Working holiday visa programmes, which allow Irish people aged 18 to 30 to travel and work  for up to two years in Australia and a year in New Zealand, will continue as they are.

Q&A: Why are immigration rules being changed, and who will be affected?

The 457 visa has been particularly popular with Irish construction and healthcare workers.

Tens of thousands of Irish workers immigrated under scheme in recent years

Picturing the Irish Diaspora: Readers have been sending us their pics and stories from around the world.

Irish Times Abroad project gathers tales of adventure and new lives from overseas readers

Minister for the Diaspora Joe McHugh has said an options paper containing a range of suggestions will be published. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Campaign groups welcome announcement as 'important first step'

Minister of State for Diaspora Joe McHugh said online voting from abroad will be considered as an option.

Opinion divided on proposed referendum on emigrant vote in presidential elections

Senders have been posting photos of their postcards on social media using the #Post4Repeal hashtag.

‘The Irish abroad and the whole world is watching,’ say pro-choice campaigners overseas

Demonstrators took part in a ‘Free The People Immigration March’ in Los Angeles on Saturday. Photograph: Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg

Fear growing over administration’s plans to clamp down on illegal immigration

More than 300,000 Irish-born people have left the Republic since 2006, and another 100,000 from Northern Ireland.

Car insurance costs, farm payments and access to credit particularly affect rural returnees, Oireachtas told

Irish teachers report faster career progression abroad, but often at a cost

‘Cailíní Secret’ project encourages Irish women to access mental health supports

Ollie Gordon from Easkey in Co Sligo, now director at TradeConnex Construction & Labour Hire in Sydney, became an Australian citizen last year.

Almost 4,000 Irish became citizens last year, four times the 2009 figure

Carol Friel, Gavin Grace and Stephanie Lyons have all moved from Ireland and are now living in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: Jacky Ghossein

How do emigrants feel about life in Australia? What about going back to Ireland?

Final preparations are underway ahead the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th president of the US. Photograph: Samad Jewel/AFP/Getty Images

Readers share anxieties and hopes as Donald Trump set to become 45th US president

Brexit and Trump cause uncertainty as stories of return continue to dominate

Dave Dillon: “We’ve a book called Kiwi Jingle Bells that starts, ‘Dashing to the bay, in a Kombi camper van, Christmas at the beach, the family master plan. . .’ ”

Irish people overseas describe how they will celebrate Christmas this year

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘Should it be citizens born on the island of Ireland only? Should it be passport holders only?’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Taoiseach says referendum on issue will not be held in 2017 as previously promised

Supporters of Hillary Clinton watch the election results roll in at her election night rally in Manhattan. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Readers express despair and delight as Donald Trump becomes 45th president

Generation Emigration has published more than 1,000 stories written by readers abroad since the project began in October 2011.

As Generation Emigration expands to Irish Times Abroad, we look back on five years of emigrant stories

Eileen and Seamus Burke emigrated to Vancouver for the third time in their lives in 2012. Five weeks ago, they moved back to Galway.

Irish Times Abroad catches up with emigrants interviewed back in 2011/12 to find out how moving abroad worked out for them

Irish people continue to emigrate in large numbers, but for different reasons than they did at the height of the recession in 2011. The Irish Times is adapting its coverage of the Irish abroad to reflect the changing diaspora.

Want to be our eyes and ears on the ground where you live? Join the new Network

Despite a slowdown in the Australian economy, there are still almost 200 occupations on the Skilled Occupations List, which is a good indicator of your chances of finding a job.

The economy is strong but recent weakness in the labour market means it is important to do your research

Between May 2008 and April 2014, 78,500 people moved from the Republic of Ireland to Australia.

Beautiful beaches are a huge draw - but it’s a big move, so check our guide for practical advice

Homes tend to typically be in an inner city apartment block, or a fully detached, individually built suburban or rural house.

The type of accommodation on offer in New Zealand is different from that in Ireland

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection offers dozens of different visas for foreign workers, but the most popular among Irish immigrants are the working holiday and employer-sponsored (457) visas.

From a working holiday to permanent residency, our guide will help you to get the right visa

Despite a shortage of workers, there won’t be jobs for everyone, so it is important to do your research before leaving to make sure your skills and experience match what employers are looking for.

The government is looking abroad to fill skills shortages ranging from construction to healthcare

An important element of life in the Islamic Gulf States is how women are treated, and this tends to vary depending on the strictness of the regime in each of the states.

Irish people need to be prepared for a very different way of life

If you are already an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you  don’t need a visa to work in New Zealand.

From a working holiday to permanent residency, our guide will help you to find the right visa for your circumstances

Property in Australia: Rents and real estate prices are highest in Sydney, followed by Perth and  Melbourne.

Rental properties don’t come cheap, and competition is fierce - so get your groundwork done in advance

Flight times to Ireland and temperatures vary hugely in the world’s second-largest country

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan with Budget 2017 at Government Buildings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Irish abroad: Was there anything for you in Budget 2017?

Hillary Clinton polled particularly well among female respondents to an Irish Times online poll, but was less popular among young people. Photograph: Getty Images

Trump gets 23% of ‘virtual votes’ in online poll completed by 5,000 people

Carmen Spencer: ‘I recognise the possible benefit of the skills these people acquired abroad to the Irish economy if they were to return, but my issue with an “emigrant tax” is that it rewards those who left at the expense of those who stayed.’

Readers respond to proposal to offer returning emigrants reduced 30% tax rate

Photograph: iStock

Farmers objected to proposed tax of 32.5 per cent on every dollar

The ‘global gatherings’ to coincide with the Abortion Rights Campaign’s annual March for Choice in Dublin this Saturday have been organised by the Scarlet Brigade, an online network of Irish emigrants who are ‘scarlet for Ireland’s 8th amendment’.

Meet the emigrants calling on Ireland to repeal the eighth, from Melbourne to Montreal

Darragh and Lorcan Adshead started school in London last week.

Less religion, faster pace, lower costs: Irish parents on how schools compare to Ireland

Tom Crean’s birth, marriage and death records are among 2.5 million new images of historical documents available on

Millions of historical birth, marriage and death documents become available online

12-year-old Jonah Maxwell experienced bullying after moving from Dublin to Illinois

An “emotional support” helpline for emigrants is also planned for later this year.

Cabhrú service will be available to help with loneliness, depression, anxiety and addiction

Irish nurse Ruth Abbott at Scarborough Beach in Western Australia. Photograph: Philip Gostelow

The prospect of finding work in Ireland is a big issue for Irish abroad hoping to return

Perth at dusk, on Australia’s west coast. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A woman explains why she decided to stay on in Australia after her two-year visa expired

Those without necessary visa have reason to feel afraid and very vulnerable

Billy Brosnan, engineer from Co Kerry: ‘There seems to be work in Dublin all right, but what about the rest of the country?’ Photograph: Jacky Ghossein

Generation Emigration reports from Sydney and Perth on their successes, struggles and the couples divided over whether to stay or (...)

Mark Cunningham poolside with his daughters Olivia and Kerri in Perth.

Mark Cunningham ‘built a successful life’ in Australia but after five years he’s heading back to Galway

Vicki Buckley with her kids Hannah (5) and Jack (2). Photograph: Philip Gostelow

Lawyer Vicki Buckley has recently moved to Perth with her family (and her hairdresser)

Stephanie McCurdy: ‘I am always looking for the next adventure: I could be in Sydney next year, or Timbuktu.’

In Sydney and Perth, there are mixed views about where will be their ‘forever home’

For the first time since 2009, more people have moved to Ireland than emigrated. A total of 21,100 Irish people moved back to the Republic from abroad in the year to April this year – a jump of 74 per cent – while 58,200 people of other nationalities also moved here to live, up 1.7 per cent. File photograph: Getty Images

CSO figures show 21,000 Irish moved back to Ireland in year to April 2016 - up 74% on 2015

Aoife Doran is moving back to Ireland with her Australian husband Josh and their son Finn.

Readers respond to CSO figures showing drop in emigration and rise in returns

The number of Irish people moving back to Ireland from abroad jumped 74 per cent in the year to April 2016, CSO figures show. Photograph: iStock

Opinion: Economy is improving but Irish abroad are still concerned about prospects

CSO figures show 21,100 Irish nationals moved back to live here in the 12 months to April 2016, up from 12,100 the previous year. Photograph: iStock

Emigration still high with 31,800 Irish leaving in 12 months to April

The Crosscare survey results also found the challenges facing Irish people when they move abroad vary depending on where they go in the world. GAA clubs in Australia and New Zealand were most likely to highlight concerns relating to health and mental health among the Irish living there. Photograph: iStock

Survey of GAA clubs abroad finds job prospects and living costs are biggest concerns

The Beattie family in Perth – Keela, Anthony, Bronagh, Tiernan and Eimear. Eimear, a sports and history teacher from Co Limerick, runs the Irish Families in Perth group which now has 12,000 members on Facebook.

“Would Zara be doing Irish dancing if we were living in Galway? Probably not," says one dad in Sydney

St Patrick’s Day down under: For many people, the family is their main reason for moving to Australia. Many of them came out to give their kids a better life.

Irish Families in Perth, with 12,000 members on Facebook, is at the heart of the new Irish community

Irish Mums NOR facilitator Linda Morton with Lily (2) and Christopher (4), Geraldine Potts with daughter Erin (13 months), Maria Homan with daughter Ava (2), Allison McCormack Baxter with son Elliott (3 months), and Dee Mason with son Marley.

With family support 15,000km away, Irish mums are coming together in Australia for support and friendship

Alicia Butler with her partner, Gerard, and their daughters, Annie and Alice, at an Easter party organised by the Irish Mums NOR group in Perth, Australia.

Alicia Butler: ‘I breastfed Alice until halfway through my pregnancy with Annie, I don’t think I would have been able to do that a(...)

CNN presenter John King said on Twitter that he ‘wasn’t laughing at the mayor’. Photograph:

John King caught on hot mic during speech about Catholic Irish immigrants

A busy street in Dublin. The census results  point to a continued shift in population growth towards the greater Dublin area since the last census results in 2011, with decreases in the Border and western areas. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh .

Census results: Birth rate helps push numbers towards highest since 1871 census

More than 125 countries worldwide have some provision to allow emigrants to vote from overseas, but currently, Ireland has no system in place. Image: iStock

Minister for Diaspora announces referendum will be held on issue in 2017

An Irish backpacker was discovered by the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency services after they received a call that a person was fast asleep on the ledge of a building. Photograph: Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services

Irish backpacker says he has no recollection of how he got onto the roof

Six in 10 emigrants surveyed for The Irish Times said they would like to be able to vote indefinitely after moving abroad, while about one in three said it should be limited to a certain number of years. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Young people more likely to have strong view on issue, Irish Times poll shows

One in five Irish people surveyed abroad, who left between 2008 and 2015, do not see themselves returning to live in Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

Most post-2008 emigrants not ready to return, Irish Times survey finds

‘I fell asleep on the flight and woke up and the flight map told us we were over Belmullet, and I thought, oh God, there’s no going back now.’

Michael John Winters arrived home from Canada last week with his wife and their dog

Sarah Flynn with her daughter Willow: ‘The years seem to have ticked by . . . For now, we have no plans to move to Ireland.’ Photograph:

‘Generation Emigration’ is buying homes, starting families – and feeling happier than they did in Ireland

Recent leavers were more likely to say they wanted to “experience a change”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Irish Times survey shows emigrants becoming embedded abroad

How do Irish emigrants who left since 2008 feel about life abroad and coming home?

A broker reacts at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt after Britain voted to leave the European Union. Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP

Readers express dismay and anxiety over vote to leave the EU

Brexit or Bremain? The UK goes to the polls on Thursday to vote on staying or leaving the European Union. Photograph: Hayoung Jeon/EPA

Almost 4,500 online responses received as UK prepares to vote in EU referendum

Anne Power with her daughter Arianna and grandson Ben at her home in Ashbourne. ‘Being away from the grandkids is the hardest. It is the little things that you miss; not being able to give them a hug, to listen to their little stories, to give them a cuddle when they are ill.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

‘None of us brought up our children to have them exported to the other side of the world’

Minister of State for Diaspora Joe McHugh: ‘It is important that I as Minister work closely with the companies that are seeing gaps relating to skills or education, and be a bit more targeted, use the global Irish network that we have, rather than putting out a call, or putting a minister on a plane on St Patrick’s Day.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

New Minister for Diaspora on voting rights, encouraging emigrants home, and a respectful relationship

Minister of State for the Diaspora Joe  McHugh has said Ireland needed to be “more targeted in attracting people back” here, as there would not be jobs for all. File photograph: Getty Images

‘Open invitation’ to return not practical when issues persist, says Minister for Diaspora

Welcome: Billy Lawless greets President Obama at Copernicus Community Center. Photograph:

The Chicago restaurateur, who’ll have by far the longest commute to Leinster House, has been representing undocumented Irish since(...)

Róisín Ryan: ‘There will be more and more people like me moving back from Australia, and that’s the ideal way to develop business links between the two countries.’

Róisín Ryan, director with Grant Thornton in Dublin, recently returned from Melbourne

A survey of IACC members last year found 80 per cent wanted to return to live in Ireland in the future, or were undecided about staying in Australia. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce to open new Dublin chapter

Joe McHugh set up the first GAA club in the UAE while working in Dubai in the 1990s. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Former teacher from Donegal has first-hand experience of living abroad

Dublin-born architect Niamh Kiernan: “The failure to ensure that funding for heritage is put on a statutory basis is detrimental to the heritage sector.”

Funds generated by modernising estate’s outhouses and making them available for rent

‘Australia is the best place in the world on paper, but that doesn’t matter if you have depression’

Colin and Eithne Bell with Joan Ross of the Claddagh Association (centre), and representatives of other Irish welfare organisations working around Australia, at the LINK conference in Perth.

Parents of Kevin Bell honoured in Perth for service to families of Irish killed abroad

Fiona Mayers, Yvonne McCarthy, Vicki Buckley, Ciaran Kelly and  Killian Keating (with Ciara Kenny, right) have all moved to Western Australia from Ireland in the past five years. Photograph: Lorraine McCarthy

Podcast: Five people living in WA since 2011 talk FIFO, family, careers, and moving home

Epic Ireland  in CHQ, Dublin: Some of the diaspora’s well-known members. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Since the State bailed on a national diaspora centre, Neville Isdell has pumped millions of his own money into creating the ultima(...)

FIFO (fly in fly out) contracts are especially common for workers on construction and mining projects in remote parts of Western Australia and Queensland. Photograph: Thinkstock

Research shows FIFO workers more likely to experience mental illness and suicide

In the 12 months to June 2015, just 7,894 Irish people were granted a Working Holiday Visa, down from 12,004 the previous year and 25,827 in 2011/12. Photograph: Thinkstock

32.5% tax on all income will further deter dwindling seasonal workers, says industry

GP Aifric Boylan: ‘The most striking difference between working as a GP in Australia versus Ireland is that here the health system facilitates me in taking care of patients properly.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Irish healthcare workers abroad share suggestions based on experience overseas

Among the groups signing who signed the letter are Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad (VICA) in Britain, the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) in Silicon Valley, the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce, We’re Coming Back, the Irish German Business Network and the newly formed Irish Association of Latin America.

‘It’s time for Ireland to live up to the inclusive vision laid out by the Proclamation’

Twenty high school students will take part in the two-week programme, which includes classes, workshops, activities and field trips around Ireland. Photograph: Thinkstock

Two-week programme funded by Government aims to strengthen ties with diaspora

A private house in Dalkey, Co Dublin, by Italian Solutions for deBlacam & Meagher

Kate Macklin sent her first consignment of Italian furniture to Ireland in an empty meat truck. Now her design, construction and r(...)

“These ‘lovely girls’ were being driven around the Tinahely Show. The winner, the Wicklow Rose, would go on to the Rose of Tralee. It was a snapshot of rural Ireland.”

After three decades abroad the acclaimed photographer Seamus Murphy came home to chronicle his country. The result is a collection(...)

Ciaran Staunton speaking at a US Senate hearing on sepsis in 2013, following his son’s death from the infection in 2012. Photograph:

Ciaran Staunton becomes third Irish person living abroad to run for election next month

Policemen stand guard at the entrance of a security perimeter set near Maelbeek metro station. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Heavy military presence in aftermath of fatal Maelbeek explosion: ‘People started to run’

Badges of pride: at  the New York St Patrick’s Day Parade. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

From Montserrat to Perth: national day celebrated around world

Showing solidarity with and speaking up for people who are suffering

A Giant Panda cub is seen on show at China’s largest breeding Programme at Chengdu Research Base Of Giant Panda Breeding. Photograph:  Paul Gilham/Getty Images

It is a thrill to be young and lose yourself for months in the vastness of China, but you can cover a lot of ground – and be bett(...)

Melanie Cullen with her mother Shirley McHugh  in Sydney

Irish people living abroad pay a special Mother’s Day tribute to their mammies

Victim: Dermot O’Toole with his wife, Catherine, and their sons, Dale, Christian and Trent

The killings of David Greene, Jill Meagher and Dermot O’Toole in the Australian city have one uncomfortable fact in common: the pe(...)

Who came out top in an online political opinion poll for the Irish abroad? Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Support for FG and FF lower than in Ireland, while Social Democrats perform better

Gareth Simpson: ‘For me and the other Irish people I meet, it is clear and simple: access to good quality housing, schools and healthcare are paramount. Those three issues far outweigh any counter issue with regards to tax.’

We asked high-earning Irish emigrants what they thought. Here’s what they had to say

What have the main political parties pledged regarding emigrant issues? Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Some parties promise more than others in relation to voting rights, preventing emigration, and helping people to move home

Gary Whelan: ‘Our first date was a trip around the Ring of Kerry.’

On Valentine’s Day, Generation Emigration readers share their tales of relocating for love

Members of Boat to Vote, a group of Irish people who returned from London to vote in the marriage-equality referendum. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Many of the people who have recently left Ireland want a say in the future of the country to which they hope to return

FRIENDSHIP WEEK: Generation Emigration readers on leaving lifelong friends behind, and creating new social circles from scratch ab(...)

Barry Johnston (left) and Ed Davitt (right) have both announced their intention to run as independent candidates for the Seanad from abroad.

Ed Davitt in Brussels and Barry Johnston in London launch campaign for emigrant voting rights

David Farrell Professor of Politics at University College Dublin said voters are leaving it very late to make up their minds. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

David Farrell says evidence voters are increasingly swayed by policies over personalities

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