Prolonged political unrest has impacted significantly on Pakistan's ability to maintain strong economic growth. As the country has shifted away from agriculture, the services sector has gained increased importance, with textile production and apparel manufacturing increasing as well. However, the Pakistan economy has been exposed to global demand shocks associated with the global financial crisis, resulting in slow growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 3.5 per cent between 2008 and 2014.
By international standards, income levels in Pakistan are also low – with average incomes just one-tenth of those in Australia. The rate of population growth in Pakistan is among the highest in the world – with increases particularly high in urban areas. Associated with this increased urbanisation is a growing services sector, providing a strong motivation for Pakistan nationals to seek educational and economic opportunities overseas.
At the end of June 2014, 49,770 Pakistan-born people were living in Australia, 172 per cent more than at 30 June 2006. This makes the Pakistani-born population the 31st largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 0.8 per cent of Australia's overseas born population and 0.2 per cent of Australia's total population.
For Australia's Pakistan-born migrants:
- The median age of 30.6 years was 6.8 years below that of the general population.
- Males significantly outnumbered females—60 per cent compared with 40 per cent.
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 migration (non-points tested)|
|Business Innovation and Investment||157||40||136||42||-69.1||-73.2|
|Distinguished Talent||7|| < 5||9||6||-33.3||-14.3|
Total: Skilled visa grants||157||40||136||42||-69.1||-73.2|
|Skilled visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)||7|| < 5||9||6||-33.3||-14.3|
|Other Family||19|| < 5|| < 5||19||533.3||0.0|
Total: Family visa grants||965||981||1,446||1,302||-10.0||34.9|
|Family visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)||22.5||27.6||23.0||15.7||n/a||n/a|
Total: Permanent migrants||
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 Pakistan.
|Temporary visa category||2011–12||2012–13||2013–14||2014–15||Per cent change on previous year||Per cent change for the period|
|English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students||< 5||7||< 5||5||25.0||> 200.0|
|Vocational Education and Training||2,826||1,749||1,271||953||-25.0||-66.3|
|Foreign Affairs or Defence||305||328||349||309||-11.5||1.3|
Total: International Student visa grants||
|Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)||896||1,033||989||1,056||6.8||17.9|
Total: Visitor visa grants||
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 Pakistani nationals for Points Tested Skilled Migration outcomes and Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) grants.
|No. of migrants||Points Tested Skilled Migration ||No. of migrants|
| ||General practitioners and resident medical officers||55||Accountants||497|
| ||Cooks||38||Software and applications programmers||342|
| ||Software and applications programmers||27||ICT business and systems analysts||211|
|||Cafe and restaurant managers||23||Telecommunications engineering professionals||196|
| ||Motor mechanics||21||Computer network professionals||188|
| ||Accountants||18||Industrial, mechanical and production engineers||135|
| ||Call or contact centre and customer service managers||17||Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers||131|
| ||ICT business and systems analysts||12||Electronics engineers||85|
| ||University lecturers and tutors||9||Civil engineering professionals||82|
| ||ICT support technicians||9||Generalist medical practitioners||72|
| ||General practitioners and resident medical officers||56||Software and applications programmers||319|
|||Call or contact centre and customer service managers||28||Telecommunications engineering professionals||142|
| ||Accountants||24||ICT business and systems analysts||131|
| ||Cafe and restaurant managers||19||Industrial, mechanical and production engineers||80|
| ||Software and applications programmers||13||Civil engineering professionals||73|
| ||Advertising, public relations and sales managers||12||Cooks||65|
| ||Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists||12||Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists||61|
| ||Bakers and pastrycooks||12||Electronics engineers||59|
| ||Advertising and marketing professionals||11||Computer network professionals||51|
| ||General practitioners and resident medical officers||81||Accountants||178|
|||Contract, program and project administrators||31||Software and applications programmers||157|
| ||Cooks||26||ICT business and systems analysts||66|
| ||Call or contact centre and customer service managers||22||Electronics engineers||59|
| ||Advertising and marketing professionals||15||Telecommunications engineering professionals||54|
| ||Accountants||14||Civil engineering professionals||45|
| ||Advertising, public relations and sales managers||11||Cooks||45|
| ||Software and applications programmers||11||Industrial, mechanical and production engineers||44|
| ||Mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians||11||Electrical engineers||29|
| ||Motor mechanics||10||Generalist medical practitioners||25|
|||General practitioners and resident medical officers||108||Accountants||326|
| ||Management and organisation analysts||27||Software and applications programmers||324|
| ||Contract, program and project administrators||24||Electronics engineers||90|
| ||Cooks||13||Civil engineering professionals||65|
| ||Advertising and marketing professionals||12||Industrial, mechanical and production engineers||59|
| ||ICT business and systems analysts||12||Cooks||47|
| ||University lecturers and tutors||9||Telecommunications engineering professionals||39|
| ||Telecommunications engineering professionals||8||Electrical engineers||36|
| ||Bakers and pastrycooks||8||ICT business and systems analysts||33|
| ||Accountants||7||Motor mechanics||24|
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.
|Proportion of all persons counted in the Census - 2011||32||25||20||7||10||2||1||2|
|Proportion of Pakistan-born counted in the Census - 2011||44||30||8||5||8||0||1||4|
Permanent additions - 2014–15 (%)|
|Skill stream (primary)||43||29||5||8||11||0||0||3|
|Skill stream (dependent)||41||29||6||9||11||0||0||3|
Temporary entrants - 2014–15 (%)|
|Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) (primary)||35||25||12||9||17||1||0||1|
Permanent departures (%) |
|All Pakistan-born permanent residents||39||23||12||3||14||1||0||8|
This table uses rankings to show the significance of Pakistani migration for the past four financial years.
|Ranked position of migrants||2011–12||2012–13||2013–14||2014–15|
|Population in Australia||36||34||32||31|
|Points Tested Skilled Migration||7||9||4||3|
|Total Skill stream||10||11||6||5|
|Total Family stream||11||11||8||9|
|Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)||20||20||17||16|