Permanent immigration is a sizeable component of Australia’s population growth. Up until March this year, Australia’s population had grown by 381,000. The number of permanent visas issued in 2017 was 163,000. Natural increase, that is, the number of births minus deaths was 144,000.
Another driver is the increase in the number of temporary migrants in Australia. Tourists, students, working holidaymakers etc. constitute these temporary migrants.
It is noteworthy how temporary visas interact with the permanent ones. For example, an overseas student may get a job in Australia. They can eventually then apply for a Permanent Residency.
Half of all the Permanent Residents of Australia were already present in the country on temporary visas.
Migration is uneven in Australia. Some areas have changed rapidly whereas others have changed little. Most of Australia’s incoming population tends to settle in Sydney and Melbourne as compared to other cities. Even in Sydney and Melbourne, immigrants are concentrated at certain locations and sparse in others.
In 2016-17, Melbourne saw major population growth around Monash University. It is likely that the majority of them were international students. Sydney saw major growth around Parramatta. This clearly shows that both permanent and temporary migration in Australia is related to its population growth. If the Australian Govt. needs to manage population growth, they need to look at the overall immigration system.
PM Scott Morrison has recently announced a 30,000 cut in the permanent migration program. Reports estimate that this cut will cost the Australian budget $500 million, as per ABC News.
The reduction in immigration numbers will also cause a reduction in the number of skilled workers. People who migrate to Australia under the skilled programs have jobs and pay taxes. Thus, they make a significant contribution to the Australian economy.
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