Comprehensive analysis of integration experiences of Afghan immigrants in Australia: Their challenges and policy implications

Author Identifier

Omid Rezaei

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Arts and Humanities

First Supervisor

Vicki Banham


This study aims to explore the integration challenges faced by immigrants from Afghanistan who have migrated to Australia. Specifically, it focuses on understanding the main integration challenges experienced by immigrants from Non-English-Speaking Backgrounds (NESB) in Australia, the specific challenges faced by Afghan immigrants within Western Australia, the impact of factional/ethnic divisions within the Afghan community on their integration into the wider society, and the potential influence of integration challenges on Afghans' intention to return to Afghanistan. To achieve these research objectives, the thesis provides an overview of the study's aims and methodology. A systematic review of 56 articles on Australian literature was conducted to document the primary integration challenges faced by NESB immigrants in Australia since 1975. The study employed a mixed-method approach: a quantitative phase involving 115 participants and a qualitative phase consisting of 18 interviews and 2 focus groups conducted in the Perth metropolitan area. Data collection commenced with the quantitative phase and was followed by a qualitative exploration of the findings derived from the quantitative component. The study findings reveal that Afghan immigrants have established themselves in various areas of integration and consider Australia their new homeland. However, they encounter challenges related to employment opportunities and building social connections within Australian society. Additionally, challenges are observed within the Afghan community in Western Australia, stemming from ethnic/regional divisions as well as obstacles faced by women. These challenges negatively impact the successful integration of Afghan immigrants into their new home and often prompt considerations of returning to Afghanistan. However, the uncertain future of Afghanistan remains a significant deterrent to such plans. This study emphasises several policy implications, including the need to facilitate economic integration by removing employment barriers, promote social integration by fostering broader social connections among immigrants, and address language barriers. These recommendations aim to enhance the overall integration experience and improve the prospects for successful settlement and long-term integration of Afghan immigrants in Australia.



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