Indians in Australia
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Citizenship, grant of
2019-20: Indians top For third straight year
For the third consecutive year, Indians have emerged as the largest group to obtain Australian citizenship. As many as 38,209 Indians were conferred citizenship during the twelve-month period that ended on June 30, 2020, constituting 18.6% of the total number of new citizens.
The Australian government termed the recently concluded fiscal year as a ‘record year’ in which over two lakh people became new citizens. “During fiscal year 2019-20, as many as 2,04,817 people were conferred Australian citizenship — a 60% increase over the previous fiscal year and the highest number on record,” an official release said.
In fiscal year 2017-18, 17,756 Indians had acquired Australian citizenship, topping the charts for the first time with the UK being relegated to the second spot. In the next year, 28,470 Indians obtained Australian citizenship. The recently concluded fiscal 2019-20 has seen this figure rise to 38,209. However, the annual ratio of Indians acquiring citizenship to the total number of new citizens saw a slight decline. This ratio was 22% in 2017-18, which remained comparatively steady at 22.3% in 2018-19. It has now declined to 18.6%.
The two most common streams of obtaining citizenship are by descent or by conferral. The statistics released pertain to the latter, which requires the applicant to meet specified eligibility requirements and pass a citizenship test.
Amid the pandemic, Australia like many other countries has imposed international travel bans since March. As reported by TOI earlier, according to a government report, net overseas migration in Australia is expected to fall to 31,000 during fiscal 2020-21, compared with an estimated 1.54 lakh in the previous year and 2.32 lakh in 2018-19. This will have a ripple effect on future citizenship statistics.
To quell anxiety over the backlog of citizenship tests and applications, the official release said the government has moved quickly to start online citizenship conferral ceremonies, and till date more than 60,000 people have been conferred citizenship via this mode. Small in-person ceremonies resumed on June 3. The department of home affairs has also resumed citizenship interviews and testing, in line with Covid health advice.
Government positions and PIOs
Daniel Mookhey becomes treasurer of New South Wales\ 2023
Melbourne : Daniel Mookhey has become the first politician of Indian-origin to become the treasurer in any Australian state. Mookhey, a Hindu, took his oath of allegiance on the holy Bhagavad Gita. He was sworn in along with New South Wales Premier Chris Minns and six other ministers, reported Australia.
“S worn in as treasurer of the great state of NSW. Thank you to the people of NSW who entrusted us with this honour and privilege,” Mookhey, 39, said in a statement. “I am incredibly honoured and humbled to be the first Australian minister, state or federally, to take my oath of allegiance on the Bhagavad Gita. This is only possible because Australia is so open and so welcoming to the contributions of people like my parents, who I was thinking about a lot as I took my oath earlier today,” he said. Earlier, in 2015, Mookhey was elected by the Labour to replace Steve Whan in the New South Wales upper, making him the state’s first politician of Indian background and the first to take the oath of allegiance on the Bhagavad Gita. Mookhey’s parents migrated from Punjab to Australia in19 73. PTI
India continues to be the top source country of migrants to Australia. Latest statistics show there were 33,310 migrants from India during the 12-month period ended June 2018, reports Lubna Kably. Although Indians were the largest constituency (20% of the overall migrant population going Down Under), there was a 20.5% decline in their numbers. A recent announcement by the Australian government on reduction of the migration cap by 15% (not including student visas) to 1.6 lakh for the year 2019-20, which commences from July 1, has dampened enthusiasm.
However, Numbers Fell By 20% From Previous Year
India continues to be the top source country of migrants to Australia. Latest available statistics show there were 33,310 migrants from India during the twelve-month period ended June 2018. Although Indians were the largest constituency (20% of the overall migrant population going down under), there was a 20.5% decline in their numbers. These numbers cover migrants in the skill stream, family stream and special eligibility stream, but exclude those on student visas.
A recent announcement by the Australian government on reduction of the migration cap by 15% (this does not include student visas) to 1.60 lakh for the year 2019-20, which commences from July 1, has dampened enthusiasm. However, the government has also sought to incentivise new migrants to settle outside the already congested big cities, by introducing two classes of ‘Regional (Provisional) Visas’ from November 2019. All of Australia will be defined as ‘regional’ except the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.
Cyrus Mistry, the Perth-based director of EasyMigrate Consultancy Services, is quick to point out that the reduction in migration cap is similar to the final count accepted during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 (see table). The announcements are likely to have a mixed impact for Indians aspiring to migrate to Australia, with those from the non-IT sector standing to benefit. As IT companies are predominant in metro areas, technology sector workers aspiring for an Australian visa are less likely to be eligible for the new regional visas.
“The new regional visas will be attractive to those who planning to engage in basic service sectors such as agriculture, hospitality and tourism, child-care, aged-care, medicalpractitioners, construction, machinery-maintenance, and mining, to name a few,” Mistry told TOI. “It is unlikely to provide adequate incentives for metro-centric industries such as IT and higher education.”
A release from the office of Australian PM Scott Morrison states that the holders of the new ‘Regional (Provisional) Visas’ will be able to access permanent residence if they live and work in regional Australia for three years. In other words permanent residence will be possible post-November 2022. The release adds that 23,000 seats (out of the total cap of 1.6 lakh) will be set aside for the new categories of regional visas. However, according to immigration experts, this will eat into the number of independent skilled visas that allowed visa holders to live and work anywhere in Australia.
A statement from Australia’s department of home affairs explains that the new skilled regional provisional visas will be for skilled migrants and dependent family members. One class, the ‘Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa’, will be for those sponsored by an employer in regional Australia. The second class, known as the ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa’, will be for those nominated by a state or territory government, or sponsored by eligible family members to live and work in regional Australia. These visas will be granted for a period of up to five years—the current regional visa program offers tenure of up to four years.
A wider range of occupations will be covered by these visas and priority processing will be available. There will also be additional points for visa aspirants who are sponsored to settle in regional Australia.
For the second consecutive year, Indians have emerged as the largest group to obtain Australian citizenship.
According to recent statistics from the Australian Department of Home Affairs, in fiscal 2018-19 (which is the 12-month period ended June 30), a total of 1.27 lakh people, representing at least 200 countries of origin, were conferred Australian citizenship.
Of these, 28,470 or 22.3% were from India. Australia has seen a spike in the total number of people obtaining citizenship—this has increased by 58% compared with the previous year, 2017-18.
The year ending June 30, 2018 (fiscal year 2017-18) had seen India emerge as the largest group to obtain Australian citizenship, toppling the UK. In this period, Indians obtaining citizenship by conferral numbered 17,756, out of an aggregate of 80,649 (a ratio of 22%). Immigration specialists say the aggregate numbers had hit a new low in 2017-18.
At 22%, ratio of desis getting Oz citizenship flat since last 2 yrs
While the number of Indians acquiring Australian citizenship has gone up 60% in 2018-19 compared to the previous year, which is almost in tandem with the rise in total number of citizens, ratio of Indians obtaining citizenship has remained largely static in both years at 22%.
The two most common streams of obtaining citizenship are by descent or conferral. Statistics covered pertain to the latter. Cyrus Mistry, Perth-based director of Easy-Migrate Consultancy Services, told TOI that proposed changes for citizenship, especially a provision that would require applicants to have spent four years in Australia as ‘permanent residents’ (instead of the present one-year requirement) had sparked interest among those eligible before the new rules came into existence.
He said that in April 2017, the government introduced a bill to amend the citizenship rules. The key proposed changes, in addition to increasing the tenure as a permanent resident for eligibility to apply for citizenship included a more intensive English language test. While this bill did not pass parliament, it led to a spurt in applications for citizenship. Michael Wall, managing director at Sydneybased Gateway Immigration Solution based said the pool of Indian nationals obtaining permanent residence has also increased, resulting in more applications for citizenship.