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More US job seekers head to Australia

business Updated: Dec 28, 2010 23:23 IST
IANS
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Facing a job crunch at home, more US citizens are heading to Australia where nearly 7,000 Americans are currently working on long-term visas, an 80% jump over the past five years.

US citizens are now the third-largest group applying for work visas, after UK and Indian nationals, the Wall Street Journal said, quoting Australian government data.

Daniel Davila, a 23-year-old timber floorer from California who has been working at a grocery store, said that on a good day, he makes as much as 50 Australian dollars ($50.21) an hour — about twice the usual rate for the job in the US.

Americans with degrees in areas such as accounting or mine engineering as well as other skilled workers can obtain a non-renewable permit for as much as a three-year stay. After that, they can apply for the renewable 457 work visa, which grants up to a four-year stay.

The number of US students in Australian universities has also jumped nearly 10% in the past two years.