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Australia immigration stats: 64,000 living illegally

More than 64,000 people are living illegally in Australia.

More than two thirds of those, who came to Australia on legal visas and have overstayed, have been continuously living here for more than two years.

Immigration authorities are aware of at least one person who has evaded them for about 40 years and they do not know whether the person is still alive.

As many as 20,000 of the 64,600 “unlawful non-citizens” are believed to be working, while the total number of people living illegally in Australia on expired visas has increased 6 per cent compared with five years ago.

More than 70 per cent are in Australia on expired visitor visas, while student visas made up 15 per cent of the overstayers and working holiday visas about 3 per cent.

Malaysians were the worst offenders for overstaying, as 9440 people from the southeast Asian nation were here on expired visas as at June 30, according to Immigration Department figures.

This was followed by China, with 6500 overstayers; there were 5710 unlawful non-citizens from the US and 3680 people from the UK.

Indonesia, India, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand all had between 2200 and 2800 people living illegally in Australia, though Germany, France, Japan and Fiji all feature on the list of top offenders as well.

An Immigration and Border Protection spokesman said it used regular “targeted field compliance” to locate people.

Opposition Immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said it was untenable to have more than 20,000 visa overstayers working illegally.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said some only overstayed their visa by a day or two, while the total number represented less than 1 per cent of the 6.5 million temporary entrants to Australia each year.

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