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Queue forming on the avenue leading to the RDS center in Dublin - Irish warned to check their eligibility for an Australian visa Photo by: Irish Times

New rules on Aussie visas outlined as thousands attend Dublin jobs fair

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Queue forming on the avenue leading to the RDS center in Dublin - Irish warned to check their eligibility for an Australian visa Photo by: Irish Times

Irish workers interested in emigrating have been warned to check their eligibility for an Australian visa as thousands attend the latest jobs expo in Dublin.

Massive lines at the RDS exhibition hall in Dublin have again reflected the jobs crisis in Ireland despite the recent promissory note deal.

Organisers say numbers are ‘up there’ with previous years as anxious job-seekers check out the market in destinations including Australia, Canada, America and New Zealand.

But those considering a move Down Under have been urged to check they’re still eligible for a visa amid fears the rules may have been tightened according to a report in the Irish Independent.

The paper says that temporary skilled-worker visas, known as 457 visas which many Irish emigrants opt for, have become a political bugbear for allegedly helping to undercut wage rates by supplying cheap labour.

Australia’s new Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor has announced a crackdown on the programme.

Expert Edwina Shanahan, from the Visafirst.com firm, told the paper that major changes had already been noted over the past 12-months in the visa programme.

She said: “If people had looked at going previously on the visa programme and were eligible, they need to check again now and reassess the situation.

“Things are changing with emigration. The changes are not necessarily negative, with new rules to ensure workers on a skilled visa are paid the same as their Australian counterparts.”

The report says the average 457 visa holder was earning $90,000 at the start of the year.

Shanahan added: “While it makes it more expensive for the employer, it gives a safeguard for the Irish person that they will be receiving the same rate.

“It is bad for those who haven’t got the qualifications as there is a lot more paperwork required but you will be treated the same once you get it.”

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