The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has reported an annual growth of 8.3 percent in Australia’s working holiday visa program on December 19, 2011.
According to the figures for the 2010/2011 program year, a total of 162,980 Australian working holiday visa applications have been approved by DIAC.
Compared with the 2009/10 year, the number of Australian visa grants for working holiday makers rose by 10,000 in the 2010/2011 program year.
Contributing to the rise were Irish nationals, who were granted 87.4 percent more working holiday visas than the previous year, followed by Taiwanese with an increase of 41 percent.
In the past migration program year, the UK represented 21 percent of the total number of working holiday visas granted, followed by South Korea with 16.5 percent and Ireland and Germany behind them.
Furthermore, according to Statistics New Zealand, also the number of New Zealanders arriving in Australia this year has incredibly grown.
The latest visitor figures show that the effect of the Rugby World Cup is over and net migration to Australia has reached a record high. The number of Kiwis migrating to Australia has been estimated at about 35,800 in the year to November, surpassing the previous annual record of 35,400 in December 2008.
The statistics also revealed nearly 1000 New Zealanders a week made a one-way trip across the ditch this year, with 50,115 New Zealander choosing to live in Australia on a permanent or long-term basis in the year to November.
New Zealanders are lured to Australia by better job opportunities, where Australian recruiters offer large pay cheques in industries such as mining and farming to attract migrants.
Even Greeks are flocking to Australia to find a better life for themselves as economic turmoil continues in their home country.
Community leaders in suburban Melbourne have received thousands of letters, emails and telephone calls from Greek nationals, especially highly skilled and educated workers, desperate to migrate to Australia.
They’re all university graduates, engineers, architects, mechanics, teachers, bankers who will do anything for work,” says Bill Papastergiades, the community’s lawyer president.
“It’s desperate stuff. We’re all aghast. Often they’ll just turn up with a bag. Their stories are heartbreaking and on every plane there are more,” he added. Greek nationals have been arranged in Australian houses, five or six of them at a time.
During 2011, about 2,500 Greek citizens have moved to Australia while officials in Athens say another 40,000 have also “expressed interest” in settling in Australia.
Greece is experiencing an 18-percent unemployment rate and is facing a fifth year of recession while the Australian economy is predicted to grow 4 percent in 2012.
Australia is a popular destination for Greeks because of its substantial Hellenic population. Melbourne is considered to be the largest Greek city in the world outside of Greece. In the first six months this year, 134 permanent Australian visas were granted to Greeks, all but 15 of which were family visas. In the same year, 102 temporary student visas were granted to Greek nationals.