Characteristics of Migrants Survey
The Characteristics of Migrants Survey is conducted every three years as a supplement to the monthly ABS Labour Force Survey. The supplementary survey covers people aged 15 years and over, who were born overseas, and arrived in Australia within 10 years of the survey date. The last survey was held in November 2004 and the next one is planned for November this year.
New and revised questions are to be included in the Characteristics of Migrants Survey, following consultation with key clients. Questions are currently being tested by cognitive interviewing, an in-depth process which examines how interviewees arrive at their answers. The process assesses the level of understanding required for each question and concept, and the level of knowledge needed to answer each question accurately. It also identifies the range of likely answers to a question and any adverse reactions to sensitive or difficult questions. Information gained from cognitive interviewing will be used to refine the survey questions and to provide useful information and instructions for ABS interviewers.
The cognitive interview process will be particularly useful for improving the survey questions on visa category. It helps to more accurately determine whether a person entered Australia on a New Zealand, temporary or permanent visa, and to also identify the type of permanent visa (i.e. skilled, family or humanitarian).
Information from the November 2007 survey will be released in May 2008. In the meantime, the November 2004 results are available from the publication Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants (cat. no. 6250.0) on the ABS web site.