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Country profiles

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

​​​Country profile - Vietnam

Population

At the end of June 2019, 262,910 Vietnamese-born people were living in Australia, almost one-third (32.9 per cent) more than the number (197,820) at 30 June 2009. This makes the Vietnamese-born population the sixth largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 3.5 per cent of Australia's overseas-born population and 1.0 per cent of Australia's total population.

For Australia's Vietnamese-born migrants:

  • The median age of 46.5 years was 9.1 years above that of the general population.
  • Females outnumbered males—55.8 per cent compared with 44.2 per cent.1

1 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Migration Australia

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 Vietnam by migration category.

Table 1: Permanent migrant places granted, 2016–17 to 2019–20
Migration category2016–172017–182018–192019–20
Business Innovation and Investment300426478368
Employer Sponsored637462736569
Skilled Regional 1
49
28
11
n/a
​Skilled Independent
​375
​514
​425
​156
​State/Territory Nominated
​449
​482
​538
​702
​Regional 2
​n/a
​n/a
​n/a
​669
​Global Talent (Independent) 3​
​n/a
​n/a
​n/a
​​107
Partner2,8622,4552,6972,245
All other categories
821
757
647
582
Total places granted 5,493 5,124 5,532 5,398

Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 The Skilled Regional category closed to new applications from 1 July 2019.

2 The Regional migration category commenced 1 July 2019.

3​ Global 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.

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

Table 2: Temporary visas granted by selected categories, 2016–17 to 2019–20
Temporary visa category2016–172017–182018–192019–20
International Students
ELICOS 1153218312310
Schools1,4221,3451,7011,245
Vocational Education and Training8329731,3471,771
Higher Education6,7047,0217,6876,689
Postgraduate Research689641559491
Non-Award34444631
Foreign Affairs or Defence395522336169
Total: International Student visa grants 10,229 10,764 11,988 10,706
​​Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment)
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants 21,1528591,401706
Visitors
Tourist53,45565,33563,38749,944
Business visitor9,85110,6109,4656,057
Total: Visitor visa grants 63,306 75,945 72,852 56,001
Work and Holiday
Work and Holiday visa grants126233343922
Other temporary​
Other temporary visa grants 32,3163,1823,4942,952
Total temporary visa grants 77,129 90,983 90,078 71,287

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

Table 3: Main occupations, 2016–17 to 2019–20​​
PeriodTemporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visas 1
No. of migrantsSkill stream migrationNo. of migrants

2019–20
Software and applications programmers
35
Accountants172
Bakers and pastrycooks
30
Registered nurses
86
Cooks
24
Software and applications programmers
56
University lecturers and tutors
14
Cooks49

Cafe and restaurant managers
13
Cafe and restaurant managers44
Chefs
13
Bakers and pastrycooks
41
Accountants
11Civil engineering professionals
27
Ministers of religion
9Chefs
25
Other personal service workers
9
University lecturers and tutors
22
Managment and organisation analysts
8Agricultural and forestry scientists
21
2018–19
Accountants43Accountants160
Chefs34Software and applications programmers76
Software and applications programmers32Registered nurses43
Cooks29Cooks38
Bakers and pastrycooks21Cafe and restaurant managers30
University lecturers and tutors19Civil engineering professionals26
Ministers of religion11Chefs18
Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers9Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers17
Cafe and restaurant managers8University lecturers and tutors16
Structural steel and welding trades workers8Bakers and pastrycooks16
2017–18
Cooks41Accountants145
Accountants32Software and applications programmers92
Cafe and restaurant managers27Registered nurses40
Bakers and pastrycooks23Civil engineering professionals29
Chefs22Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers26
University lecturers and tutors20Industrial, mechanical and production engineers17
Skilled meat worker18Advertising and marketing professionals15
Software and applications programmers15Cooks15
Retail managers12Cafe and restaurant managers14
Hotel and motel managers7Architects and landscape architects14
2016–17
Cooks69Accountants
115
Cafe and restaurant managers48Registered nurses
61
Accountants36Software and applications programmers
52
Bakers and pastrycooks36Civil engineering professionals
43
Skilled meat worker34Cooks
42
University lecturers and tutors24Cafe and restaurant managers
25
Chefs19Bakers and pastrycooks
20
Retail managers16
Chemical and materials engineers
15
Software and applications programmers16Industrial, mechanical and production engineers
15
Management and organisation analysts9Electronics engineers
14

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
PopulationNSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACT

Census 2016 (%)

Of all persons

322520711212

Of Vietnamese-born

3837977002

Permanent additions - 2019–20 (%)

Skill stream

25
33
13
9
5
8
24

Family and Child stream

35
39
10
6
81
0
1

Temporary visa grants - 2019–20 (%)

International student visa grants

31
37
10
13
5
212

Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa (primary) grants 1

33
34
11
38
19
2

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 Vietnamese migration for the past four financial years.

Table 5: Country ranking, 2016–17 to 2019–20
Ranked position of migrants2016–17
2017–18
2018–19
2019–20
Population in Australia 1 6666
Regional
n/a
n/a
n/a
9
Employer Sponsored14
16
13
13
Total Skill stream1413
9
9
Total Family and Child stream553
4
International students9
8
6
6
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa 2 171713
17
Visitors16
161616

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; 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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