A NEW report reveals that more than 630 Irish people have been deported from Australia over a period of two years.
The figures, which were released to RTE News by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, show that a total of 636 Irish nationals were deported from the beginning of 2016 to the end of August 2018.
Overstaying a visa, having a visa cancelled or invalid visas were the most common reasons for the deportations.
Irish nationals were removed from the country from onshore immigration detention facilities in each state.
The Irish Australian Support Association, which is based in Queensland and assists Irish people living in Australia, said changes to visas have left many people in “a grey area”.
This year, Australia scrapped its skilled 457 visa programme, which had allowed tens of thousands of Irish workers to enter the country legally.
Speaking to RTE’s Morning Ireland, spokesperson for IASAQ Paddy Farrelly described the visa changes as having come as a “shock” and that it had left some people “fallen between stools”.
He urged anyone experiencing visa problems to contact them for help.
The 467 visa has been replaced by a new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, which has significantly reduced the list of occupants that qualify.
Mr Farrelly said the transition from the 457 visa to the TSS visa has made things much more difficult for Irish in Australia the new visas are limited, expensive and have an intimidating amount of paperwork.
Furthermore, an applicant must also be sponsored by an employer to avail of the TSS visa.