Rizvi, SOPEMI 2004: Australia, p. 21.

        Figures have been rounded and totals may not be the exact sum of components.

        Outcome does not include permanent visas granted to New Zealand citizens (270 in 200203).

(a)            Net outcome as places in the Migration Program taken by provisional visa holders who do not subsequently obtain permanent visas are returned to the Program in the year the application for permanent residence was refused or withdrawn (a total of 2,650 in 200203).

(b)            Includes child-adoption, child dependent and orphan minor.

(c)            Includes aged dependent relatives, carers, orphan unmarried relatives and remaining relatives.

(d)            Includes Employer Nomination Scheme, Labour Agreement, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme and State/Territory Nominated Independent Scheme.

(e)            Net outcome as cancelled visas are returned to the Program in the year in which they are cancelled (a total of 840 in 200203).

(f)             Skilled Australian Sponsored categories includes skills tested brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, non-dependent children, working age parents, grandchildren and first cousins.

Another dimension of onshore migration has been the change in the pattern of refugee/humanitarian migration. Australia has settled more refugees per 1000 residents than any country except Canada but most of these settlers were accepted from refugee camps based in foreign countries and were hence offshore settlers. Australias offshore humanitarian migration program comprises two elements:

        The Refugee Program which provides protection for people outside their country fleeing persecution.

        Special Humanitarian Programs (SHP) which comprise the In-country Special Humanitarian Program for people suffering persecution within their own country, and the Global Special Humanitarian Program for people who have left their country because of significant discrimination amounting to a gross violation of human rights.

However, in recent years Australia has been forced to consider an onshore component in this program with the increased numbers of asylum seekers arriving in the country. Figure 12 shows that the number of unauthorised arrivals in the country, the bulk who apply for asylum, decreased dramatically following the introduction of a range of policy initiatives.(41) The unauthorised arrivals include both those coming by air without proper documentation and the so-called boat people.

Figure 12: Australia: unauthorised arrivals, 1989-90 to 2002-03

Source: DIMIA, Unauthorised Arrivals by Air and Sea, Fact Sheet 74, 2002.

* To 15 October 2002

Accordingly, a new category in the humanitarian program in recent years is the Temporary Protection Visa (TPV). This was introduced in October 1999 and is granted to most of the asylum seekers who enter Australia unlawfully and who are assessed as meeting the requirements for refugee status. This is in contrast to those refugees who settle in Australia under the two traditional offshore categories listed above, and Table 14 shows the substantial differences between the two groups in rights and access to services. The Government maintains that this differentiation acts as a deterrent to undocumented immigrant arrivals and encourages refugees to stay in their country of first asylum, while critics argue that the creation of two classes of refugees is unfair and not within the spirit of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.(42) A later section discusses the marked increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat or plane without documentation in the 19992001 period although there were very few arrivals in 2002 and 2003 following the Australian Governments decision to process asylum applications offshore as part of the Pacific Solution.(43)

Table 14: Refugee entitlements in Australia, November 1999

Entitlements

Permanent Protection Visas

Temporary Protection Visas

Social Security

Immediate access to the full range of social security benefits

Acccess only to Social benefit for which a range of eligibility criteria apply. Ineligible for Newstart, Sickness Allowance, Parenting Payment, Youth Allowance, Austudy and a range of other benefits

Education

Same access to education as any other permanent resident

Access to school education subject to state policy. Effective preclusion from tertiary education dues to imposition of full fess

Settlement Support

Access to full range of DIMA settlement support services

Not eligible for most DIMA funded services, such as Migrant Resource Centres and ethno-specific community welfare agencies. Can use Early Health Assessment and intervention Programs

Family Reunion

Able to bring members of immediate family (spouse and children) to Australia

No family reunion rights (including reunion with spouse and children)

Work Rights

Permission to work

Permission to work, but ability to find employment influenced by temporary nature of visa and poor English skills

Language Training

Access to 510 hours of English language training

Not eligible for the Federally funded English language programs: the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) or the Advanced English for Migrants Program (AEMP)

Medical Benefits

Automatic eligibility for Medicare

Eligibility for Medicare subject to lodgement of application for a permanent visa

Travel

Will be able to leave the country and return without jeopardising their visa

No automatic right of return

Source: Australian Refugee Council, Position on Temporary Protection Visas, November 1999, 2000.

Table 15 shows the numbers of TPVs granted to asylum seekers arriving in Australia over the 19992003 period.


Table 15: Temporary Protection Visas granted, 19992003

19992000

871

20002001

4456

20012002

3892*

20022003

275

* Total onshore protection visas granted

Source: DIMIA, Temporary Protection Visas, Fact Sheet 64, 2002; DIMIA, Unauthorised arrivals by air and sea, Fact Sheet 74, 2003.

The composition of Australias humanitarian program in recent years is shown in Table 16. This indicates that the total intake in 200203 was 12 545, slightly more than in the previous year (12 349) but less than in 200001 (13 773). It is interesting that only 6.9 per cent of the intake (866 persons) were onshore migrants. This represents a substantial change to 200102 when 31.5 per cent of humanitarian migrants were onshore. This reflects the impact of Australias Pacific Solution and other policies designed to deter asylum seekers landing in Australia.

Table 16: Outcomes of Australias Humanitarian Program by component and category from 199798 to 200203

Component

Category

9798

9899

9900

0001

0102

0203

 

Refugee

4010

3988

3802

3997

4160

4376

Offshore

SHP

4636

4348

3051

3116

4258

7280

 

SAC**

1821

1190

649

879

40

-

Onshore

 

1588

1834

2458

5741

3891

866

Temporary Humanitarian

 

 

 

 

164

6

3

Total

 

12 055

11 360

9 960*

13 773

12 349

12 525

Source: A Rizvi, SOPEMI 2003: Australia, 2002, p. 29 and SOPEMI 2004: Australia, 2003, p. 47.

* In this year there were 5000 temporary safe haven visas to Kosovars offshore (4000) and Timorese (1900)

** Special Assistance Category (now defunct)

Increasing undocumented migration

As indicated earlier, there has been an increase in global forces encouraging international migration but also a strengthening of barriers to this migration except for that of the highly skilled. Accordingly there has been a global proliferation of undocumented migration and the growth of an industry to facilitate that migration.(44) Although being an isolated island protects Australia against this to some extent, Australia is now being influenced by undocumented migration of three types:

        overstaying whereby non-citizens enter Australia legally but overstay the term of their visa (overstayers)

        where non-citizens entering Australia legally otherwise ignore the terms of their visa, e.g. persons on a tourist visa working

        clandestine entry of non-citizens who do not pass through an immigration control point (illegal entrants).

In this section we will concentrate on the first and third of these types.

Table 17: Australia: number of overstayers, 19902003

 

Number

Number from Asia

Per cent

30 June 2003

59 800

na

 

30 June 2002

60 000*

na

 

20 June 2001

60 102

27,823

46.29

31 December 2000

58 674*

na

 

30 June 2000

58 748*

27,808

47.34

December 1999

53 131*

na

 

June 1999

53 143

23,741

44.67

June 1998

50 949

21,461

42.12

December 1996

45 100

na

 

June 1995

51 307

na

 

June 1993

79 755

na

 

April 1992

81 400

na

 

April 1990

90 000

na

 

Source: DIMIA, Population flows: immigration aspects, various issues; DIMIA, Locating overstayers in Australia, Fact Sheet 80, 2002, A Rizvi, SOPEMI 2004: Australia, 2003, p. 74.

* Excludes unauthorised arrivals by air and by boat.

Note: The introduction of the bridging visa scheme on 1 September 1994 influences the figures since prior to this time persons who did not have a valid visa but had come to the Departments attention and were waiting for a visa determination or to leave the country were regarded as overstayers. Subsequently these people were not considered overstayers.

Much is known in Australia about overstayers since there is a high quality Movement Data Base and all persons arriving in and departing from the country are required to complete a card which facilitates matching and detection of overstayers. Table 17 shows that through the 1990s around 50 000 overstayers have been identified using this matching. In June 2003 there were 59 800 overstayers of whom 29 per cent had been in Australia for more than 9 years and 19 per cent had been in the country for less than one year. Some 81.7 per cent of overstayers were persons who had overstayed tourist visas, 5.0 per cent temporary residents and 6.7 per cent students. The overstay rate was 0.48 per cent comprising 18 800 overstayers from 3 962 910 visitors in 200203 and 0.47 per cent of visa arrivals in 200102.(45) It is estimated that approximately half of overstayers work illegally in Australia.(46)

Turning to the people who enter Australia illegally, it is clear that Australia has in recent times become a more important target for such movements. There are, of course, no data on persons who have been successful in such attempts but there are on the numbers that have been detected. These can be divided into those detected arriving by air and those coming by boat. The undocumented migrants arriving by air arrive either with no travel documents or present documentation which is found to be fraudulent but which they might have used for check-in at overseas airports. While many arrive as individuals, planning their own travel, some are part of organised people trafficking organisations which have become more active across the Asian region. It will be noted that the numbers arriving by air increased markedly in the 1990s and peaked at 2106 in 199899. Thereafter they fell to 1695 in 19992000, 1508 in 200001 and 1193 in 200102. The reasons for the fall in unauthorised arrivals in airports are not clear but may be associated with:

        sanctions on air carriers for bringing in unauthorised people leading to them checking documents of all incoming passengers more closely prior to travel

        feedback that such arrivals unable to make a case for asylum are sent back to where they came on the next available plane, and

        an increase in the use of boats among unauthorised arrivals.

The countries from which the unauthorised air arrivals originated are shown in Table 18. It will be noticed that there has been some significant variation over the years. In the years of largest gain Iraq, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were the largest groups.

However, in recent years the numbers from these origins have declined. The decline in the number of Iraqis is most interesting and dramatic (from 325 in 199899 to 37 in 200001) given their increasing numbers among boat arrivals. In recent times South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand and Malaysia have become more important with, in some cases, these being places of transit rather than the original place of birth/residence of the unauthorised arrivals.

Turning to people who seek to clandestinely enter Australia by boat, one small group are those who are detected aboard incoming ships who are stowaways. In 199899 these numbered 61, in 19992000, 26 and in 200001, 29. However, the main focus of attention regarding unauthorised arrivals has been on the so-called boat people.(47) The numbers arriving on the northern shores of Australia from Indo-China over the period 197689 numbered only 2059 persons, although they attracted a great deal of attention.(48) However, in the 1990s the numbers increased and reached unprecedented levels in 19992000 as Table 19 indicates. The period 19992001 saw 8315 boat people detected compared with 1083 in the previous two years. This became the most discussed migration issue in Australia in recent years and it was a major element in the lead up to the 2001 national election.(49)

Table 18: Main source countries for people refused immigration visas at Australian airports, 19952003

Source Country

199596

199697

199798

199899

19992000

200001

200002

200203*

China

92

235

268

112

73

65

95

33

Iraq **

34

90

140

325

157

37

na

na

Indonesia

110

124

132

97

54

92

48

5

Sri Lanka

15

205

118

58

47

29

na

na

Somalia

87

110

78

30

11

3

na

na

Thailand

25

94

77

93

74

100

83

24

Kuwait**

0

19

61

32

4

2

na

na

New Zealand

49

40

59

92

107

111

128

26

South Korea

6

12

52

159

108

136

99

28

Algeria

21

61

51

87

14

2

na

na

Malaysia

na

na

na

na

na

na

160

24

United Kingdom

na

na

na

na

na

na

57

15

United States

na

na

na

na

na

na

61

5

India

na

na

na

na

na

na

41

1

Japan

na

na

na

na

na

na

31

1

Other

224

360

519

1021

1045

931

390

62

Total

663

1350

1550

2106

1694

1508

1193

224

Source: DIMA, Unauthorised arrivals by air and sea, Fact Sheet 81, 2000; DIMIA, Unauthorised arrivals by air and sea, Fact Sheet 74, 2002.

* To 15 October 2002

** The figures used refer to the origin country of arrivals because citizenship is sometimes difficult to determine.


Table 19: Numbers of boats and persons aboard arriving clandestinely in Australia and detected, 1989 to 200203

Year

Number of Boats

Total Arrivals

Minimum/Maximum on Board

198990

3

224

26/119

199091

5

158

3/77

199192

3

78

10/56

199293

4

194

2/113

199394

6

194

4/58

199495

21

1,071

5/118

199596

14

589

4/86

199697

13

365

4/139

199798

13

157

3/30

199899

42

920

2/112

19992000

75

4,174

3/353

200001

54

4,141

2/231

200102

6

1,212

60/359

200203

1

65

65

Source: DIMIA, Unauthorised arrivals by air and sea, Fact Sheet 74, 2002.

The status regarding the 13 540 boat people who arrived in Australia since 1989 is shown in Table 20. It will be noted that some 68.9 per cent have been granted entry to Australia although 59.7 per cent had Temporary Resident Visas and only 8.9 per cent had been given permanent resident status. More than a fifth (27.3 per cent) had been repatriated.

Table 20: Australia: boat people, 19892003 status as at 17 April 2003

 

Number

Percent

Removed

3702

27.3

Still in Detention

470

3.5

Granted Temporary Protection Visa

8077

59.7

Granted PPV

1200

8.9

Granted BVE

45

0.3

Other

3

0.0

Escaped

43

0.3

Total Unauthorised Boat Arrivals

13540

100.0

Source: DIMIA, Temporary Protection Visas, Fact Sheet 64, 2003.

An increasing focus on skills in migration

There are three main components in the non-humanitarian part of the Australian migration programSkill, Family, and Special Eligibility, the details of which are presented in Table 21. Some components, i.e. Business Skills, Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS), Distinguished Talent, Spouses and Dependent Children are demand driven and not subject to capping. Increases in demand for these visas, beyond planned levels, are compensated by reductions in other program components, i.e. Independent and Skilled-Australian Linked, Parents, Fiancs and Interdependents. Family Migration consists of a number of categories under which a potential migrant can be sponsored by a relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia. For statistical purposes the various Family Migration classes and sub-classes were grouped in the following categories up to 199697:

        Preferential

      Spouse

      Prospective marriage

      Child

      Adoption

      Parent (meeting the balance of family test)

      Aged dependent relative

      Remaining relative

      Orphan relative

      Special need relative

        Concessional

      Non-dependent child

      Non-dependent brother or sister

      Non-dependent niece or nephew

      Parent of working age not meeting the balance of family test.


Table 21: Program Management Structure (200102) Migration (non-Humanitarian) Program

Skill

Family

Special Eligibility

Skilled Independent & Skilled-

Parents and Preferential Family

Can be capped

Australian Sponsored*

Can be capped subject to demand in all other Family categories

 

        Points tested

 

 

        Planning level adjusted subject to

Fiancs & Interdependents

 

demand in Business Skills and ENS

Can be capped subject to demand for spouse and dependent child places

 

Business Skills, ENS & Distinguished Talent

 

 

Demand driven

Spouses & Dependent Children

 

 

          Demand driven

 

 

          Exempt from capping

 

 

 

 

Contingency Reserve

 

 

To be utilised if States and Territories, business employers and

 

 

regional authorities generate additional demand, and for ICT professionals with Australian qualifications

 

 

Source: DIMIA, Population flows: immigration aspects, 2002a

* Formerly Independent and Skilled-Australian Linked (until July 1999)

The Skill Migration component of the migration program is designed to contribute to Australias economic growth. It consists of a number of categories for prospective migrants where there is demand in Australia for particular occupational skills, outstanding talents or business skills. These categories are:

        Independent migrantsnot sponsored by an employer or relative in Australia. Applicants must pass a points test which includes skills, age and English language ability (21 778 visas in 200102)

        Skilled-Australian Linkedcommenced on 1 July 1997 (replacing the Concessional Family Category). Applicants must pass a points test on skills, age and English ability and receive additional points for sponsorship by relatives in Australia (4586 visas in 200102). Also includes Regional Linked for those sponsored by relatives in regional areas (not points tested)

        Employer sponsoredEmployers may nominate (or sponsor) personnel from overseas through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and Labour Agreements. These visas enable Australian employers to fill skilled permanent vacancies with overseas personnel if they cannot find suitably qualified workers in Australia. A total of 1817 visas were granted in 200102

        Business Skills migrationencourages successful business people to settle permanently in Australia and develop new business opportunities (6409 visas in 200102)

        Distinguished talentfor distinguished individuals with special or unique talents of benefit to Australia (72 visas in 200102).

There are also several categories which cater for other types of visaed settler arrivals but are not included in the categories above. These are:

        former citizen of Australia

        former resident of Australia

        family of New Zealand Citizen for dependants of New Zealand citizens who have settled or intend to settle permanently in Australia.

In addition there are a number of categories for which visas were not required prior to 1 September 1994. These are:

        New Zealand Citizens, which refers to the arrival of New Zealand citizens under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, and

        Other (Non-Visaed) which refers primarily to the arrival in Australia of children born to Australian citizens overseas. It also includes residents of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Norfolk Island, etc., and persons granted Australian citizenship overseas.

The 2002-03 migration program resulted in 108 070 non-humanitarian immigrants settling in Australia.(50) This was the largest intake for over a decade. It was also the most number of skilled immigrants ever taken by Australia.(51) The planning levels over the 200105 period are within the range of 100 000 and 110 000 places (66 000 in the Skill stream) per year and the actual level will depend upon:

        application rates in demand driven categories

        take up of state and regional specific categories

        extent of national skill shortages, and

        availability of high standard applicants.(52)

Figure 13 presents the breakdown of the numbers in each category for the year 200203.

Figure 13: Categories of immigration to Australia, 200203

Figure 13: Categories of immigration to Australia, 2002–03

Source: From data in DIMIA, Migration Program planning levels, Fact Sheet 20, 2003; A Rizvi, SOPEMI 2004: Australia, 2003.

Over recent times in Australia there has been greater government intervention to shape the content of the intake of immigrants so that it can better contribute to national development goals. This has seen greater emphasis on skills in migrant selection and in the development of business migration programs designed to attract entrepreneurs with substantial sums to invest in the destination country. Australia and Canada have micro‑managed the qualifications of their migrant intake since the 1970s with the introduction of points assessment schemes. In Australia, recent years have seen a substantial shift toward skills/business migration and away from family migration as Figure 14 demonstrates. The diagram clearly shows an increasing proportion of permanent settlers in Australia come from the Skill section of the program. In 200203, there were 66 050 people granted Skill visas. This is an increase of 45.1 per cent over 200102 when 45 520 were granted such visas. In 200102, 22.6 per cent were onshore applicants compared with 27.7 per cent in 200203.

Figure 14: Australia: migration program outcomes by stream

Figure 14: Australia: migration program outcomes by stream

Source: DIMIA, Population flows: immigration aspects, various issues and DIMIA, Temporary Protection Visas, Fact Sheet 64, 2003.

It is interesting in the context of the increased focus of Australias immigration program on skill that there is very strong evidence of the labour market performance of settlers improving considerably in the last decade. This has been demonstrated using data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Australia (LSIA) and that from the ABS Labour Force Survey.(53)

Table 22 presents a comparison of the 1996 and 2001 census data and shows that whereas in 1996 the unemployment rate among immigrants arriving in Australia in the five years before the census was 22.1 per cent, it was only half that for the equivalent group in 2001. Moreover, the workforce participation rate was higher. These findings are especially interesting since there is increasing concern in both the United States and Canada that the labour market performance of recently arrived immigrants is declining.(54)

Table 22: Australia: changes in labour force indicators by birthplace, 19962001

 

Unemployment Rate

Participation Rate

Australia Born

 

 

1996

8.7

74.1

2001

7.1

74.6

% Change

-18.3

+0.7

Recent Migrants (arriving in the last 5 years)

 

1996

22.1

55.0

2001

11.0

60.0

% Change

-49.8

+9.1

Longstanding Migrants

 

 

1996

9.5

70.5

2001

7.4

70.5

% Change

-22.1

-

Source: ABS 1996 and 2001 Censuses, unpublished tabulations.

Regional migration schemes

The spatial distribution of Australias population is an issue of considerable national importance. Examinations of the nations changing population distribution however almost always focus on the role of internal migration/population movement within Australia as the demographic process which shapes those patterns. In fact, however, it is also strongly influenced by the extent to which immigrants settle in a different spatial pattern to that exhibited by the resident national population.

It is to be expected that each cohort of immigrants will settle differently to both the resident Australian-born population and earlier generations of immigrants since the composition of the inflows and the context into which they arrive change over time. The distribution of job opportunities within Australia is changing over time as are the skills and work experience of immigrants. Moreover, research indicates the migrants frequently settle where earlier generations of their fellow countrymen have settled. Migrant networks are crucial in shaping where immigrants settle. Hence, in each of the countries with significant immigration there is a strong pattern of spatial concentration of immigrants especially recent immigrants. This is especially true of the United States where a majority of the immigrant population live in few states (Texas, Florida, New York and California).

First of all, with respect to interstate population distribution, Table 23 shows that a spatial shift has occurred in Australias post-war population away from the south-eastern states to the northern and western parts of the country. In 1947 the states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania accounted for 78.4 per cent of the national population, but by 2001 they had 68.7 per cent of the total. On the other hand, Queensland increased its share from 14.6 per cent to 18.7 per cent and Western Australia from 6.6 per cent to 9.8 per cent.

Table 23: Australia: distribution of population between states and territories, 18812001

 

1881

1901

1921

1947

1961

1976

1996

2001

New South Wales

33.3

35.9

38.6

39.4

37.3

35.3

33.9

33.8

Victoria

38.3

31.8

28.2

27.1

27.9

26.9

24.9

24.7

Queensland

9.5

13.2

13.9

14.6

14.4

15.2

18.2

18.7

South Australia

12.3

9.5

9.1

8.5

9.2

9.1

8.1

7.8

Western Australia

1.3

4.9

6.1

6.6

7.0

8.4

9.6

9.8

Tasmania

5.1

4.6

3.9

3.4

3.3

2.9

2.6

2.4

Northern Territory

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.7

1.0

1.0

Australian Capital Territory

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.6

1.5

1.7

1.6

Total percentage

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Total number (million)

2.2

3.8

5.4

7.6

10.5

13.9

18.3

19.4

Source: DT Rowland, Population growth and distribution, 1982, p. 25; ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics
June Quarter 2000
, and June Quarter 2003.

While much of the shift in interstate distribution has been due to interstate population movements, it is also due to a propensity for immigrants to settle in particular states. Table 24 indicates that immigrants have settled disproportionately in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia and this has been an influential factor in shaping the distribution of the national population. It will be noted however that there has been a striking increase in the proportion of newcomers settling in Queensland. This may indicate that after an extended period of getting less than a proportionate share of immigrants Queensland is becoming a significant attraction to immigrants.

Table 24: Australian states and territories: percentage distribution of the population by birthplace and
overseas-born arriving in the last five years, 1996 and 2001

State/Territory

Australia-Born

(percent)

Overseas-Born

(percent)

Persons Arriving in Last 5 Years

(percent)

1996

2001

1996

2001

1996

2001

NSW

33.22

32.65

35.54

35.93

41.21

40.81

Vic

23.96

24.04

26.61

26.31

24.40

23.60

Qld

19.96

20.44

14.25

15.01

15.11

17.33

SA

8.15

8.07

7.74

7.22

4.52

4.10

WA

8.91

9.11

12.18

12.06

11.61

11.28

TAS

2.98

2.83

1.19

1.11

0.78

0.69

NT

1.13

1.16

0.75

0.72

0.73

0.72

ACT

1.68

1.68

1.71

1.63

1.61

1.47

Other Territories

0.02

0.01

0.03

0.02

0.02

0.01

Total

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Source: ABS 1996 and 2001 Censuses.

The relative contributions of net international migration as well as net interstate migration and national increase to population change in the states and territories are shown in Table 25. It will be noted that in New South Wales, the largest state, there was a net international migration gain of almost one quarter of a million which accounted for 60.8 per cent of the States population growth between 1996 and 2001. Moreover the State experienced a significant net loss due to interstate migration, a longstanding pattern.(55) In the past this has been the pattern in Victoria as well but a turnaround in the States economy saw it experience a small net interstate migration gain between 1996 and 2001. Conversely Queenslands net international migration gain was not as large as the net gain by interstate migration. However, over the 1996 and 2001 inter-censal period the contribution of net international migration has increased and that of net interstate migration has declined. Queensland is increasing its proportion of the national immigrant intake and increased its share of recent migrations to Australia from 5.1 to 17.3 per cent between 1996 and 2001. On the other hand the shares in the traditional immigration states declined slightly (Table 24). In South Australia and Tasmania net international migration gains were not large enough to counter-balance the net outflow from interstate migration. Western Australia has remained an important destination for migrants.

Table 25: Australian states and territories: natural increase, net overseas migration, net interstate migration
and total population growth, financial years 19962001

State

Natural Increase

Net Overseas
Migration

Net Interstate
Migration

Total Population Growth No.

No.

% of Growth

No.

% of Growth

No.

% of Growth

NSW

244 414

60.9

243 869

60.8

-86 925

-21.7

401 358

Vic

166 298

53.6

141 572

45.6

2 332

0.8

310 202

Qld

149 510

41.0

88 129

24.2

126 659

34.8

364 298

SA

39 745

118.9

19 621

58.7

-25 950

-77.7

33 416

WA

84 107

47.6

79 144

44.8

13 361

7.6

176 612

Tas

14 184

385.1

1550

42.1

-19 417

-527.2

-3683

NT

16 662

87.4

4172

21.9

-1773

-9.3

19 061

ACT

17 510

199.7

-453

-5.2

-8287

-94.5

8770

Australia*

732 649

56.0

576 221

44.0

-

-

1 308 870

Source: ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics June Quarter 2002.

* Includes other territories.

Turning to the extent to which immigrants settle in urban and rural areas, Table 26 shows how migrants and the Australian-born are distributed between sections of state. It will be noted that immigrants are under-represented in all but the major cities category. Moreover among recent arrivals 89 per cent have settled in major cities compared to 59.9 per cent of the Australian-born and 80.6 per cent of longer standing immigrants. The under-representation in all non-metropolitan categories is much greater among recent arrivals than among immigrants of longer standing especially in rural areas. There appears to be a pattern whereby after a period of longer residence in Australia the overseas-born move more to non-metropolitan areas like the Australian‑born population.(56)

Table 26: Australia: persons by section of state by birthplace by year of arrival at 2001 Census

 

Overseas Born

 

 

 

Arrived Before

Arrived After

 

 

 

1996

1996

Australian Born

Total

 

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Major Urban

2 778 580

80.6

584 872

89.0

8 163 240

59.9

11 526 692

65.0

Other Urban

417 236

12.1

51 543

7.8

3 443 950

25.2

3 912 729

22.1

Bounded Locality

43 479

1.3

3 806

0.6

410 248

3.0

457 533

2.6

Rural Balance

207 476

6.0

17 062

2.6

1 606 337

11.8

1 830 875

10.3

Migratory

1380

-

196

-

5706

0.1

7282

-

Total

3 448 151

100.0

657 479

100.0

13 629 481

100.0

17 735 111

100.0

Source: ABS 2001 Census, unpublished tabulations

There have been a number of attempts by governments to influence where in Australia migrants settle after they arrive in Australia.(57) In Europe, several countries are attempting to direct refugees to settle in particular areas.(58) The last few years have seen a more concerted effort by DIMIA to influence where immigrants settle than at any time since the intake of displaced persons in the immediate post-Second World War period. In May 1996 the annual meeting involving Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs established a working party on regional migration which could herald a new era in patterns of migrant settlement. The working party examined ways in which a higher proportion of migrants might settle in regional Australia. Accordingly, a number of initiatives were taken to attract immigrants to areas which are currently receiving small intakes under the State Specific Migration Mechanisms (SSMMs).

SSRMs initiatives enable employers, state/territory governments or relatives to sponsor prospective skilled migrants. Mechanisms include the:

        Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

        State/Territory Nominated Independent (STNI) scheme

        Skilled Designated Area Sponsored Visa Categories

        Skill Matching Database (SMD)

        Skill Matching Visa (SMV)

        Regional Established Business in Australia (REBA), and

        Two-stage State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner, Investor and Senior Executive visa categories.

Rizvi reports that:

Over the last 18 months the Government has implemented a number of enhancements to the initiatives, designed to attract a higher number of skilled and business migrants to regional Australia. Further enhancements are currently under consideration.(59)

Some of the key enhancements already implemented include:

        Temporary residence concessions for regional Australia, including changes to temporary residence to provide regional certifying bodies with a greater role in supporting sponsorships in regional Australia.

      Exceptions can be provided from the gazetted minimum skill and salary requirements for positions nominated under temporary business visas, which are located in regional and low population growth areas and have been certified by a Regional Certifying Body.

        Changes to the general skilled migration category. In order to encourage a greater proportion of students to consider studying and eventually settling in regional Australia, the following adjustments to the points-test, and eligibility criteria, were implemented:

      Additional points for overseas students who have recently completed their qualifications by studying and living nearby for a period of a least two years at the campus of an education institution in regional Australia, and

      The period of time students are required to attend a tertiary institution in Australia to be exempt from the work experience requirement increased from 12 months to two years.

Business Skills. Introduction of a two-stage process (i.e. a provisional visa and then the granting of permanent residence once a business is fully established) for the Business Skills categories with a much greater emphasis on state and territory government sponsorship and support at both stages (with immediate permanent residence only available for high calibre business migrants who have state/territory government support).

South Australia readily embraced the new regional immigration categories when they were introduced and in 199899, 1034 of the total of 2804 migrants entering Australia under this category came to the State. However, by 19992000 this was reduced to 702 out of 3309. Table 27 shows that while over the 19912003 period there was an increase in the number of Regional Sponsored migrants to Australia, South Australias share remained around 700 while its proportion fell from 26.9 per cent in 19992000 to 20.5 per cent in 200102. However the initiatives in 2002 and 2003 saw a significant change in regional migration as predicted by Rizvi.(60) The overall number of State Specific Migration Scheme settlers increased by 91.5 per cent to 7921. Moreover, the continuing initiatives are likely to see an increase in 20032004. Rizvi reports that in the first quarter of 20032004 the number of SSRM grants was 2400, twice the level for the previous year.(61)

Table 27: Distribution of migrants granted visas under state specific migration mechanisms,
199899 to 200203

Category

South Australia

Other States

Total

 

No.

%

 

 

199899

 

 

 

 

RSMS

436

 

329

765

STNI

169

 

0

169

Regional-Linked

29

 

38

67

SAL*

396

 

1348

1744

SSBS**

4

 

55

59

REBA

0

 

0

0

Total

1034

58.4

1770

2804

19992000

 

 

 

 

RSMS

373

 

291

664

STNI

9

 

0

9

Regional-Linked

16

 

179

195

SAL*

297

 

2087

2384

SSBS**

4

 

40

44

REBA

3

 

10

13

Total

702

26.9

2607

3309

2000-01

 

 

 

 

RSMS

437

 

584

1021

STNI

36

 

49

85

Regional-Linked

67

 

935

1002

SAL*

184

 

1,391

1575

SSBS**

16

 

106

122

REBA

10

 

31

41

Total

750

24.2

3096

3846

200102

 

 

 

 

RSMS

384

 

708

1092

STNI

51

 

206

257

Regional-Linked

137

 

1460

1597

SAL*

94

 

880

974

SSBS**

25

 

151

176

REBA

12

 

28

40

Total

703

20.5

3433

4136

200203

 

 

 

 

RSMS

436

 

1,302

1738

STNI

353

 

441

794

Regional-Linked SDAS

455

 

4,011

4466

SAL

20

 

504

524

SSBS

57

 

284

341

REBA

3

 

75

78

Total

1324

16.7

6617

7941

Source: DIMIA, Population flows: immigration aspects, various issues; Ruddock, various
Media Releases 2002; B Birrell, Redistributing migrants: the Labor agenda, 2003; DIMIA unpublished data.

* Refers to applicants under this category who obtained bonus points because their sponsor lived in a designated area.

** Includes applicants processed under offshore subclass 129 (State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner), offshore subclass
130 (State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive), onshore subclass 842 (State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner) and
onshore subclass 843 (State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive).

Acronyms

RSMS Regional Skilled Migrants Scheme

STNI State/Territory Nominated Independent

SAL Skilled-Australian Linked

SSBS State/Territory Sponsored Business Skills

REBA Regional Established Business in Australia

Note: For Definitions of Current Programs See Appendix.

There seems little doubt that the state-specific and regional migration initiatives will result in increased numbers settling in Australia under this category in the next few years.(62) The question becomes in which regional areas will they settle? Table 27 shows that South Australias share of the SSRM immigrants in 200203 continued to decrease although the numbers of settlers under the scheme increased by 88.3 per cent. There can be little doubt that the major recipient of SSRM migrants in recent times has been Melbourne. Although Melbourne is not eligible for receiving migrants in all SSRM categories, it can receive those under the large regional linked Skilled-Designated Area Sponsor (SDAS), and to a lesser extent, the State Sponsored Skill category. Birrell has analysed the planned locations of a proportion of SSRM immigrants over the 200103 period and his results are shown in Table 28 and indicate that in the largest category (Regional Linked SDAS) Melbourne accounts for two-thirds of settlers.(63)

Family members living in designated areas can sponsor relatives on a concessional basis. The migrants they sponsor do not have to pass the points test applied to independent (skilled) migrants. Instead they are required to possess the following minimum qualifications : vocational English, be aged less than 45, have an occupation listed on the Skills Occupational List and have their occupational qualifications approved by the relevant assessment authority.(64)

Table 28: Permanent residents, 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2003 grouped by visa category and location in Australia

 

 

Per cent by Migration Category

 

Location

Permanent Residents

RSMS and State/Territory Schemes

Regional Linked SDAS

Other Skill

Not Skill

Total

Sydney

52 421

8

5

38

38

37

NSW Remainder

3 969

5

2

2

4

3

Melbourne

35 011

21

67

21

26

25

Vic Remainder

1875

5

2

1

2

1

Brisbane

12 739

2

2

11

8

9

QLD Remainder

5 610

7

3

4

4

4

Adelaide

6 444

22

8

3

5

5

SA Remainder

374

3

0

0

0

0

Perth

18 063

9

3

18

9

13

WA Remainder

1181

6

2

1

1

1

Hobart

760

5

1

0

1

1

Tas Remainder

571

2

1

0

1

0

Darwin

643

1

1

0

1

0

NT Remainder

196

1

0

0

0

0

Canberra

1989

3

3

1

1

1

ACT Remainder

22

0

0

0

0

0

City total

128 071

70

90

93

88

90

Remainder total