According the US Census the number of people of South Asian origin in the United States rose from 51,000 in 1970 to 1.5 million in 2006, making them the fourth largest immigrant group in the country. Compared to other immigrant groups, people of South Asian origin living in the US are highly educated, reflecting America’s immigration policy which only allows skilled professionals to work and settle in the USA. In 2006 just under a quarter of South Asian migrants were employed in the IT sector. In the same year the Office of Immigration Statistics estimated that 2.3 percent of all unauthorized immigrants in the United States were from South Asia. These workers are likely to be employed in low paid, low status jobs.
South Asian migration to Canada also has a long history, but significant populations began to settle here after WWII. Many people came directly from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, but considerable numbers of people of South Asian origin migrated to Canada from East African countries following post-independence Africanisation policies, including the expulsion of Asians from Uganda. Canada’s points-based entry system also encouraged the immigration of skilled workers from Punjab in large numbers during the 1970s and 1980s. The Sri Lankan diaspora in Canada has grown since the 1980s, following the civil war in Sri Lanka and is now the largest Sri Lankan diaspora in the world. Between 1991 and 2001, Sri Lanka was the fifth largest source country of immigrants to Canada.
The significant phase of South Asian migration to Australia began after India’s independence in 1947, with migrants arriving from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka after the end of the ‘White Australia immigration policy’. Since the 2000s, there has been a new phase of South Asian migration to Australia. The Indian-born community in Australia more than doubled between 2004 and 2009. In 2011-12, India became Australia's largest source of permanent migrants for the first time. Most of the recent migrants have been qualified professionals, including software engineers, accountants and highly trained cooks. Australia also has a large student population from South Asia, many of whom go on to find jobs and settle there.