23 January 2009
Australia continues to draw record numbers of young Irish travellers
Recent figures released from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) show that record numbers of young Irish nationals are escaping the crunch of the European recession and heading for the golden beaches of Australia.
Figures 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.
According to the Independent, Irish travel agencies and airlines have been bombarded with Irish citizens planning their one-way trip to Down Under, and during the month of January all flights to Australia found themselves fully booked.
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.
Although Irish citizens are applying for all types of work visas for Australia, the Australian working holiday visa has proven to be the most popular. Under this visa type, 18 to 30 year old nationals from participating countries can work in Australia for 12 months. Holders of this visa have the option of extending it for 12 months if they work in a specified horticultural region of Australia in a specified industry for three months or more.
Eligible applicants must be able to pass health and character assessments, have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Australia and prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves once landed in the country.
Amanda Gripske, working holiday Division Manager from the Australian Visa Bureau, said: "In 2008 we had seen a large number of Irish passport holders applying for the Australian working holiday visas and we are excited at the prospect that this will continue in 2009."
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.