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More international guests want to stay.
Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
More International Guests Want to Stay
Multicultural Australia remains a welcoming haven for international guests, with more opting to call Australia home. New figures released today show more than 39 000 permanent visas were granted in 2004-05 to people already in Australia on temporary visas, including skilled workers, students and visitors.
‘This is almost double the number eight years ago and represents a profound shift in the way people migrate to Australia,’ Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said.
‘Almost a third of places in the 2004-05 migration program went to people already in the country.’
Vanstone added students and skilled workers were driving the change, which is partly a result of changes in 2001 to rules for overseas students applying to stay permanently as skilled migrants upon conclusion of their studies.
Overall, the 2004-05 migration program was the largest and most highly skilled in the past decade. A total of 120 060 people were granted visas, which is a five per cent increase on the 114 360 granted in 2003-04.
These figures are available in the annual publication Population Flows: Immigration Aspects, which was released by Senator Vanstone today. Used as a resource for Ministerial consultations on the annual migration program, it is distributed widely throughout Australian schools and libraries and also available on the internet.
In the case of skilled migrants, more than 16 400 permanent skilled migration visas were granted to students in Australia in 2004-05, which is a 25 per cent increase on 2003-04, while there was a 24 per cent rise in the number of permanent visas granted onshore under the Employer Nomination scheme to workers who entered on temporary programs.
‘The people being granted these visas are typically young and skilled, and are more often than not also educated in Australia. This is benefit to all Australians,’ Senator Vanstone said.
‘They are usually proficient in English and have established social networks and experience of our labour market and culture, increasing their chances of settling quickly and successfully.’
In the same period, more than 62 000 Australians left for overseas, of which 30 000 were skilled.
‘Research shows that many of these same Australians will return home, often with enhanced skills,’ Vanstone said.
‘In the meantime, 47 171 overseas-born people with skills arrived to assist employers fill the vacant positions for skilled workers.’
More information about Australia’s immigration trends is contained in the 2004-05 edition of Population Flows: Immigration Aspects.
23 January 2006