A history of migration
Australia is often referred to as an ‘immigrant nation’, alongside the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Before the Second World War, migrants to Australia were almost exclusively from the UK, however after 1945, Australia’s immigration policy was broadened to attract economic migrants and temporary skilled migrants. These policy changes saw and increase in immigrants particularly from Greece and Italy. Today, Australia maintains its status as an ‘’Immigrant nation’’, with almost 30 percent of the population born overseas and around 50 percent of the population having both that were born overseas.
The Australian immigration program has two main categories of visa, permanent and temporary. The permanent visa category offers three primary pathways: skilled, family and humanitarian. The skilled visa category is by far the most common, with more than a million permanent migrants living in Australia on this visa category at the last Australian census in 2016. Of the temporary visa categories, the higher education visa is the most popular, exceeding 102 thousand arrivals in 2019.