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Australia's visa system sees rise in emigration applicants from Ireland, particularly professionals with families Photo by: Google Images

Irish families flooding to Australia as new restrictions will make it more difficult

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Australia's visa system sees rise in emigration applicants from Ireland, particularly professionals with families Photo by: Google Images

An upcoming change to Australia's visa system has led to a rise in emigration applicants from Ireland, particularly professionals with families.

The legislative change, to be introduced this summer, will make it harder to move to the "lucky country," so hundreds of families are putting their emigration plans into action now.

Starting in July, anyone eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa will be put into a pool until they are selected to apply for a visa. At the moment, they are eligible to apply directly.

Edwina Shanahan, manager at www.visafirst.com, said that, in the last 12 months, they had noted a change in the profiles of those applying for visas.

"Most skilled people now have dependents and want a job organised before they go," she told the Irish Independent.

"To emigrate with your family to Australia involves a substantial initial outlay and people need assurance of income before they leave Ireland. Also, those with family cannot travel with their family on the working holiday visa. They need a sponsor to bring their family with them, so they have to have a job offer to apply," she said.

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She said that now more highly skilled people are deciding to move abroad.

"A lot of them are married with dependants, with property here in Ireland, which they are renting because they can't sell at the moment. They hope to move abroad for five to 10 years and then move back. We are getting a large number of applicants who are project managers or actual business owners who are now looking to go overseas.

"Many of those want to work for an employer first so they can get the lie of the land and then strike out and start their own businesses in Australia, New Zealand or Canada," she said.

"We had a lot of queries before Christmas and we have found they used the holiday to sit down and consider their options.

"A lot of applicants who registered with us in the last one or two years have made the decision to go and sent in their documents since January began," she added.

Australia's new program, called Skills Select, is reforming the way the country selects skilled migrants and will seriously affect anyone that is considering applying for permanent residency, reports the Independent.

Applications will be subject to a skills pool and will need to receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration & Citizenship in order to file an application.

"We are advising our clients to have their applications lodged well in advance of any policy changes," said Shanahan.

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