Indian citizens are heading down under in record numbers right now; new migration figures show. Indians are now outnumbering British expats in their desire to come to Australia to work. From 2012-2013, a massive 40,100 Indian citizens applied to move to Australia, a figure that dominated the still significant 27,300 application from Chinese citizens and 21,700 from the UK.
A Politically Stable Choice for Many
The growing trend of Indian and Chinese citizens applying for migration to Australia may be due to the fact that with an Australian passport, Indian and Chinese expats would find themselves much freer for global travel. It is also noteworthy that the applications from these countries has greatly increased since the government change in Australia. With the Abbott government in place Down Under, people reported having confidence in the stability of the political environment in Australia, which has fuelled their desire to emigrate there.
Reports also indicate that Australia is granting more citizenship applications than it has for the past few years, with figures showing a six-year high in new citizens. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released figures showing that in 2012-2013 there were 123,400 new citizens welcomed to Australian nationality.
The Thorny Issue of Illegal Immigrants
On the flipside of the coin, the report also raised the issue of illegal immigrants living in Australia, showing that 62,700 people who had visas that had expired were illegally still residing in Australia. Australia has a massive agricultural industry and a large hospitality sector, and it is believed that the ready availability of cash in hand jobs in these fields has aiding these illegals significantly in slipping through the cracks in the system.
On top of this, it seems that the Department of Immigration do not have the resources to find the missing people. The skilled 457 visa, which welcomes skilled workers in certain professions to Australia, was also a concern, with an estimated 20,000 workers on this visa having gone missing. India, which has now surpassed the UK in overall applications to emigrate to Australia, has also surpassed Britain in the specific skilled 457 visa application category. According to figures on the 457 visa and its applicants, Indian citizens now account for 23.3% of the skilled visa recipients, with the UK in a not-so-close second with 18.3%, and China only making up 6.5%.
So, it seems like India are building up a solid presence Down Under, with many more likely to emigrate there in coming years.