Australian Bureau of Statistics
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004
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Unauthorised arrivals and overstayers in Australia
As many unauthorised entrants have no travel documents on arrival in Australia, the citizenship of these entrants is sometimes difficult to determine. The origin country of the arrivals by air is used when citizenship is not available, while ethnicity is used for unauthorised entrants arriving by boat. In 2001-02, 13% of unauthorised entrants arriving in Australia by air originated in Malaysia, 11% originated in New Zealand, 8% originated in the Republic of (South) Korea and 8% originated in China (table 5.36). Most recent unauthorised arrivals by sea were Chinese, Turkish, Iraqi, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Afghan or Bangladeshi. This contrasts with earlier arrivals by boat, who were mainly Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian.
Initially overstayers arrive in Australia with valid temporary visas. When gaining a visa to enter Australia, people agree to comply with the conditions of that visa and to leave Australia before it expires. When in Australia, applications for visa extensions can be requested for legitimate reasons. However a small proportion (less than 1%) become overstayers. According to DIMIA, the majority of people who overstay their visa are simply extending a short stay in Australia by a few days or weeks and leave of their own accord. Others overstay in the hope of living and working in Australia.
At 30 June 2002, Australia’s stock of overstayers was estimated at 60,000 people. Approximately 19% had overstayed their visa by less than a year and a further 14% had overstayed by between one and two years, whereas 27% had overstayed their visa by 10 years or more.
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Fact Sheet 74, Unauthorised Arrivals by Air and Sea.
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This page last updated 8 December 2006