Indians queuing up to migrate to Australia  

Melbourne (IANS): Indians are seeking increasingly to migrate to Australia, drawn by the work opportunities that Australia offered, media reported Saturday.

A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in this connection, stated that India has now replaced Britain as the top country of origin, regarding applications for “457 visas” in Australia, The Melbourne Age reported.

According to the website of Australian government’s department of immigration and border protection, the “457 visa”, or the temporary work (skilled) visa (subclass 457) allows a skilled worker to travel to Australia to work in the nominated occupation, for the approved sponsor, for up to four years.

According to the latest “457 visa” figures, Indians make up almost a quarter of the skilled visas, at 23.3 percent. This was followed by those from Britain at 18.3 percent and those from China at 6.5 percent.

Furthermore, during 2012-13, 40,100 Indian citizens had applied to migrate to Australia, while 27,300 applications were from China and 21,700 from Britain.

This indicates a significant boost to Australia’s migration programme.

OECD data show that there has been 46.6 percent increase in the number of people becoming Australian citizens.

123,400 people pledged to become Australian citizens during 2012-13, which is the highest number since 2011-12, a report said.

According to migration law expert Sharon Harris, there is a growing trend of Indian and Chinese citizens seeking citizenship in Australia for greater global movement.

“India and China is without doubt, the most prolific source countries for pursuing visas and ultimately citizenship. With an Australia passport, this opens up greater travel access globally,” she said.

Harris said that the change in government in Australia had been particularly popular with the Chinese citizens, who were attracted to the Abbott government.

“With the change in government, they have more confidence in a stable political environment,” Harris noted.