There was an increase in the number of Irish emigrants applying for permanent residency in Australia last year, according to the latest figures.
The news may come as a blow to the Irish government who this week predicted that emigrants will start to return to Ireland at a greater rate within the next two years.
The Irish government believe that there will be more job opportunities for returning emigrants. However, the emigrants in Australia are looking to stay because there are already plenty of jobs ‘Down Under’.
Last year 6,171 Irish people applied for permanent residency in Australia – 3% more than in 2013. Irish people are now the 6th most likely nationalities looking to relocate to Australia.
Irish nationals were also fourth on the international list of people applying for non-permanent visas (such as holiday or one-year working) and made up 6% of 457 that were granted by the Australian government in 2014.
Migration expert Edwina Shanahan said: “The number of traditional permanent migrants in Australia is growing significantly with estimates revealing that this year’s intake is likely to surpass the existing record of 185,000, which was set in 1969.
“We have looked for figures to ascertain the Irish element of this and we have found that there has been an increase in the numbers Irish applying for Permanent residency in Australia – we have jumped from 8th position last year to 6th position this year which is 3.2% of total.
“For a country the size of ours that is a sizeable portion.”
It suggest that the Irish government will still have plenty to do if they are to successfully persuade young Irish people that their future is in Ireland.