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The small landlocked country which is now the fourth largest source of Australian migrants

A huge number of people from the small South Asian nation of Nepal are migrating to Australia.

Nepalese-born migrants now settle here in higher numbers than those from the UK, with 11,925 Nepalese born migrants arriving in 2018-19.

Professor of Demography at the University of Melbourne, Peter McDonald, says the surge is due to changes in visa requirements.

“We’re now taking a very large proportion of our new permanent residents from international students who are already in Australia,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“Previously we used to get a lot of new permanent residents from the temporary skilled migrants, that’s the old 457 visas, but various policy changes have meant that’s now looking a bit sick as a way of getting new residents.

“In the last decade the Nepalese have come in, in a big way, in the student stream.”

Mr McDonald said many Nepalese students, like Indian students, come here with the intention of staying on after completing study.

While Chinese students arrive in mammoth numbers, most Chinese return home after studying.

“Most Chinese students in Australia have the intention of going back to China with their degree, and their salary kind of doubles if they’ve got a foreign degree,” Mr McDonald said.

Migration from New Zealand, meanwhile, surged in the first decade of the century, but has since dropped.

“It’s very much related to the state of the two economies, and relative to the Australian economy, in the last decade, New Zealand has been doing a lot better,” Mr McDonald said.

Top four countries of birth for Australian migrants:

  1. India
  2. China
  3. The Philippines
  4. Nepal

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Image: Didier Marti

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