SOME 165,000 young people have left Ireland in the last five years but face huge obstacles if they want to return home.
As well as finding jobs and homes, returning emigrants face barriers such as getting children into schools here, a National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) conference on return migration was told.
Diaspora Minister Jimmy Deenihan said that returning emigrants had also told him of difficulties with things like getting their no-claims bonus for car insurance or their credit history recognised.
The return of young emigrants from abroad was "an issue of national importance" that needed a cross-government response, as Ireland needed their skills and fresh thinking, he said.
Some emigrants are also worried about new policies such as a premium on health insurance for the over-35s, as well as high taxes and living costs, said Marie-Claire McAleer, NYCI research and policy officer.
In the 12 months to April 2014, some 33,500 people aged 15-24 emigrated, and 165,300 have left over the past five years, many of them very highly skilled or educated, she said.
Anna Cunniffe from Dublin, who is working in Sarajevo, Bosnia, said her family would like to return to Ireland before her daughter starts school next September, but securing a school place, jobs and housing from abroad is difficult.
"There is so much stress, pressure and indeed risk involved in managing a return to Ireland. It is quite an isolating process," she said.