'Irish-friendly' Australia visa from next year
New rules for getting into Australia have been described as "very Irish-friendly" by a visa expert.
Australian immigration minister Chris Bowen has announced a new "points system", which will make it easier for skilled migrants from Ireland to get into Australia from July 1, 2011.
In changes that will affect Irish applicants, the Australian government is to accept applications from skilled Irish workers up to the age of 50 and bonus points will be awarded to university graduates, especially those with PhDs and those with 'superior English'.
Liz O'Hagan, managing director of Irish visa company Australian Visa Specialists, estimates the changes will greatly help between 10 and 15 per cent of applicants nationwide.
"These changes will open doors for many potential emigrants, especially those with extensive work experience," she said.
However, while the proposals will benefit the majority of skilled and highly educated emigrants, Ms O'Hagan also recommends that all potential migrants considering moving 'Down Under' familiarise themselves with the changes, as some may be advised to apply before the amendments take affect.