The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) attests that the largest population of migrants who have entered Australia apart from the UK and New Zealand are from China, India, Philippines, Vietnam & Malaysia. According to the same study conducted by the ABS; as of 30th June 2016 (latest available data), approximately 28.5% of Australia’s estimated resident population (roughly 6.9 million people) were born overseas (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016). The countries listed above account for 5 of the top 10 countries of origin of migrants who were born outside of Australia. These countries also account for 6.8% out of 28.5% of Australia’s migrant population (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016).
The Australian migration program awarded 189,770 permanent residency places to migrants in the fiscal year 2015-2016 and 183,608 places in 2016-2017 fiscal year with a planning level 190,000 per year (Department of Home Affairs, 2018). Out of the 183,608 total places awarded in the 2016 – 2017 migration program, a sub-total of 123,567 places were granted to applicants in the Skilled stream which equates to 67.3% of the total migration program (Department of Home Affairs, 2018).
To further break down the statistics, the Skilled stream is comprised of 3 distinct categories. A definition of each category has been provided below in order to differentiate between the two categories.
General Skilled Migration (GSM)
– 67,857 places (54.9% of the skilled stream).
GSM visas are designed for the purpose of targeting and addressing genuine skills shortages in Australia (Department of Home Affairs, 2018). The intention of the GSM program is to usher in highly employable skilled professionals for provisional or permanent residency in Australia. GSM is the most commonly used form of migration to Australia.
Employer Sponsored (ENS)
– 48,250 places (39% of the skilled stream)
Employer Sponsored visas allow Australian employers to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a provisional or permanent residency visa to work in Australia (Department of Home Affairs, 2018). This category enables Australian employers to fill vacant positions that they are otherwise unable to fill from within the Australian labour market (Australian Visa Bureau, 2018).
Business Innovation & Investment
– 7,260 places (6.1% of the skilled stream)
The eligibility assessment for business visas varies based on the stream and the type of visa. In a general sense, in order to meet the minimum requirements, businessmen or businesswomen need only to be able to show a business portfolio proving they have had ownership interest in an established business or businesses that have been able to turn over the equivalent of AUD $500,000 consistently in the past two years and also possess AUD $800,000 in assets.