New government data has revealed the number of Chinese citizens seeking asylum in Australia has tripled in just one year.
More and more Chinese citizens are flocking to Australia, with the number of people from China applying for asylum tripling in just one year.
New figures from the Department of Home Affairs show the number of people arriving from China and applying for onshore protection visas jumped a massive 311 per cent from 2269 in 2016-2017 to 9315 in 2017-2018.
Despite the significant increase in Chinese residents applying for refugee asylum, their success rates still remained one of the lowest out of all countries.
The Department only accepted 10 per cent of claims coming from citizens from the People’s Republic of China, with the rest ruled as being dishonest.
Some of the reasons people gave for needing asylum, as heard by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), included claiming to be members of persecuted groups, those identifying as LGBTI, and claiming to be born illegitimately.
Transcripts from the AAT hearings, which were obtained by ABC, revealed one woman was applying for asylum as she was born outside of marriage. Children born outside marriage or born against the former one-child policy in China are often referred to as “black children” who are not registered and therefore are denied access to education and healthcare.
“I think (it is impossible for) my mother … to take us to China, as the children of a single mother, we could not be registered into the household in China, we will become the black children,” she told the tribunal in a statement.
“As a result, we are not able to attend the school. We cannot get the social welfare. My mother does not want us to live in the unfair environment.”
Chinese nationals made up a third of all asylum claims from 2014 to now, with the applicants from all nationalities increasing from 8587 to 27,931 over that time period.
Among the Chinese people seeking asylum, the majority of them arrived by plane, with many entering the country on temporary tourism or study visas.
Data from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission shows there are just over 652,000 international students studying in Australia in 2018.
Almost a third of those students are from China, with the 171,859 international Chinese students studying in 2017 increasing to 194,703 in 2018.
The country with the second highest number of citizens studying in Australia is India, with 82,683 students, significantly less than China.
Australia’s international student industry is believed to be worth close to $32 billion.
Once international visitors are in the country, either on student or tourist visas, they become eligible to extend their time by applying for a protection visa.
A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson told the ABC that each application is considered very carefully to ensure they are made for genuine reasons.
“An assessment of whether an asylum seeker engages Australia’s protection obligations is based on the individual merits of each case,” they said.
By Ally Foster