Will my parents come to Australia when retired? Later-life transnational migration intentions of Chinese parents
Background China is the second largest source country of immigrants to Australia every year. The elderly parents of these working-age immigrants in Australia usually visit their children on a tourist visa, which allows short term family gatherings. These visits do not require much effort. However, when it comes to long-term transnational migration, the decision becomes hard to make and often involves complex factors, such as personal preferences and lifestyle choices.
Aims This paper aims to examine the later-life transnational migration intentions of elderly Chinese parents and how the parents’ intentions are affected by personal preferences, personality and lifestyle differences between the generations.
Data and methods This paper uses data from a two-stage study including an online survey and semi-structured interviews conducted in Sydney from October 2018 to May 2019 with both caregivers (adult children who are first-generation immigrants living in Australia) and their elderly parents.
Results The study found that external contributors such as language barriers and transport dependence in Australia, and existing social ties as well as another adult child living in China, have a negative influence on moving to Australia.
Conclusions Elderly parents with an optimistic and outgoing personality are more likely to consider moving to Australia compared to those who are more conservative. Foremost, conflicts due to different lifestyles between the generations reduces the possibility of parents’ later-life migration to Australia.