BORIS JOHNSON has repeated his desire for an ‘Australian-style points system’ for immigration, raising fears of what this could mean for Irish immigration to the UK.
The Australian system is notorious for being one of the strictest in the world, and currently, any Irish people looking to immigrate to Oz must go through a vigorous vetting process, being tested on their skills, qualifications, any criminal past and financial standing.
Applications for working visas can be rejected for a myriad of reasons: You must be under the age of 45 and fluent in the English language; your character, health, and skills are assessed by an Australian authority, and if anything is deemed sub-par you will not be allowed entry to the country.
When it comes to working in the Land Down Under, before your visa is granted you must prove that you are qualified to work as one of the roles nominated in a pre-determined list.
Included in the list is Construction project manager, Production engineer, Motorcycle mechanic and Radiologist. It is a broad list, with options for carpenters and panel beaters, but most of them require years in University.
This means that moving to Australia to seek an improved quality of life is not an option for everybody.
Under the UK’s current immigration system, Irish citizens do not need to go through the same rigorous checks and balances. All they need to do is prove they have started the application process for a National Insurance number.
Introducing a points system similar to Australia’s would potentially reduce the number of Irish people coming to work in the UK service industry.
With Aussie immigration as strict as it is, many Irish people choose to extend their Working Holiday visa by committing to work in the agriculture industry in the country for at least 88 days.
However, while this is a brilliant initiative that gives people the chance to contribute to their host country, it also means people who are highly educated in an area other than one of the pre-nominated roles can only immigrate to the country under the conditions of the Working Holiday visa.