Today Indians top the list of immigration in Australia. So we thought of digging into the history of migration of Indians in Australia.
Dig into the Indian migration history to Australia, and you will find out that between 1800 and 1860, Indians were brought to Australia to work as labourers and domestic workers particularly in country towns or goldfields.
They were mainly Sikhs and Muslims from the Punjab region with many settling in Woolgoolga on the New South Wales north central coast. Today, the Sikh settlement in Woolgoolga is one of the largest rurally based Indian communities in Australia.
In the beginning around 1900 the immigration rules were strict but things changed after India’s independence from Britain in 1947, which resulted in increase in migration of India-born British citizens immigrating to Australia.
Though early settlers were mainly from north region of India, those arriving after the 1960s came from many parts of India belonging to various religious, linguistic and cultural groups. Today, India is one of the top three source countries of migrants to Australia.
Australia’s Migration Program has also seen a significant increase, with 40,100 India citizens applying to migrate during 2012-13, while China had 27,300 applications and the United Kingdom 21,700.
“India and China is without any doubt the most prolific source countries for pursuing visas and ultimately citizenship,” says Migration Law expert Sharon Harris
India has now replaced the United Kingdom as the top origin country applying for 457 visas, the OECD report said.
According to the latest 457 visa figures, Indian citizens comprise almost a quarter of the skilled visas, at 23.3 per cent. This was followed by the United Kingdom at 18.3 per cent; the People’s Republic of China at 6.5 per cent and the Republic of Ireland, 7.2 per cent. The number of American citizens applying for the skilled visa was at 6.2 per cent.