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South Africans moving to Australia

The number of South Africans emigrating to Australia last year rose by 10% but still fell short by 35% from the highs established in 2002 and 2003.

 
PRLog - Oct. 29, 2007 - The number of South Africans emigrating to Australia last year rose by 10% but still fell short by 35% from the highs established in 2002 and 2003. Last year 4,293 South Africans successfully applied for permanent residence in Australia, compared to 3 895 the previous year. In 2002, the number soared to 6 538. For two years prior to that, the number topped 6 000. These numbers include 1 395 primary applicants for visas and 2 898 members of their families and dependants.

The Australian embassy in Pretoria is conscious of the impact on a developing country like South Africa of the loss of skilled people to the economy.

It says, however that Australia "does not discriminate on the grounds of country, colour or creed... People from all countries have the same right and opportunity to live in Australia".

The embassy says it tries not to exacerbate the loss of skills from South Africa by advertising for skilled workers in many countries, such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and India but not in SA because of the issue of skills leakage.

The embassy says South Africans represent only a small fraction of Australia's overall migration numbers.

Of new migrants under the skilled migration programme, South Africa makes up less than 5% of the total. By contrast, 25% come from the UK, 16% from India and 15% from China.

"Further, the South African community in Australia is not close to the largest migrant group in Australia.

"The South African born population of Australia is around 100 000 people - less than 0,5% of the total population. This small proportion becomes even more modest considering that 25% of Australia's population was born outside Australia.

"Of this overseas-born population, 25% comes from the UK, 9% from New Zealand, then Italy (5%), Vietnam (3,8%), China (3,5%), Greece (2,9%), Germany (2,6%), the Philippines (2,5%), and India (2,3%)."

According to Elizabeth Campbell of the Australian High Commission some 90% of South Africans applying for visas are successful.

She said applications for immigration to Australia fall into two streams: one for families and the other based on skills.

The family stream is based on close family reunion. Most of those granted residence under this stream are spouses and children of Australian citizens and permanent residents. Their applications are generally sponsored by close family members.

The skill stream "selects people on characteristics that will enable them to integrate readily into the skilled labour force or to invest or establish businesses in Australia".

Applicants must be under 45 years old when they apply, speak good English and fit into a skill shortages list. They have to be found suitable for work in that occupation by an Australian assessing authority and have recent work experience in a skilled occupation.

Australia is currently revising its immigration criteria to increase emphasis on English proficiency and prior work experience.

One cannot simply buy oneself into Australia. Says the embassy: "A person's assets are an important consideration for business skills migration but a number of other factors are involved in the assessment."

Application is not cheap - A$2,060 if you have good English and A$2,860 for those with dependents over 18 years who do not have functional English. It takes on average from six-12 months to process an application.

As proof of a brain drain, the greatest number of successful South Africans in the skills stream fall into what the embassy classes as "science, engineering and related associate professionals" - 174 last year and more than 1 500 in a decade.

No fewer than 169 "educational professionals" left for Oz last year. The next biggest category was "business and information professionals" - accountants, auditors and computing professionals, whose numbers topped 200. We lost 47 medical practitioners, 33 health professionals and 97 nursing sisters down under last year.

Australia's policy is to consider applicants regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender or religion.

But mindful that it should not be cherry picking the best educated and qualified people from developing countries, the Australian government does not encourage migration with advertising in SA, as it does in other countries.

The statistics confirm that highly qualified people are globally mobile, while under-classes everywhere are stuck right where they are in the ghetto.

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The Australians

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http://www.nationalvisas.com.au
http://australiaimmigration.blogspot.com

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Source:The Australian
Website:http://www.nationalvisas.com.au/
Phone:+61(0) 3 9697 4922
Zip:3122
City/Town:Hawthorn - Victoria - Australia
Industry:Travel services
Tags:australia immigration, visa for australia, australian working visa, services, australia visa, australia visa application
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