Almost 85 percent of international students who study in Australia do not stay in the country long-term, a report has revealed.
The "Shaping a Nation: Population Growth and Immigration Over Time" report, compiled by the Treasury and Department of Home Affairs, found that five out of every six international students left for opportunities abroad once their study was complete.
According to the report international students are no longer the biggest source of skilled migrants to Australia.
That drop-off comes after a crackdown in 2010 on hopeful migrants using students visas as a pathway to permanent residency, making it more difficult for international students to remain in Australia once they completed their studies.
The growing number of international students in Australia has become a political hot topic in recent months with some calling for a hard cap on the number of international students allowed into the country each year.
Brendan O'Connor, an employment spokesperson for the Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP), said it was clear that "there are circumstances where people are coming only to work."
According to the report, 90 percent of the 1.6 million temporary migrants in Australia, of which international students are the second biggest group, have the right to work.
"Why do we allow the overuse and abuse when we know youth unemployment is more than 11 percent?" he said on Sky News.
"I think we need to see whether we could either cap the scheme or make sure it's being used properly for the purpose it was intended."