Research: Australian population supports immigration

28 April 2008

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There is a high level of support in Australia for the nation's immigration program, according to new research. 69 percent of Australian citizens surveyed in the study said that immigration makes the country stronger.

The report, 'Mapping social cohesion – the Scanlon Foundation surveys', was authored by Professor Andrew Markus and Dr. Arunachalam Dharmalingam of the Monash Institute for the Study of Global Movements.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans, announcing the Monash Institute's findings, said that maintaining an immigration program that favors skilled migrants was critical to Australia's future.

"It will help us meet the skills and labour shortages we are facing in an increasingly competitive and globalised world, as Australia's population ages," Evans noted.

Evans was encouraged by the results of the study, especially figures showing the declining rate of Australians with a negative view of immigration.

"It is also encouraging that the percentage of people who feel that immigration levels are too high now is half the rate reported 10 years ago," Evans said.

In fact, the study found that there was a clear majority supporting current Australian immigration policy, even though immigration is at record levels. In addition, the survey found increased support for government programs that assist migrants in maintaining their customs and traditions.

Along with family and humanitarian immigration programs, Australia uses a very successful scheme called the General Skilled Migration program. Migrants with experience and qualifications in a large number of skilled occupations can be granted permanent residence under a variety of different visa categories.

For individuals interested in living and working in Australia, a free assessment would make a great start.