Substantial increase in number of US citizens moving to Australia

by Ray Clancy on January 3, 2011

in Australia Immigration

More Americans choosing Oz

More Americans are moving to Australia, especially those with degrees in mining and engineering, two sectors that are facing a severe skills shortage.

Figures from the Australian government show that almost 7,000 US citizens are currently working on long-term visas, an increase of 80% on the numbers five years ago.

Industry experts believe that high unemployment in the United States and also job opportunities in Australia is making the country more favourable.

Americans are now the third largest group applying for work visas, after British and Indian workers. The number of US students in Australia studying at university has also increased, up almost 10% in the last two years, reversing a downward trend.

Skilled workers can obtain a non-renewable permit for working in Australia for up to three years and after that they can apply for the renewable 457-work visa, which allows for a stay of up to four years.

According to Australia’s labour law, the longer term visa hopefuls must be sponsored by a company with visas for in-demand jobs, such as nurses, builders and engineers, and prove they meet Australia’s demanding immigration criteria.

Australia’s Subclass 457 work visa has been the most commonly applied for and granted visa programme for skilled workers to obtain sponsorship and employment in Australia. It has been also considered as the most useful visa category for Australian businesses that want to hire overseas workers.

The increase in Americans arriving in Australia to work comes as at time when Australians are more approving of the United States. A recent Gallup poll found that between 2008 and 2010 approval jumped from 25% to 69% in Australia, highest jump Gallup has measured worldwide before and after the election of President Barack Obama.

Before 2008 the Australian view of the United States was poor with a study conducted by the US Studies Center at the University of Sydney in 2007 showing that only 28% of Australians had a favourable opinion of the previous President George W. Bush.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James January 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm

US citizens, especially retirees, are moving to Australia, NZ, UK and other parts of Europe to get the free medical and drugs. Americans always vote for low taxes, they do this because when working, they dont feel any responsibility for retirees, other peoples medical issues, other peoples pensions etc. Then, when their turn to retire comes, they look for an exit to a more socialist country to get the advantages of all the benefits that they didnt want to pay for. The USA is a great place in many ways, but we shouldnt allow their people who refuse to pay the taxes necessary for socialist benefits, to become leeches in our country. Let them look after their pensioners, their AIDS sufferers, their Heart victims, their cancer victims etc. we will look after ours.


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