What makes Australia an ideal destination for migrants?
Australia has been attracting migrants from all over the world since the 1950's. Sunny weather, a high standard of living and a laid-back lifestyle that Australians enjoy have all been significant draws.
Since the 1940’s, when the first wave of immigrants from Europe migrated to Australia, running away from the disasters of the war, Australia has always relied on young skilled people to work and live for economic reasons. In the last two decades, young professionals from Asia have arrived in huge numbers with China leading as the source country until the mid-2000s and more recently, India becoming the number one source country for migration.
Australia recognizes the opportunities that multiculturalism brings to the country. When people migrate to another country, they bring their culture, food and way of life. Having immigrants from most countries around the world, Australia enjoys a variety of food, culture and ethnicity.
Australia also recognizes the impact of migration on economy. According to a report, The Economic Impact of Migration prepared by the Migration Council of Australia, “The economic impact of migration flows through into every aspect of the economy. It has a profound positive impact not just on population growth, but also on labor participation and employment, on wages and incomes, on our national skills base and on net productivity”. The report also finds that skilled migrants not only bring high levels of skill but also have higher education levels when compared to most people born in Australia. The total population of Australia according to the report is predicted to increase to 38 Million by 2050, which currently stands at just over 22 million, primarily due to the increase in migration.
Australia has one of the lowest birth rates (currently at less than one child per family) which is a primary reason to seek skilled people to migrate. There are other major reasons including an ageing population that is becoming a burden on the country’s social security system. This provides a great opportunity for young skilled migrants to fill the skills gap, employment and create business opportunities. There are great opportunities in the service industries relevant to aged care, medical and children services. The IT industry is growing at a great pace and is about five years behind U.S and Japan. The country has the largest natural resources including Uranium, Coal, Gold and other metals and provides huge opportunities in the mining industries. The banking system is one of the strongest in the world and provides a strong foundation for a stable economy. Australia was one of the very few countries which was not impacted by the financial crises of 2008-09.
It is not just the employment and business opportunities that the country offers. Australia has one of the best social security systems in the world providing financial security and care for disadvantaged people who are permanent residents and citizens including the unemployed, disabled and retired.
The skilled migration programme which recognizes skilled people and provides Australian permanent residency is designed to control not only the number of migrants arriving in the country each year but also the type of skills that people bring to Australia. The number of visas issued per annum under the programme has increased from 120,000 in 2004-2005 to 190,000 in 2016-2017.
Since the turn of the century, Australian Immigration policies have focused on a shift towards International Students and skilled people on working visas. International students after completing their education in Australia get a chance to enhance their skills by seeking employment through the post study work rights thereby filling the skills gap.
Australian employers sponsor skilled workers including International students based on their qualifications and skills. The sponsorship under the Employer sponsorship programs are for both temporary and permanent visas. The focus on working visa policies ensure Australian employers get to fill skill gaps on a short term and long term basis and also ensure the required skills are filled through the migration process. This provides an opportunity for skilled workers to work full time in Australia and increase their chances to stay permanently.
The Australian government has also recently introduced visas for people who have innovative skills and business ideas backed by venture capitalism and other types of funding in recognition of the business and innovative skills that immigrants can bring to the country.
The reliance of skilled migrants has never been greater in Australia with the projected migrant intake to reach 250,000 per year in the next few years. This provides an opportunity for skilled young people to move to Australia for a great lifestyle.
P.S- Chetan Zabde has recently published a book “7 Steps to Permanent Residency in Australia”. The book is a guide to help students gain permanent residency in Australia.