Australia’s State Specific and Regional Migration Schemes: exploring permanent and temporary skilled migration outcomes in South Australia

Andreas Cebulla, George Tan, Anna Ziersch, Andrew Taylor

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    Background Recent concerns about population growth and its consequences in Sydney and Melbourne have added momentum to the debate on ways to achieve a more even geographic distribution of population. However, there is little contemporary evidence about the impact of regionally-focused immigration policies in delivering positive migrant outcomes and easing pressures in major cities.Aims The aim of this paper is to compare migration, employment and settlement outcomes between permanent and temporary skilled migrants to South Australia (SA) as well as the factors influencing migrants’ decisions to move into and out of the State.Data and methods Data in this paper draws on the South Australian General Skilled Migrant survey of State-sponsored skilled migrants conducted by The University of Adelaide in 2015.
    Results Lifestyle and employment factors were important in decisions to come to, stay or leave SA. Permanent migrants were more likely to choose SA as a destination because it was perceived as a good place to raise a family, while temporary migrants were more likely to cite employment. Temporary visa holders had relatively poor employment outcomes.
    Conclusions Temporary and permanent visa holders experienced different settlement and employment outcomes, demonstrating that a more detailed understanding of migrant characteristics and outcomes may be useful in designing and evaluating regionally-focused migration initiatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-28
    Number of pages13
    JournalAustralian Population Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019

    Bibliographical note

    © Tan, Cebulla, Ziersch & Taylor 2019. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licence 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU). Journal website:


    • International migration
    • permanent migration
    • temporary migration
    • skilled migration
    • regional migration
    • South Australia


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