08 December 2009

China eclipses UK as top source of migrants to Australia

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For the first time, China has eclipsed New Zealand and Britain as Australia’s biggest source of migrants.

The latest Australian immigration figures show 6350 people arrived from mainland China in the four months to October, a record high.

The numbers of British and New Zealanders emigrating to Australia in that same period were lower, at 5800 and 4740 respectively.

Experts believe that the increase in Chinese taking up an Australian Visa is due to a downturn in migration from traditional sources due to the global financial crises, which hasn’t greatly affected China.

Chinese migration to Australia is dominated by family reunions, in contrast to Britian and New Zealand migration which is largely skills based.

Eight out of ten migrants from the UK emigrate under the skilled migration program, which saw 18,500 places cut in March due to the crisis, and New Zealand migration slowed as people chose to hold on to their jobs in their home country during the uncertain times.


The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.  


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