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Indians 3rd largest migrant group in Australia

July 31, 2006 21:38 IST

Indian origin people have emerged the third-largest migrant group in Australia, ahead of the traditional source countries of China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and the Philippines, a media report has said.

'Indian-born people have become the third-largest migrant group in Australia, behind the British and New Zealanders, bringing with them skills in everything from engineering to medicine,' The Age newspaper said.

Of the 10,600 permanent arrivals in May this year, 10 per cent were Indians, up 6.6 per cent from the same month last year, ahead of China (eight per cent), it said in a report on Sunday.

'What is happening is thousands of students come here, complete their course, then successfully apply for permanent residence while they are still onshore,' demographer Bob Birrell of the Monash University told the daily, adding: 'The government has sought to encourage recruitment of former overseas students as they have reasonable communication skills and are trained to our standards.'

Changes in skilled migration laws that put more emphasis on English language proficiency have helped subcontinental applicants who generally grow up speaking English.

According to the report, a recruitment campaign by the government body Australian Education International has almost tripled Indian student numbers since 2002 to 24,495, making India Australia's second-largest for international students, after China.

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved.

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