INDIA is now the biggest single source of permanent migrants to Australia overtaking Chinese arrivals, new data shows.
The number of permanent migrants from India was 29,018 in 2011/12, up 12.7 per cent on the previous year.
China was number two as visa places fell from 29,546 to 25,509 last year.
During the same time United Kingdom arrivals rose to 25,273 from 23,931.
Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor says Australia's Migration Trends 2011-12 report, released on Monday, shows Asia is becoming the leading source of permanent migration.
"Seven of the top 10 source countries in 2011-12 were located in the Asia region," he said in a statement on Monday.
During the past 15 years, the number of Indian-born Australian residents has increased fourfold while Chinese-born residents have tripled.
In 2011/12, 184,998 migration spots were allocated.
Of these, 125,755 were through the skilled migration program, and 58,604 via the family program.
The share of migrants through skilled visas rose to about 68 per cent in 2011/12 from 61.1 per cent in 2002/03.
The recent high was 68.4 per cent in 2007/08.
Those migrants granted approval via the families program was 31.7 per cent in 2011/12, down from 32.2 per cent the previous year and 37.7 in 2002/03.
Half the number of skilled migrants applied for permanent residency while in Australia on a temporary visa.