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Migrants using Australia as a stepping stone

1 March 20140 comments

InterestAUSTRALIA’S migrants are abandoning their adopted country at record levels, new data reveals.

The number of former migrants leaving country has doubled in just over a decade to 48,000 and last year made up more than half of all Australians moving overseas.

Experts say the rise in numbers of exiting migrants is the result of a new phenomenon of country-hopping migrants looking for better lives

Associate Professor Val Colic-Peisker, of RMIT University’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies says today’s migrants are using Australia as a stepping stone to go to other countries.

“They are skilled migrants who can then be headhunted by Canada, Malaysia and other countries. They go where the best work is,” Prof Colic-Peisker said

The most recent figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection show 40% of migrants who decided to leave Australia did not return to their native home.

New Zealand was the first choice for country-hopping immigrants followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK and USA.

Migrants from Afghanistan and South Africa are the most likely to move on, with more than 80% moving overseas after settling here.

More than a third were employed as professionals or managers.

Australian residents entering New Zealand are normally granted a residence class visa to enter and stay, work and study in New Zealand, as long as they are of good character.

And providing information on permanent residency in Australia simplifies the process of achieving residency in Hong Kong.

A spokesman for the Indian Australian Association of  Australia said Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates were popular choices of former immigrants from India.

He said these countries are more accustomed to migrants in the workforce.

“Many come to Australia and are working in jobs they are over-qualified for because they are told they need local experience,” the spokesman said.

“This can lead to disillusionment and even depression. The opportunities and earnings can be better elsewhere.”

He said foreign companies were keen to head hunt immigrants who have worked in Australia.

“Australian experience and even getting a degree or diploma makes them more marketable.”