SKILLED Irish workers hoping to move to Australia for work have been advised to apply for their visas now before tougher requirements are put in place next year.
Australian Visas Specialists, an Irish-based company, have warned that the process for skilled migrants would be radically changed from July 2012.
They will be subject to a quota and ranking system.
Only those who are invited by the Australian government will be able to make the move down under, according to Liz O'Hagan of the company.
"The invitation system from July 2012 poses a massive risk for prospective Irish visa applicants and will affect all new applicants for skilled visas to Australia from that date," she said.
"The skills wanted could change at any time and the quotas will fill quickly."
Australia awarded 113,725 skilled migration visas in 2010-2011 and New Zealand's Christchurch re-build will create up to 3,000 jobs for Irish trades people.
"There is plenty of work available and a great quality of life on offer, but timing is of the essence," she added.
According to the visa consultants, the new system could prevent as many as 50pc of Irish applicants from emigrating.
Australian Visas Specialists is to hold a seminar explaining the visa application process in Dublin this weekend to dispel any confusion about the subject.
The event will also look at the job opportunities in Australia and New Zealand for Irish workers.
The event, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin, Northwood, Santry on Saturday from 3pm to 5pm, will include personal consultations available on Saturday and Sunday, November 27.