16 February 2009

Moving to Australia expo to lure thousands this year

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Thousands of British and Irish nationals are escaping the depressing effects of the European recession for the "sanctity" of Australia's relatively more stable economy, and with the upcoming expo on Australian migration soon to open, thousands more are expected to follow the crowd.

The Opportunities Australia Expo, to be held in London and Leeds in the second half of March, has helped tens of thousands of UK residents make the move to Australia.  At the expo, prospective migrants have been able to set up bank accounts, talk to government representatives, enrol with recruitment agents, establish the cheapest way to transfer funds, get quotes from shipping companies and give resumes directly to major Australian companies. 

The UK makes up the second largest group of migrants to Australia than any other country, following only New Zealand, whose nationals do not need an Australian visa to reside and work in Australia permanently.  Of the 4.4 million Australian residents who were born overseas during the 2006 Census, up to 47 per cent were European-born, and half of these were from the United Kingdom. 

It is expected that this year, the typically high numbers of British moving to Australia would increase again, as thousands of people look to escape the recession and the prospect of yet another disappointing, sunless summer.  

From Ireland alone, the numbers of people emigrating to Australia and New Zealand has reached new heights.  Between April 2007 and April 2008, Irish Central Statistics show that over 45,000 people emigrated from Ireland, with Australia and New Zealand absorbing nearly a quarter of this emigration.  In addition, recent figures released from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) show that the Australian government granted nearly 13,000 young Irish nationals with an Australian working holiday visa, a number that has doubled in the last six months when compared to the same period in 2007. 

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Chris Evans has debated whether he would increase the yearly migration quota to allow more migrants enter the country on Australian skilled visas, because of the current economic climate.  Some people are arguing that by allowing more people to move to Australia when the jobless rate is rising would create more unemployment, while others have argued that immigration is essential to Australia's economic growth and filling the gaps in the workforce that cannot otherwise be filled. 

Senator Evans has promised the quota would remain at a ceiling of 133,000 skilled visas and that the 2008-09 quota would remain at its record level until the details of next year's Budget are released.  Those that are considering moving to Australia are also encouraged to lodge their application as soon as possible to avoid a potential rush of Australian visa applications prior to the Budget's release.


The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.


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