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Saturday 23 August 2014

Now Australia makes it easier for chefs and bricklayers to get a visa

Claire McCormack

Published 12/06/2014 | 02:30

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Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour

Changes to Australian visas are being broadly welcomed, but could potentially lead to a big rise in emigration from Ireland.

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From July, Australia's Department of Emigration and Citizenship will allow three new types of Irish workers to apply for skilled migrant visas to the country.

Chefs, tilers and bricklayers will soon be eligible to apply for the visa – allowing them to work anywhere in the country without being sponsored by a state, offered a job, or having specific finances in place.

Instead their application will be based on their experience, a minimum of five years in some cases.

"Currently these workers have to go through state sponsorship, which is an extra processing stage that takes more time and leads to a moral obligation on the visa applicant to remain in the state for up to two years," said Edwina Shanahan, who is a migration expert at Visafirst.com.

"There is still huge demand from Irish people wanting to move to Australia to work and experience the Oz way of life for a year or two."

But some said this change could potentially increase emigration and discourage others from coming back to Ireland.

"It's great in the context of making it easier for a young person who previously identified finances as a challenge," said Marie-Claire McAleer, social researcher and policy officer at the National Youth Council of Ireland.

"But obviously this reinforces the need for us to be facilitating return migration to jobs in the Irish labour market," she said.

Changes to Australia's skilled occupation list, which currently stands at 188, will be made in July.

A total of nearly 600 occupations are eligible to apply for resident visas to Australia.

Irish Independent

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