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Australia visa bids soar

PERMANENT residency visa applications for Australia have jumped by over 100pc, according to a new index.

Visa specialists in Ireland visafirst.com have shown a marked increase in the number of people leaving Ireland in search of employment opportunities in Australia.

The group said the greatest increases were noted in those applying for Sponsorship Visa -- which entitles the worker to stay for a maximum of four years and for indefinite permanent residency (PR).

Declan Clune, migration specialist, said the numbers of PR visas may have been skewed as there were changes in visa processing priorities.

"What's notable in the index is that the duration people intend to stay in Australia is increasing year on year, possibly reflecting a lack of confidence in the short-term future of the Irish economy," he added.

Western Australia remains the favourite destination.