The government has delivered its 2011-12 permanent migration program on target and within two places of its planning level of 185 000, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, announced today.
Skilled migration accounted for over two-thirds of the total migration program, with a 2011-12 skill stream outcome of 125 755 places.
'While the government's first priority is always jobs for Australians, skilled migration is essential to support our economy and help overcome the challenges of an ageing population,' Mr Bowen said.
'Today's skill stream is highly targeted towards employer sponsorship, the regions and high value occupations, with over 60 per cent of skilled migration visas going to employer, government and regional sponsored places to help fill critical skills needs.'
There were 16 471 places delivered under the highest priority Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, with Western Australia accounting for 23.2 per cent of the outcome. State and territory sponsored visa classes were also delivered in record numbers, with the 22 247 places marking a 37.5 per cent increase on the previous year.
'For the first time, India was Australia's largest source of permanent migrants, with a total of 29 018 places or 15.7 per cent of the total migration program,' Mr Bowen said.
'China and the United Kingdom were our second and third largest sources of permanent migrants, with 25 509 and 25 274 places respectively.'
Seven of the top 10 source countries in Australia's 2011-12 migration program are from Asia: India, China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
The family stream had a final outcome of 58 604 places, representing 31.7 per cent of the total migration program. The family stream allows Australians to unite with their close family and particularly with their partners and children.
The niche Special Eligibility stream delivered an outcome of 639 places.
The 2011-12 Migration Program report can be found on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.