The Asianisation of Australia: volume 2, part 1, section 6

Category Jumpers

Many people arriving in Australia listed under short-term categories later change their status to a permanent or long-term category (and visa versa). These people are known as "category jumpers", and can have a distinct effect upon the real nature of immigration numbers. The most significant contributing factor to "category jumping" in recent years was the approximately 20 000 Chinese students who were given "asylum" ("granted permanent residence") in 1989 by the then Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Note: The number of Chinese students allowed to stay in Australia, after the Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators, has risen from the original 20,000 to about 37,000 who have been granted permanent residency in Australia. In 1992 the then immigration minister, Gerry Hand, admitted that the granting of permanent residency to the Chinese students could lead to a flood of 300,000 Chinese into Australia, due to the entitlement for those students to bring their relatives here under the family billion programme.(18)

Refer to the Table below for an indication of the extent of category jumping.


(Australian Immigration and Emigration)

1986-87   1987-88   1988-89   1989-90   1990-91   1991-92   1992-93

 49 604    34 064    64 249    52 202    57 063    51 861    44 385

The Asianisation of Australia:
Statistics (Immigration, Ethnicity, and Trade) (Volume 2)

Australian Nationalism Information Database -