5,000 skilled Irish granted Australian ‘green card’ in 2013

Some 5,000 skilled Irish people were granted permanent residency in Australia last year, new figures show. They include about 1,650 family members who were allowed to accompany loved ones Down Under.

A report from Australia’s Department of Immigration shows that there were some 4,784 Irish-born permanent additions to the Australian resident population in 2012-2013.

This represented a slight increase on the year before, but a significant jump since 2009-2010 when just over 3,000 permanent visas were granted.

Workers most commonly granted permanent visas included civil engineers (100); accountants (100); carpenters/joiners (60); electricians (50) and registered nurses (50). Other popular professions included computer programmers (30); GPs (30); and systems analysts (20).

A further 10,290 skilled people were granted temporary work visas in Australia last year.

The report shows that New South Wales and Western Australia were the most popular destinations for Irish people.

It also reveals that fewer young Irish people are applying for working holiday visas.

Last year, 11,817 first-time working holiday visas in Australia were issued to Irish nationals compared to 19,492 granted in 2011-2012 — a 39% drop.

And more than 500 Irish-born permanent residents left Australia for good last year. More than half indicated they were returning to Ireland. Almost one third were professionals, while a further 14% were managers.

“Australia’s favourable economic conditions have encouraged a greater share of Irish migration since the global financial crisis, with Australia becoming the third most popular country for permanent Irish migrants after the United Kingdom and United States of America in 2010,” the report’s authors noted.

“Economic incentives have been a main driver for Irish emigrants, with a doubling in the number of skilled migrants since 2009-2010.”

More in this section