Friday, June 8, 2012

Ireland’s ‘brain drain’ uses up their quota of US, Canadian and Australian visas

Mass exodus of the Irish continues but many will have to wait for 2013

KATE HICKEY, IrishCentral Editor - Friday, June 8, 2012

Ireland’s “brain drain” is quickly using up the annual working visa quotas for the United States, Canada and Australia.
Those hopeful Irish emigrants thinking of traveling to Canada to work will have to wait until next year to apply for visas. In March Canada made 5,350 visas available to Irish and UK residents under the International Experience Canada (IEC) programme but they’ve all been used. Now applicants will have to hold their plans until 2013.
A record number of Irish have also being emigrating to Australia. It seems that as Australia increases the number of work visas available the Irish fill the gap. The Irish Times reported that in the first six months of 2011 a record 21,753 Irish nationals got working visas for Australia. The year the figures will be even higher.
As for the United States, where working visa status is more difficult to achieve, the Irish have already almost used up their quota for the H1B visas (a sponsorship visa for degree holders).
According to New York’s O’Brien & Associates, attorneys at law, “As of June 5, 2012, approximately 55,600 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. USCIS has receipted 18,700 H-1B petitions for advanced degree holders.
Once again the caps are 65,000 for bachelor’s degree holders and 20,000 for advanced degree holders, so the countdown to exhaustion of the quota is really on.”
Those Irish students wishing to come to the US directly after college have the option to apply for a “J” visa which lasts for one year while the J1 or J2 visa allows student to work just for three months during the summer season. In New York at least the evidence of J1 students arriving for the summer is everywhere. Job applications at local bars and construction sites are on the up and the GAA teams in the Bronx are stocked for the season.
Despite the outflow of people according to the CSO unemployment in Ireland is 14.8 percent (or 309,000 people of work).
Unemployment has dropped by one percent since the same period last year. However with an estimated 111 Irish people emigrating every week it’s hard to trust the bare statistics.
The most revealing facts among the statistics were the number of long term unemployed. This figure has risen from 7.8 percent to 8.9 percent in the last year. These are people who have been unemployed for one year or more.
These very alarming figures are a testimonial to the gross incompetence of a succession of bumbling Irish political administrations. It seems that no matter which party is in power the incompetence is merely passed on from one to another with no viable solution in sight other than exporting their youth on the “emigrant ship”. They don’t seem to give a “tinker’s damn” about anything other than lining their pockets with the obscene golden handshakes and lifetime pensions that they have carved out for themselves at the expense of the long suffering Irish taxpayer. Their insatiable greed is a classic example of the old addage, “On any given day there is more money stolen with a pencil than with a gun”. Shame on them!!
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

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