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Country profiles

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

Country profile - Nepal


At the end of June 2018, 94,470 Nepalese−born people were living in Australia, more than six times the number at 30 June 2008. This is the seventeenth 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 Nepalese-born migrants:

  • The median age of 27.8 years was 9.5 years below that of the general population.
  • Males outnumbered females—54.5 per cent compared with 45.5 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 and Child visas from Nepal.

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 Regional129596732-52.2-75.2
Skilled Independent1,2721,0328431,08929.2-14.4
State/Territory Nominated1,3829349171,12222.4-18.8
Skilled migration (non-points tested)
Business Innovation and Investment0000n/an/a
Distinguished Talent< 5000n/a-100.0
Employer Sponsored1,6821,5777481,29673.3-22.9
Total: Skilled visa places granted 4,466 3,602 2,575 3,539 37.4 -20.8
Skilled visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)87.784.084.086.4n/an/a
Family and Child migration
Other Family< 5< 500n/a-100.0
Total: Family and Child visa places granted 619 684 492 557 13.2 -10.0
Family and Child visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)12.115.916.013.6n/an/a
Special Eligibility
Special Eligibility10< 500n/a-100.0
Total places granted 5,095 4,290 3,067 4,096 33.6 -19.6

Source: Department of Home Affairs

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 Nepal. The following table shows the number of visa grants to migrants from Nepal, 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 144546710861.2145.5
Vocational Education and Training1,0742,9317,41710,59142.8886.1
Higher Education9,28815,16618,67220,64110.5122.2
Postgraduate Research15419823432538.9111.0
Non-Award< 512207-65.0133.3
Foreign Affairs or Defence74126143111-22.450.0
Total: International Student visa grants 10,655 18,507 26,579 31,799 19.6 198.4
​Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment)
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants 21,3851,4108649418.9-32.1
Business visitor532702939835-11.157.0
Total: Visitor visa grants 10,908 14,328 18,872 25,934 37.4 137.8
​Other temporary
Other temporary visa grants 33,6244,2995,5818,20146.9126.3
Total temporary visa grants 26,572 38,544 51,896 66,875 28.9 151.7

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 Nepal, 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 1
No. of migrantsSkill stream migrationNo. of migrants
Cafe and restaurant managers24Registered nurses257
Accountants21Software and applications programmers121
Bakers and pastry cooks13Chefs101
Software and applications programmers10Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists94
General practitioners and resident medical officers7Civil engineering professionals56
Registered nurses6Cafe and restaurant managers41
Structural steel and welding trades workers< 5ICT business and systems analysts33
Hotel and motel managers< 5Computer network professionals31
Chefs97Registered nurses223
Cafe and restaurant managers26Cooks161
Bakers and pastry cooks15Civil engineering professionals69
Accountants10Software and applications programmers68
Financial brokers6Computer network professionals30
Registered nurses6ICT business and systems analysts29
Hotel and motel managers5Cafe and restaurant managers25
Software and applications programmers5Bakers and pastry cooks25
Cafe and restaurant managers51Registered nurses236
Bakers and pastry cooks21Chefs163
Accountants18Software and applications programmers95
Registered nurses11Civil engineering professionals54
University lecturers and tutors7Cafe and restaurant managers49
Welfare support workers7Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers46
General practitioners and resident medical officers6Computer network professionals44
Hairdressers6Electronics engineers37
Cafe and restaurant managers63Registered nurses301
Registered nurses21Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers270
Bakers and pastrycooks16Software and applications programmers111
Hairdressers9Cafe and restaurant managers62
Hotel and motel managers7Computer network professionals56
University lecturers and tutors7ICT business and systems analysts48
Software and applications programmers7Civil engineering professionals37

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, international student visa grants, and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants.

Table 4: Geographic distribution
Census 2016 (%)
Of all persons322520711212
Of Nepalese-born5917955121
Permanent additions - 2018–19 (%)
Skill stream50161034942
Family and Child stream48211275223
Temporary visa grants - 2018–19 (%)
International student visa grants52191943111
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa (primary) grants 1521818010021

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Home Affairs

1 Data 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 Nepalese migration 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 130272417
Points Tested Skilled Migration6787
Employer Sponsored66117
Total Skill stream6786
Total Family and Child stream23192121
International students7433
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa 2 13131616

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.