More than 64,000 illegal immigrants living in Australia as 'unlawful non-citizens' increase

There are more than 64,000 people living illegally in Australia, including one person who has evaded immigration officials for more than four decades, according to department of immigration figures.

New data released by the department reveals that more than two thirds of the "unlawful non-citizens" in Australia arrived on legal visas and have been in the country for more than two years, The Courier-Mail reports.

It's believed more than 70 per cent of the total 64,600 illegals overstayed their visas and as many 20,000 illegal residents are thought to be working.

Student visas account for 15 per cent of the over-stayers and people who came on working holiday visas made up just 3 per cent.

Malaysians and Chinese were the worst offenders, followed by US and UK citizens. Source: AAP

The total number of those living in Australia unlawfully has increased by 6 per cent over the past five years, the newspaper reports.

Immigration officials said they were aware of at least one person who has evaded them for about 40 years but they do not know whether they are alive or dead.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said some of the illegal non-citizens had only overstayed their visas a day or two, with the 64,600 equating to less than 1 per cent of the total number of annual temporary visitors to Australia.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Source: AAP

Opposition immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said to have 20,000 visa over-stayers working in Australia was unjustifiable.

Malaysians are reported to be the worst offenders, with 9440 citizens from the southeast Asian nation in Australia on expired visas as of June 30, Department of Immigration and Border Protection figures reportedly show.

Some of the 64,400 illegals only overstayed their visas a few days, the department said. Source: AAP

Chinese nationals were second highest with 6500, with the US accounting for 5710 overstayers while surprisingly only 3680 Britons were said to be living in Australia as unlawful non-citizens.

The nations of Indonesia, India, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand all had between 2200 and 2800 people living in Australia illegally.

Germany, France, Japan and Fiji were also noted on the list of top offending nationals.

Newsbreak – June 19