25 July 2008

South Africans heading to Australia in droves

More South Africans are moving to Australia than ever before, reports Business Day, and immigration businesses are reaping the rewards.

The Australian High Commission in Pretoria has confirmed that last year nearly 4,000 South Africans migrated to Australia, and approximately 15,000 visited the country on an Australian tourist visa

Marketing Manager for Pentravel David Randall said this year flights from South Africa to Australia increased by 30 per cent.  He added that the increasing demand for South African immigration to Australia has resulted in Pentravel securing a special immigration fare with Qantas, Australia’s national airline. 

"It is not only the sales of one-way fares that have increased, but tickets for people making exploratory visits to Australia," said Randall.

Qantas has said it will also be offering additional flights from South Africa to Sydney by December, even though it has recently announced flight cut-backs on other routes due to rising fuel prices. 

"Our flights between SA and Australia have been operating at very high load factors this year", said African manager for Qantas Michaela Messner.

The regional manager for an immigration agency in South Africa said most of his clients were Afrikaans seeking a better lifestyle. 

Charles Luyckx, joint CEO of removal company Elliott International, said many of the migrants were taking advantage of the skills shortage in the mining industry in Australia.  Under the General Skilled Migration program, overseas workers can apply for skilled migration visas if they intend to work in an industry considered to have a skills shortage.  The Australian Government is currently campaigning for more foreign workers to apply for jobs in the mining industry, particularly in South Australia and the Northern Territory so the country’s main source of GDP can continue contributing wealthily to the economy.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau

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