More Irish coming to Australia than ever before
According to figures from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, 40,000 Irish people made Australia their home in 2011 and 2012 with 5,000 people settling here permanently.
Irish heritage minister Jimmy Deenihan says Australia’s visa system makes it a popular target for young Irish professionals looking to establish their careers.
“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 … so it’s a big gain for Australia but it’s obviously a drain on the resources from Ireland.
“There’s huge connections here (in Australia) in the political world, in the education world, in the medical world and in industry.
“Irish people feel very comfortable coming to Australia because they know there’s a very positive welcome for them here.
Mr Deenihan says the Irish government is now looking to lure migrants back home.”
“Now we are on a recovery trajectory, and hopefully some of these young people that are here in Australia, many on a temporary visa, will have the opportunity to return to Ireland, he said.
“That’s the present government’s ambition.”
Around 50,000 holiday makers and backpackers from Ireland visit every year.
By Gillian Bennett http://www.abc.net.au