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Country profiles

Profiles permanent and temporary migration trends and population for Australia's main migrant source countries.

Country profile - Myanmar

Population

At the end of June 2018, 36,900 Myanmese-born people were living in Australia, almost twice the number at 30 June 2008. This is equivalent to 0.5 per cent of Australia's overseas-born population and 0.1 per cent of Australia's total population.

For Australia's Myanmese-born migrants:

  • The median age of 38.8 years was 1.5 years above that of the general population.
  • Males outnumbered females—50.6 per cent compared with 49.4 per cent. 1

1 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Migration Australia (catalogue no. 3412.0).

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 with the skills, qualifications and entrepreneurship most needed in the Australian economy. The Skill stream comprises four components; namely: Points Tested Skilled Migration; Employer Sponsored; Business Innovation and Investment; and Distinguished Talent.

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 and composition of Skill stream, Family stream, Special Eligibility, Child visas and Humanitarian visas from Myanmar.

Table 1: Permanent migrant places granted, 2015—16 to 2018—19
Migration category2015—162016—172017—182018—19Per cent change on 2017—18Per cent change since 2015—16
Skilled migration (points tested)
Skilled Regional10011< 5-90.9-90.0
Skilled Independent79876836-47.1-54.4
State/Territory Nominated172133330.094.1
Skilled migration (non-points tested)
Business Innovation and Investment< 5< 5< 5< 5100.00.0
Distinguished Talent0000n/an/a
Employer Sponsored2942334021.237.9
Total: Skilled visa places granted 137 153 146 112 -23.3 -18.2
Skilled visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)47.449.847.239.0n/an/a
Family and Child migration
Child85< 513333.362.5
Partner128129147141-4.110.2
Parent1417131623.114.3
Other Family< 5< 50< 5n/a0.0
Total: Family and Child visa places granted 152 154 163 172 5.5 13.2
Family and Child visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)52.650.252.859.9n/an/a
Special Eligibility
Special Eligibility000< 5n/an/a
Total places granted 289 307 309 287 -7.1 -0.7
Humanitarian visas 1
Offshore resettlement component 2 (country of birth)1,9511,7472,0431,995-2.32.3
Onshore protection component (by citizenship)35< 56< 5-50.0-40.0

Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 Permanent visas record a person's nationality with one exception, the offshore resettlement component of the Humanitarian Program. This component records a person's country of birth.

2 Data was extracted from Departmental systems on 08 July 2019. As information has been drawn from dynamic system environments the information provided may differ from previous or future reporting.

3 Data was extracted from Departmental systems on 03 July 2019. As information has been drawn from dynamic system environments the information provided may differ from previous or future reporting.

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.

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).

Not all categories apply to migrants from Myanmar. The following table shows the number of visa grants to migrants from Myanmar, for the Student visa program, Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa and Visitor visas.

Table 2: Temporary visas granted by selected categories, 2015—16 to 2018—19
Temporary visa category2015—162016—172017—182018—19Per cent change on 2017—18Per cent change since 2015—16
International Students
ELICOS 1< 58142364.3475.0
Schools151715150.00.0
Vocational Education and Training6470119441270.6589.1
Higher Education39542943450917.328.9
Postgraduate Research9221714-17.655.6
Non-Award< 5686-25.0100.0
Foreign Affairs or Defence100121114102-10.52.0
Total: International Student visa grants 590 673 721 1,110 54.0 88.1
​Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment)
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants 282 71 90 81 -10.0 -1.2
Visitors
Tourist3,2353,9904,1874,77414.047.6
Business visitor6518269581,08913.767.3
Total: Visitor visa grants 3,886 4,816 5,145 5,863 14.0 50.9
Other temporary
Other temporary visa grants3300 276 225 247 9.8 -17.7
Total temporary visa grants 4,858 5,836 6,181 7,301 18.1 50.3

Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

2 Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.

3 Excludes 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 Myanmar, based on Skill stream migration outcomes and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants.

Table 3: Main occupations, 2015—16 to 2018—19
PeriodTemporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visas 1No. of migrantsSkill stream migrationNo. of migrants
2018–19
General practitioners and resident medical officers40General practitioners and resident medical officers11
Electricians< 5Other medical practitioners9
ICT managers< 5Accountants6
Registered nurses< 5Registered nurses6
Interior designers< 5Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5
Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5Software and applications programmers< 5
Other natural and physical science professionals< 5Civil engineering professionals< 5
Pharmacists< 5Electronics engineers< 5
Podiatrists< 5Architects and landscape architects< 5
Other medical practitioners< 5Electrical engineers< 5
2017–18
General practitioners and resident medical officers51Other medical practitioners17
Other medical practitioners6General practitioners and resident medical officers14
Civil engineering professionals< 5Registered nurses8
University lecturers and tutors< 5Civil engineering professionals7
Registered nurses< 5Electrical engineers< 5
Other personal service workers< 5Electronics engineers< 5
Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5
Dental practitioners< 5Software and applications programmers< 5
Software and applications programmers< 5Accountants< 5
Chefs< 5Chemical and materials engineers< 5
2016–17
General practitioners and resident medical officers29Other medical practitioners20
Marine transport professionals< 5Generalist medical practitioners16
Other medical practitioners< 5Registered nurses7
Engineering managers< 5Electrical engineers5
Accountants< 5Accountants< 5
Graphic and web designers, and illustrators< 5Civil engineering professionals< 5
Electrical engineers< 5Electronic engineering draftspersons and technicians< 5
Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5ICT business and systems analysts< 5
Medical laboratory scientists< 5Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5
University lecturers and tutors< 5Architects and landscape architects< 5
2015–16
General practitioners and resident medical officers42Other medical practitioners16
Accountants< 5Generalist medical practitioners11
Other medical practitioners< 5Civil engineering professionals8
Computer network professionals< 5Registered nurses8
Cafe and restaurant managers< 5Accountants7
Financial investment advisers and managers< 5Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers5
Management and organisation analysts< 5Ministers of religion5
ICT sales professionals< 5Software and applications programmers5
Marine transport professionals< 5Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5
Industrial, mechanical and production engineers< 5Mining engineers< 5

Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.

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, based on permanent additions for the Skill and Family streams, and the offshore resettlement component of the Humanitarian Program, international student visa grants, and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants.

Table 4: Geographic distribution
PopulationNSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACT
Census 2016 (%)
Of all persons322520711212
Of Myanmese-born223410527112
Permanent additions - 2018–19 (%)
Humanitarian Program1049151112300
Skill stream372114220231
Family and Child stream303010321113
Temporary visa grants - 2018–19 (%)
International student visa grants27501056001
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa (primary) grants129213409052

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Home Affairs

1Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.

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 migration from Myanmar for the past four financial years.

Table 5: Country ranking, 2015—16 to 2018—19
Ranked position of migrants2015—162016—172017—182018—19
Population in Australia 144434342
Points Tested Skilled Migration46413741
Employer Sponsored64636464
Total Skill stream52484653
Total Family and Child stream50504543
International students49474738
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa 261625464
Visitors56565552

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Home Affairs

1 Population 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; 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

2 Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.