Figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that temporary immigration to the country is currently soaring.
The new ABS data shows that there were 677,980 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia in the year to July 2013 – a new 12-month record. In total, 307,090 more people arrived in the country on a long-term or permanent basis than left it during this period. This represents a 54 per cent net increase in the figures recorded as recently as 2011.
However, the number of permanent arrivals in the 12 months to July 2013 actually fell by 4 per cent to 152,440. During this time permanent departures rose 5 per cent to their highest ever level of 92,250. In fact, net permanent arrival numbers into Australia have now fallen for 11 consecutive months.
Instead, the record arrivals figures are being boosted by a huge rise in long-term temporary visa holders – such as students and temporary workers on 457 visas.
However, according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, around 30 per cent of workers on temporary 457 visas eventually go on to become permanent residents, a statistic that suggests that permanent migration may not actually be falling by as much as the figures suggest.