Immigrants' Language Skills and Visa Category

46 Pages Posted: 12 May 2002

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yew L. Lee

University of Western Australia

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics

Date Written: April 2002

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the determinants of English language proficiency among immigrants in a longitudinal survey for Australia. It focuses on both visa category and variables derived from an economic model of the determinants of destination language proficiency among immigrants. Skills tested and economic immigrants have the greatest proficiency shortly after immigration, followed by family-based visa recipients, with refugees having the lowest proficiency. These differences disappear by 3 1/2 years after immigration for speaking skills, but they persist for reading and writing skills. The variables generated from the model of destination language proficiency are in part predictions of visa category and are more important statistically for explaining proficiency. The effects of some variables on language skills increase with duration in these longitudinal data. In particular, the efficiency variable, age, and gender, which may be reflecting differences in labor market attachment, increase in importance over time.

Keywords: Immigration, Language Proficiency, Visa Categories, Australia

JEL Classification: J61, J24, J18

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Lee, Yew Liang and Miller, Paul W., Immigrants' Language Skills and Visa Category (April 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 471. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=310351

Barry R. Chiswick (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

601 S. Morgan Street, Room 2103UH
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States
312-996-2683 (Phone)
312-996-3344 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Yew Liang Lee

University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
AUSTRALIA

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth WA 6845
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845
Australia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
88
Abstract Views
1,648
rank
286,096
PlumX Metrics