Half of Australia’s permanent migrants are now Australian citizens

Media Release

More than half (59%) of Australia’s 3 million recent permanent migrants are Australian citizens. This is according to new statistics released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) about the characteristics of permanent migrants who have arrived in Australia between 1 January 2000 and 10 August 2021.

Jenny Dobak, ABS head of migrant statistics said: “Today’s data release on recent permanent visa holders tells us that the majority are now Australian citizens, with those on a Skilled visa the mostly likely to have become Australian citizens (64 per cent), followed by those on a Humanitarian visa (61 per cent)."

Ms Dobak noted today’s release also offers new insights into permanent migrants’ visa history.

“We can see the majority of permanent migrants were granted a permanent visa as their first visa (1.7 million or 58 per cent),” Ms Dobak said. This was higher for Humanitarian migrants (93%), and those on Family visas (75%).

“1.3 million permanent migrants were first granted a temporary visa before becoming a permanent migrant - most commonly a Temporary Student visa.”

First visa type(a) by permanent visa stream(b)
First visa typeSkilled(%)Family(%)Humanitarian(%)All permanent migrants(c) (%)
Temporary Skilled21.91.70.313.4
Temporary Student25.812.83.719.6
Temporary Working Holiday Maker4.
Temporary Other2.
Special Category (New Zealand Citizen)
Permanent visa43.274.692.657.9
  1. First temporary visa determined from visa history data from Home Affairs. Where a person has not held a valid temporary visa for 12 months or longer, the visas before this break are excluded. Bridging and visitor visas are also excluded.
  2. First temporary visa unknown has been excluded from totals when calculating proportions.
  3. Includes Other permanent migrants.

The majority (71%) of permanent migrants were employed. This figure was higher for Skilled migrants (81%).

“In terms of top occupations, 10 per cent of migrants from the Family visa stream and 14 per cent of migrants from the Humanitarian visa stream were employed as Carers and Aides.”

“For migrants from the Skilled visa stream, the most common occupation was as Business, Human Resource and Marketing Professionals at 10 per cent,” Ms Dobak said.

Top 10 occupations(a) of permanent migrants
OccupationPersonsProportion (%)(b)
Business, Human Resource and Marketing Professionals158,5008.2
Specialist Managers148,1007.7
Health Professionals147,4007.7
Carers and Aides135,2007.0
ICT Professionals107,5005.6
Design, Engineering, Science and Transport Professionals85,6004.5
Sales Assistants and Salespersons79,5004.1
Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers73,9003.8
Education Professionals62,0003.2
Numerical Clerks58,1003.0
  1. Top 10 occupations by number of persons.
  2. Occupation not stated has been removed from totals when calculating proportions.

Find country of birth, English proficiency and other information in the Permanent migrants in Australia release.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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