Number of Irish seeking Oz move soars by 60%

THE number of Irish people looking to live permanently in Australia soared by 60% in the last year — with the numbers expected to be even greater this year.

There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of Irish families enquiring about emigrating, according to VisaFirst.com.

It is expected there will be more than 3,000 applications from Ireland for permanent residency visas in Australia this year, following the 2,000 applications in 2010.

The company also said in the past attendees at their seminars were generally single and were more focused on enjoying their time in Oz. However people are now posing non-visa questions relating to family issues such as schools and first time buyer grants.

“The proportion of families inquiring about migration has increased dramatically as economic conditions harden,” said manager with VisaFirst.com, Edwina Shanahan.

The company said two years ago, the vast majority of visa applicants were in construction-related occupations but this has spread to other sectors with applicants now more likely to be accountants, teachers, nurses and IT professionals.

There are more than 35,000 job vacancies in Australia alone, according to VisaFirst.

“The figures speak for themselves — more and more people are finding it tougher to get employment in this country and many believe this will be the state of play for years to come.

“Customer feedback would indicate that too many unemployed Irish workers are despondent and feel there is nothing to stay here for at the moment. They believe their best option is to gain quality work experience in Australia, and other countries, with a view to returning home when things pick up,” said Ms Shanahan.

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