Why do people emigrate to Australia?



Migration is defined in the Oxford dictionary as the movement of people to a new area or country to find work or better living conditions. Globalization can be seen as one of the primary issues that have affected our world in recent decade through the promotion of people movement from one country to the other, one continent to the other coupled with free international trade policies between countries. This process is vital to the new look of the flow of ideas, innovation, economic development as well as investment in the world at large. Various people have different opinions and thought relating to their preferred destination country before they migrate finally. To mention a few of such reasons include, but not limited to; the country’s economic stability, the social amenities, the employment opportunities and sometimes how famous the country is compared to the rest of the world. This assertion varies from one individual to the other and choosing Australia as a final destination is no exception from the other developed nations. At this point, one may ask who Australia is.

According to Wikipedia, Australia is a country and a continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities are Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses. In recent time, Australia has experienced a rapid increase in the number of migrants into the country as seen in figure 1 below.

Figure 1

Source: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about/reports-publications/research-statistics/statistics/live-in-australia/migration-programme

From figure 1 above, it can be inferred that most of the people who migrate to Australia are skilled labor and hence help to supplement the labor in our country. Another clear reason why people migrate is based on family reasons which form about 32% of the total migrant to Australia as at 2014 and 2015. Although migration to Australia will help build the economy, shape society, support the labor market and reunite family, there is the need to investigate the true reason why people move to our historical continent and country.

Seeking Greener Pasture

To get started, it is a myth that most people that migrate to developed nations are largely from developing countries and are always running to seek greener pasture in Australia. Australia is believed to be one of the developed economies in the world and full of career advancement opportunities hence a more appropriate place to live and earn a good quality standard of living.

Searching for greener pasture by most migrants in Australia believes their way of their personal life will be much better. For example, if we consider a random sampling of 20, 6 out of 20 usually migrate to search for a better climate and lifestyle which is not far from why most people do migrate to our country. A better quality life includes proper health care system and better returned on services.

In Australia, the Medicare system provides access to a wide range of health care services for free medical care in public hospitals and lower costs for prescription medicine. The accessibility of this facility is open to some categories of Visitors, Citizens and Residents which serves as an attraction to migrate who intend to seek a better way of life of which quality health care is included.


Again, tourism is an important component of Australian economic development and growth, hence cannot be ruled out on its effect on the country’s development, Information from Wikipedia confirmed that in the financial year of 2014 and 2015, tourism formed about 3.0% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contributing about $47.5 billion to the national economy. Most people migrate to Australia for tourism purpose and to learn the culture of Australians. Adventure is part of an individual socialization process, hence the motivation for some travelers to come to Australia to see the biggest Island in the world. The coastline cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are the most popular tourist destinations in Australia upon arrival of tourists. Also, the high profile destinations in the regional Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef which happens to be the world largest reef are also popular destinations. The unique Australian wildlife is also another significant point of interest in the country’s tourism. This served as an attraction point to invite a lot of people into the country. Also, people who choose Australia as their tourist destination are attracted by the temperate weather in the country and the political stability of the country. Australians are naturally friendly and welcoming people; hence the Australian hospitality serves as a factor to draw more tourists into the country.

Family and Romance

Another reason why people migrate to Australia is because of their family. When we think of family, we are quick to conclude that they are those that are the traditional nuclear or extended members that we share a blood bond with. However, the family goes beyond that definition. It is seen as a group of people that share emotional bonds, common values, goals and responsibilities and contribute significantly to the well-being of each other.

A lot of people who move to Australia based on family reasons usually migrate permanently, especially when it has to do with the other spouse living in the country. When two people are romantically attached to each other, it is always a pain to live far from each other hence the motivation for some people migrating to establish the rest of their life with their partners in Australia. This move is usually a blow to some of the partners considering the change in the environment and the idea of starting a new life all over again.

However, they are encouraged by the fact that they are with the people the love. Spousal migration is a very common reason why people move to Australia. In addition, other family member like the parents of the migrant are also motivated to move to Australia in order to still maintain that family tie they have with their family that are already in the country.

As Kim Kardashian once said “At the end of the day, life is about being happy, being who you are, and I feel like we are so blessed to have the support system and the best family to really just support each other no matter what we’re going through”. This saying summary why family is one of the main reasons why people relocate to Australia.


Knowledge is power and Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today (Malcolm X). Studying overseas is one of the major reasons why people migrate to Australia. The education system in Australia is believed to be well structured and advance in the usage of technology as well as research facilities. Also, Australia is noted to include best-in-class educational system and it has ranked 8th position in the worldwide rankings. This has served as the incentives for most migrate to consider the country as their study destination.

According to a survey report by InterNations GmbH, the majority of student move abroad to go to school or university (90%) while ten percent want to improve their language skills in general. According to the report, despite being able to communicate easily, students still struggle to make local friends abroad. More than two in five find it hard, compared to a global rate of 36%”. It is not very easy to make new German friends here”, Chinese expat says. Some students also see staying in Australia as a means to gain an extra 5 point on their visa application, especially those that has the intention to stay over after their education and apply for skilled migrant status. The student life in Australia is a fun and interesting concept. Most students, especially university level don’t live on campus rather live at their respective home and attend lectures on campus as at when they have classes.

The whole idea of student life is different in Australia and for one to embrace it, you need to forget your own anticipations of what you are used to. Students are free to choose to engage with their university experience or otherwise. Engagement with the university is entirely your choice and decision. The fact that student choose whatever they wish to do does not mean that there is no such thing like campus life in Australia. In fact there is an even more fun activity on various campuses, especially those universities in the cities. There are clubs and societies that are being managed by the students. As a club which is formed under the university, they usually receive financial support from the university budget that they use to put on events and services for its members, such as barbecues, concerts and daytime picnics. Most clubs in the universities host trips and events that bring both local and international students together and often charge a subsidized fee. All these activities improve socialization and networking on campus, which build their social life.

All this said, usually, temporary visas are designed for specific purposes like study activities in the Australia. The Student visa program is made up of a range of visa classes that mostly correspond to education sectors. Students must study with an education provider and on a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. There is a need to know the statistics on the number of students that are granted visa to migrate into the country as a student.

Following some data from the Australian Home Affairs Department, there is a need to analyze and assess the number of students that are granted visa to enter the country for the purpose of studying as seen in the data below in figure 2

Table 1

Citizenship Country  2016-17 to 31/12/16  2017-18 to 31/12/17 % change from 2016-17 2017*18 as % of Total
China, People Republic of (excl SARs)                           28,600                           28,934                                       1.2 27%
India                           11,082                           12,364                                     10.4 12%
Nepal                             5,323                             7,612                                     30.1 7%
Brazil                             5,685                             5,145 –                                  10.5 5%
United States of America                             3,092                             3,721                                     16.9 3%
Vietnam                             3,542                             3,515 –                                    0.8 3%
Colombia                             2,347                             2,870                                     18.2 3%
Japan                             1,870                             2,688                                     30.4 3%
Indonesia                             2,866                             2,601 –                                  10.2 2%
Malaysia                             1,997                             2,091                                       4.5 2%
Korea, South                             1,991                             2,035                                       2.2 2%
 Spain                             1,744                             2,029                                     14.0 2%
Pakistan                             1,467                             1,820                                     19.4 2%
Thailand                             3,220                             1,793 –                                  79.6 2%
Hong Kong (SAR of the PRC)                             1,992                             1,767 –                                  12.7 2%
Other Countries                           24,726                           25,366                                       2.5 24%
Total                         101,544                         106,351                                       4.5 100%


The table above shows the number of student visa applications granted in 2017-18 to 31 December 2017 where the clients were Outside Australia by citizenship country by compared with the same period in previous years. From the table above, we can say that most of the migrant that comes to Australia to study are from China, People Republic of (excl SARs) and the other countries that are less represented in Australia for the purpose of Studies include people from Spain, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the like although these countries are closer to Australia in terms of proximity.

Figure 2: Migration to Australia by purpose of Studies.


From the graph, we can conclude that there are a lot of Chinese and other citizen’s students rather than those names above in Australia more than any other country in the world. One major reason that comes in mind is proximity to Australia and the willingness to learn the English language could be a promoter.

Financial Stability

Furthermore, people migrating to Australia to secure financial stability. The Australian dollars are among the one of the highest denomination in the world and has been very stable for in the last few years. A stable currency means a stable economy and standard of living are better and cost of living is moderately low compared to other developed nations. Consequently, influencing the decision, why some people move to stay in our country.


We can therefore conclude that migration is inevitable in this our world where Australia is no exception. Most of the reasons why people migrate to our beautiful country are to get better opportunities and greener pasture, for tourism purpose, family ties, and educational purposes as well as securing financial stability. Gael Garcia Bernal once said “Migration is as natural as breathing, as eating, as sleeping. It is part of life, part of nature. So we have to find a way of establishing a proper kind of scenario of modern migration to exist. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean the world. We need to find ways of making that migration not forced” which we intend to agree with him. It is there prudent for the world to assess the positive impact of migration to their economies and make good policies to drive it.

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