29 December 2009

Numbers of Irish emigrating to Australia up by 25 per cent

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New figures have shown a 25 per cent increase in residence visas issued by the Australian government to Irish nationals, an increase due to the financial crisis.

Canadian immigration has also reported a 13 per cent jump in similar residence visas, making it the second most popular destination for Irish nationals.

The statistics show that Irish nationals are emigrating overseas in increasing numbers to escape the recession, but are for the most part shunning the tradition migration paths to Britain and the US.

Australia immigration issued 2,501 residence visas to Irish nationals in the year ending June, up from 1,989 in the same period last year.

The number of 12-month Australian working holiday visas for the under 30s has increased by 33 per cent to 22,786 in the year to the end of June.

Canada is also on course to issue 3,000 visas for the full year, whereas last year it issued 2,607 visas.

In comparison, the number of people immigrating to the US has continued to fall in recent years with only 287 visas issued from the US embassy in Ireland in the year to the end of September 2009. 

Migration experts say there has been a large increase in temporary options with many Irish nationals taking a year out of the recession and spending it working in Canada or Australia, and The Economic and Social Research Institute predicts net outward migration from Ireland to be 40,000 people in the year ending April 2010, up from 7,800.

Australia has seen a relatively small downturn in the global recession, as its exports are still in great demand by large economies like China and due also in part to a timely economic stimulus.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that Australia had an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent in November, whereas The Economic and Social Research Institute predict the Irish unemployment rate should peak at close to 14 per cent.

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