SINGAPORE – More migrants from Asia are once again looking to move to Australia, after the country completely lifted border controls in 2022.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Australia’s tightened restrictions kept skilled migrants out for almost two years. Since it reopened, more people from countries including Singapore, India and the Philippines are heading there to fill its labour shortages.
According to statistics from the Australian Department of Home Affairs, a total of 13,085 Filipinos were granted permanent visas under the country’s migration programme from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, up from 9,159 for the same period in 2018 and 2019.
Australia logs its annual statistics from July to June, according to its fiscal calendar.
The number of Indians who received these visas increased to 41,145 in the fiscal year ending 2023, from 33,611 from 2018 to 2019.
The number of Singaporeans moving there is also on the rise.
In the year ending 2023, 1,718 Singaporeans were granted permanent visas under the programme, an increase from 1,135 for the year ending 2019, said a spokesperson for the department.
Migration rates have grown so quickly that Canberra is pumping the brakes. On Dec 11, Australia announced it intends to halve the intake of migrants over the next two years, tightening visa rules for international students and low-skilled workers.
International students will now need higher ratings on English tests, and they would find it harder to get a second visa to prolong their stay.
But the reforms are not likely to affect Singaporeans too much, as the majority who apply for visas are skilled workers, said Mr Philip Ng, director of migration agency OCSC Global.
Mr William Lee of Austral Migration Consul...