About Us

Country profile - Nepal

Nepal is a country undergoing political change and the 2013 election was an important step toward the development of a democratic Nepal. Nepal’s main economic activities are agriculture, manufacturing and craft-based industry and services. Nepal’s economic development has been adversely affected by the uncertainty associated with political transition and focus on the attainment of peace. As a consequence, much of Nepal’s social services and infrastructure remains underdeveloped. The Nepalese economy is reliant on foreign aid and remittances, which in 2014, are estimated to have contributed up to a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

Australia-Nepal relations have primarily been built on the provision of development assistance, tourism and education services. Nepal’s GDP per capita was approximately one-twentieth of Australia’s on a purchasing power parity basis as at 2014. Almost half of the working-age population are unemployed or underemployed. Better economic and employment prospects in countries such as Australia therefore provide strong incentives for Nepalese emigration.

Population

At the end of June 2014, 36,940 Nepalese−born people were living in Australia, more than seven times than at 30 June 2006. This is 0.6 per cent of Australia’s overseas-born population and 0.2 per cent of Australia’s total population.

For Australia’s Nepalese-born migrants:

  • The median age of 28.6 years was 8.8 years less than that of the general population.
  • Males outnumbered females—56 per cent compared with 44 per cent.

Permanent migration

Australia’s permanent Migration Programme incorporates economic and family reunion migration and is the main pathway to permanent residence. The only other way for migrants to obtain permanent residence is to be accepted into Australia on humanitarian grounds.  The Migration Programme is based on non-discriminatory principles relating to nationality, gender and religion. People who meet the criteria set out in the Migration Act 1958 can apply to migrate.

Permanent migration refers to the number of outcomes in any given year, without taking into account whether the visa recipient actually arrived and settled in Australia.  Skilled migration focuses on facilitating the permanent entry of those who can make a positive contribution to Australia through their skills, qualifications, entrepreneurial spirit and employment potential.  Family migration facilitates the entry of close family members of Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens. The programme is currently dominated by partners and dependent children, but also provides options for other family members, such as Carers, Parents and Aged Dependent Relatives.

The following table shows the size and composition of the skilled and family migration categories from 2011–12 to 2014–15.

Migration category 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 Per cent change 
on previous year

Per cent change
for the period

Skilled migration (points tested)      
Skilled Regional249 316 181 66 -63.5 -73.5
Skilled Independent818 1,635 1,680 825 -50.9 0.9
State/Territory Nominated198 516 1,085 1,394 28.5 > 200.0
Skilled migration (non-points tested)
Business Innovation and Investment < 5  < 5  < 5 0 -100.0 -100.0
Distinguished Talent0 0 0 0 n/a n/a
Employer Sponsored803 1,113 798 1,164 45.9 45.0
Total: Skilled visa grants 2,069 3,581 3,748 3,449 -8.0 66.7
Skilled visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)83.7 87.2 85.9 83.5 n/a n/a
Family migration
Child35 53 46 35 -23.9 0.0
Partner336 447 529 624 18.0 85.7
Parent26 22 34 22 -35.3 -15.4
Other Family < 5 0  < 5 0 -100.0 -100.0
Total: Family visa grants 399 522 610 681 11.6 70.7
Family visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)16.1 12.7 14.0 16.5 n/a n/a
Special Eligibility < 5  < 5 6 0 -100.0 -100.0
Total: Permanent migrants 2,472 4,107 4,364 4,130 -5.4 67.1

Temporary migration

Depending on the purpose and duration of their visit, people can come to Australia on a Visitor visa, or through an other appropriate temporary visa. Temporary visas are designed for specific purposes, for example, study, working holidays or other specialist activities. Temporary residents are required to pay taxes on income earned in Australia and do not normally have access to public welfare and might  not have access to public health programmes.

The Student visa programme consists of a range of visa categories that broadly correspond to education sectors. Students must study with an education provider and in a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. The subclass 457 visa programme allows Australian employers to sponsor foreign workers for employment in management, professional, technical and skilled trades’ positions. The programme is demand-driven and highly responsive to Australian labour market conditions. Visitor visas are mostly used by people visiting Australia for holidays, recreation, or to see family and friends. People may also use Visitor visas for certain short-term business activities.

The following table shows the size and composition of the Student visa programme, Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and Visitors from Nepal.

Temporary visa category 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 Per cent change
on previous year
Per cent change
for the period
International Students
English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students107 109 92 53 -42.4 -50.5
Schools11 7 5 13 160.0 18.2
Vocational Education and Training2,337 1,378 1,007 849 -15.7 -63.7
Higher Education4,202 5,387 9,239 7,795 -15.6 85.5
Postgraduate Research114 127 170 133 -21.8 16.7
Non-Award< 5 < 5 < 5 < 5 33.3 33.3
Foreign Affairs or Defence66 100 135 140 3.7 112.1
Total: International Student visa grants 6,840 7,112 10,651 8,987 -15.6 31.4
Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)908 1,893 1,928 1,663 -13.7 83.1
Visitors
Tourist3,363 4,743 6,838 8,163 19.4 142.7
Business visitor534 787 513 465 -9.4 -12.9
Medical Treatment0 < 5 6 6 0.0 n/a
Total: Visitor visa grants 3,897 5,533 7,357 8,634 17.4 121.6

Main occupations

There are a wide variety of occupations that potential migrants can nominate for, which are acceptable for permanent and temporary skilled migration to Australia. The following table shows the main occupations for Nepalese nationals for Points Tested Skilled Migration outcomes and Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) grants.

Period Temporary Work
(Skilled) visa
(subclass 457)
No. of migrants Points Tested Skilled Migration No. of migrants
2014–15
  Cooks 310 Accountants 518
  Chefs 155 Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers 158
  Cafe and restaurant managers 53 Registered nurses 150
Bakers and pastrycooks 35 Software and applications programmers 55
  Accountants 27 Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists 52
  Registered nurses 17 ICT business and systems analysts 41
  Contract, program and project administrators 17 Civil engineering professionals 37
  Hairdressers 13 Cooks 32
  Advertising and marketing professionals 9 ICT managers 24
  Call or contact centre and customer service managers 7 Computer network professionals 17
2013–14
  Cooks 339 Cooks 499
  Chefs 194 Accountants 481
Cafe and restaurant managers 78 Registered nurses 243
  Bakers and pastrycooks 39 Software and applications programmers 73
  Call or contact centre and customer service managers 27 Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists 56
  Accountants 27 Welfare, recreation and community arts workers 46
  Registered nurses 21 Hairdressers 33
  Hairdressers 17 ICT business and systems analysts 27
  Contract, program and project administrators 16 Civil engineering professionals 25
  Advertising and marketing professionals 9 Computer network professionals 25
2012–13
  Cooks 425 Cooks 477
Chefs 154 Accountants 390
  Cafe and restaurant managers 59 Registered nurses 160
  Registered nurses 53 Software and applications programmers 63
  Call or contact centre and customer service managers 45 ICT business and systems analysts 57
  Bakers and pastrycooks 38 Welfare, recreation and community arts workers 42
  Accountants 37 Hairdressers 37
  Contract, program and project administrators 36 Civil engineering professionals 16
  Hairdressers 22 Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists 14
  Hotel and motel managers 10 Bakers and pastrycooks 8

 2011–12

Cooks 204 Accountants 257
  Registered nurses 83 Cooks 109
  Chefs 79 Software and applications programmers 100
  Bakers and pastrycooks 26 Registered nurses 84
  Contract, program and project administrators 13 ICT business and systems analysts 77
  Cafe and restaurant managers 10 Welfare, recreation and community arts workers 23
  Hairdressers 10 Civil engineering professionals 18
  General practitioners and resident medical officers 10 Electronics engineers 12
  Accountants 7 Hairdressers 8
  University lecturers and tutors < 5 Electrical engineers 7

Geographic distribution

The following table shows the geographic distribution of migrants, based on permanent additions, international students, Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and permanent departures.

Permanent additions are the sum of those granted a permanent residency visa while in Australia, and those granted a visa through an Australian mission abroad, who have entered Australia during the respective reporting period.

Population (%)NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACT
Proportion of all persons counted in the Census - 2011322520710212
Proportion of Nepal-born counted in the Census - 20116217944111
Permanent additions - 2014–15 (%)
Skill stream (primary)58 15 7 7 9 1 2 1
Skill stream (dependent)53 12 8 7 13 0 5 2
Family stream61 18 10 3 4 1 2 2
Temporary entrants - 2014–15 (%)
International students58 19 9 2 4 3 2 1
Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) (primary)53 26 10 1 7 0 2 1
Permanent departures (%)
All Nepal-born permanent residents48 16 24 4 4 0 0 4

Country ranking

This table uses rankings to show the significance of Nepalese migration for the past four financial years.​

Ranked position of migrants2011–122012–132013–142014–15
Population in Australia44 43 42 40
Points Tested Skilled Migration13 6 6 9
Employer Sponsored9 8 11 8
Total Skill stream12 10 8 8
Total Family stream33 25 24 20
International students11 11 7 9
Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)19 13 10 13
Visitors52 46 42 39