Country profile - Indonesia


At the end of June 2022, 96,800 Indonesian-born people were living in Australia, 30.2 per cent more than the number (74,340) at 30 June 2012. This is the eighteenth largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 1.3 per cent of Australia's overseas-born population and 0.4 per cent of Australia's total population.

For Australia's Indonesian-born migrants:

  • The median age of 39.8 years was 1.3 years above that of the general population.
  • Females outnumbered males—58.3 per cent compared with 41.7 per cent. 

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s Population by Country of Birth)

Permanent migration

Australia's permanent Migration Program incorporates economic and family migration and is the main pathway to permanent residence. It includes the Skill stream, Family stream and Special Eligibility visas. The only other way to obtain permanent residence is on humanitarian grounds.

Skill stream visas

The Skill stream is designed for workers who have the skills, qualifications and entrepreneurship most needed in the Australian economy. There are seven components:

  1. Business Innovation and Investment

  2. Distinguished Talent

  3. Employer Sponsored

  4. Global Talent (Independent)

  5. Regional

  6. Skilled Independent

  7. State/Territory Nominated.

Family and Child stream visas

The Family stream allows the permanent migration of close family members, of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. It focuses on partners and parents, but also provides the opportunity for additional family members, such as aged dependent relatives, carers, remaining relatives and orphan relatives, to join their family in Australia.

Child visas allow the permanent migration of children, of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. The Child visa comprises two categories, namely Child and Adoption visas.

Special Eligibility visas

Special Eligibility visas allow former residents and certain people who served in the Australian Defence Force to live in Australia as permanent residents.

The following table shows the size of permanent migration from Indonesia by migration category.

Table 1: Permanent migrant places granted, 2019–20 to 2022–23
Migration category2019–202020–212021–222022–23
Business Innovation and Investment286511615
Employer Sponsored284258218306
Skilled Independent463225163
State/Territory Nominated10592171192
Regional 111775109138
Global Talent (Independent) 228283734
All other categories136124131156
Total places granted 1,600 2,513 1,966 1,903
Source: Department of Home Affairs
1The Regional migration category commenced 1 July 2019.
2Global Talent (Independent) category commenced 4 November 2019.

Temporary migration

People can come to Australia for a temporary stay for a range of purposes, for example, visiting Australia for tourism or attending a conference, or for more specific purposes, such as medical treatment, study, skilled work, working holidays or other specialist activities. There are six main categories of temporary residents, which can cover stays of more than three months in Australia.

Note: Not all categories apply to migrants from each country.

Visitor visas

Visitor visas are mostly used by people visiting Australia for holidays, tourism and recreation, or to see family and friends. People may also use Visitor visas for certain short-term business activities that do not entail working in Australia.

Working Holiday Maker Program

The Working Holiday Maker Program allows young adults to have an extended holiday and engage in short-term work and study.

Student visa

The Student visa program enables international students to come to Australia to study full-time in a registered course.

Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa

Allows a business to sponsor a skilled overseas worker if they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill a skilled position.

Other temporary visas

Other temporary visas include visas that allow people to undertake short-term, non-ongoing highly specialised work, enrich social and cultural development, strengthen international relations or provide training opportunities of benefit to Australia.

New Zealand citizens

Under the 1973 Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, New Zealand citizens can enter and leave Australia freely and live in Australia indefinitely on grant of a Special Category visa (subclass 444).

The following table shows the number of visa grants to migrants from Indonesia, for Visitor, Student, Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) and Working Holiday Maker visas.

Table 2: Temporary visas granted by selected categories, 2019–20 to 2022–23
Temporary visa category2019–202020–212021–22​2022–23
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment)5243857791,129
Other temporary visa grants 13,1041,6162,6368,355
Total temporary visa grants 85,209 10,518 44,662 149,288
​​ Source: Department of Home Affairs
1Excludes Transit visa (subclass 771), Border visa (subclass 773) and Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988).

Main occupations

The following table shows the main occupations for nationals of Indonesia, based on Skill stream migration outcomes and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants.

Table 3: Main occupations, 2019–20 to 2022–23
PeriodTemporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visasNo. of migrants Skill stream migrationNo. of migrants
2022–23Chefs152Early childhood (pre-primary school) teachers66
Deck and fishing hands47Chefs60
Mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians33Accountants40
Software and applications programmers30Registered nurses36
Accountants23Software and applications programmers28
Cooks22Cafe and restaurant managers19
Motor mechanics20Cooks17
Advertising and marketing professionals19ICT business and systems analysts16
ICT business and systems analysts17Secondary school teachers15
Cafe and restaurant managers16General practitioners and resident medical officers13
Deck and fishing hands51Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers50
Accountants33Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists24
Mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians29Primary school teachers20
Software and applications programmers27ICT business and systems analysts19
Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers12Animal attendants and trainers16
Mining engineers11Electrical engineers14
ICT business and systems analysts10Hotel and motel managers12
Cooks10Financial brokers10
Cafe and restaurant managers8Anaesthetists9
2020–21Deck and fishing hands34Software and applications programmers33
Software and applications programmers21Chefs30
Mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians10General practitioners and resident medical officers12
Accountants8Cafe and restaurant managers11
Mining engineers7Registered nurses9
Civil engineering professionals6Other medical practitioners7
Other engineering professionals5Chemists, and food and wine scientists6
University lecturers and tutors5ICT business and systems analysts6
2019–20Mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians38Accountants45
Cafe and restaurant managers15Cooks32
Software and applications programmers14Cafe and restaurant managers22
Cooks14Software and applications programmers21
General practitioners and resident medical officers13Other engineering professionals13
Accountants11Registered nurses12
Deck and fishing hands11University lecturers and tutors7
Other engineering professionals9ICT business and systems analysts7
Industrial, mechanical and production engineers8Advertising and marketing professionals6
Source: Department of Home Affairs
Note: Occupation level information is available for primary applicants only, and is based on Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations unit level data.

Geographic distribution

The following table shows the geographic distribution of migrants by state and territory, based on permanent additions for the Skill and Family streams, international student visa grants, and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants.​

Table 4: Geographic distribution, by state and territory​
Census 2021 (%)
Of all persons322620710212
Of Indonesian-born442410316122
Permanent additions - 2022–23 (%)
Skill stream32239518434
Family and Child stream322411225131
​Temporary visa grants - 2022–23 (%)
International student visa grants4531956002
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa (primary) grants461714117130
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Home Affairs
Note: Permanent additions consist of two components; those persons who, while already in Australia on a temporary basis, are granted permanent residence status or those persons who have subsequently arrived from overseas during the reporting period and are entitled to stay permanently in Australia.

Country ranking

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

Table 5: Country ranking, 2019–20 to 2022–23
Ranked position of migrants2019–202020–212021–22​2022–23
Population in Australia 120202018
Employer Sponsored19192321
Total Skill stream26222227
Total Family and Child stream108910
International students1210811
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa20211719
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Home Affairs
1Population level data is by country of birth and lags one year behind the financial year specified. Data based on the estimated residential population at 30 June; 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
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