Record Irish immigration to Australia

The latest Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) statistics show that 40,000 Irish people moved to Australia between 2011 and 2012, and another 5,000 Irish immigrants settled in Australia on a permanent basis.

Ireland was one of the worst affected countries in the Global Financial Crisis and has since struggled to improve its economy, making the thriving Australian economy and the lack of a language barrier an attractive prospect for many Irish people.

Jimmy Deenihan, Ireland's heritage minister, says the Australian visa system makes it easy for eager Irish people to make the move to Australia, particularly for young professionals.

"There's a very friendly visa system that encourages young Irish qualified people and also skilled people to come to Australia," he said.

"People with PhDs, people who are highly skilled, it's a big gain for Australia.

"There are huge connections [in Australia] in the political world, in the education world, in the medical world and in Industry," added Mr Deenihan.

"Irish people feel very comfortable coming to Australia because they know there's a very positive welcome for them."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.