Data from the Department of Home Affairs reveals Indian and British nationals have been ahead of other migrants who have been granted Australian citizenship in the past five years. Experts attribute the inclination towards Australian citizenship amongst Indian migrants to four reasons.
For the fifth consecutive year, Indian migrants have emerged as the largest cohort of migrants to be conferred Australian citizenship.
Preliminary data from the Department of Home Affairs shows that out of 138,646 migrants who became Australian citizens between 1 July 2020 and 30 June, 24,706 are of Indian origin, followed by 17,316 of British origin.
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- Interest in government jobs, visa-free travel, proficiency in English and skills push Indians towards Australian citizenship: Pradeep Taneja
India and the UK were followed by the Philippines (8,659), China (excluding migrants from Hong Kong and Macau) (7,302), New Zealand (5,612), Pakistan (5,415), Vietnam (4,613), South Africa (3,838), Iraq (3,792) and Afghanistan (3,656) in the last financial year.
Pradeep Taneja, Academic Fellow at Australia India Institute and Senior Lecturer in Asian Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, attributes four reasons to Indian migrants topping Australia’s citizenship conferral charts.
“Indian migrants want to work in the government sector, which requires citizenship. They also want to travel the world with ease, and the Australian passport allows visa-free travel to many countries,” Mr Taneja told SBS Hindi.
“The third reason is that the influx of Indian migrants, including students and skilled workers, to Australia is very high compared to other countries. So, naturally, their number is higher in the citizenship queue.
“Also, we have been witnessing a decline in the number of Chinese migrants in Australia. Unlike India, the Chinese economy is more robust, and the Chinese people believe they will have better growth economic prospects in their own country,” Mr Taneja added.
He also highlighted that India’s pool of skilled workers with good English language proficiency is perhaps higher than many other countries.
“Indians are willing to travel for economic growth and a better life overseas,” Mr Taneja elaborated.
The pandemic, however, has impacted the number of people seeking Australian citizenship.
Data shows a fall in the number of people who became citizens: their number has shrunk from 204,817 in 2019-20 to 138,646 in 2020-21, registering a decline of 32 per cent.