India and China have replaced Britain as the main sources of new immigrants to Australia, reports said on Tuesday.

Nearly 30,000 Indians migrated to Australia between July 2011 and June 2012, 15 per cent of the total intake of 1,85,000.

Britain dominated immigration since the first convicts arrived in 1788, but with Australia’s call for skilled migrants growing, new immigrants in recent years have been Asian.

Skilled workers must be younger than 50 and fill needed employment niches to be admitted as immigrants and become Australian citizens.

British migration has fallen from 22.5 per cent in 2005 to 13.7 per cent in 2012.

China is now the second prime source for immigrants, most coming with business skills and money to invest.

The top 10 immigrant source countries are India, China, Britain, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Ireland, South Korea and Vietnam.

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