August 2007 - Issue 1 Volume 1

  1. Welcome
  2. New website
  3. Ean news
  4. Issue: Political participation by emigrants
  5. Members' Query: Remigration options
  6. Research: Children and return migration
  7. Events
  8. On our website

Welcome to the new EAN Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of Ean's new newsletter. We'll be sending out this email bulletin every month to keep you informed about issues affecting the Irish abroad as well as those intending to emigrate or to return.

Your suggestions are welcome! If you'd like to share any aspect of your work, or would like to alert those working with emigrants about any issue that may affect them, or just have thoughts you'd like to express, let me know at 

Thanks! Your feedback will help our newsletter to grow and develop. - Noreen Bowden

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Ean's new website

We've launched our new website! Visit it at The new website includes information on Ean's projects and activities, as well as a "Newswatch" section that highlights items of emigrant-related interest that appears in the media. Have something you want to share? We welcome your news about your events and publications, or anything you'd like to share with Ean members. Drop a line to


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Ean news

As well as updating our website, we've been working on a few exciting projects here at Ean. We're working on a pilot project involving bringing elderly emigrants over from Britain for assisted holidays. The project's aim is to produce a manual of best practice aimed at helping local communities start up assisted holidays in their area. Assisted holidays, of course, were an idea highlighted in the 2002 Task Force Report on Emigration.

We're also working on a curriculum project to introduce transition year students to emigration and the Irish diaspora. We'll share more information about both these projects in upcoming issues.

Watch out for next month - we'll be giving you the details of a survey we'll be conducting to find out more about our members. We'll be looking for information on the services you provide, or what your interests are, and how Ean can assist you in your work. We'll use this information to help set our priorities for the future!

Have you renewed your membership for this year? You can fill out the form online and send us your dues by post - see our website to renew your membership.

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Issue: political participation by emigrants

With the elections for both the Dail and Seanad dominating the news this summer, there have been a few commentators who noted that Ireland's emigrants do not get to share in the voting process. With the exception of those university graduates who are entitled to vote in Seanad elections for their representatives, as well as those in military or diplomatic service, Irish people living abroad cannot vote. There are many other countries, however, that allow their emigrants to vote.

In fact, there are nearly 100 countries that allow their emigrants to vote. These include

  • 21 African nations
  • 13 North and South American countries
  • 15 Asian countries
  • 6 Pacific countries
  • 36 European countries.

Sixty-five of these countries allow for external voting for everyone, while about 25 place restrictions on it, based on such factors as to whether they intend to return permanently or how long they have been away. Citizens in the US can vote no matter how long they stay away, while citizens of Britain are disqualified after fifteen years away. Some countries, like France, reserve seats in their parliaments for citizens who live abroad, while others vote in the constituency in which they used to live. Other countries only allow for votes in national or presidential elections. Some countries require their emigrants to return home to cast ballots, while others send out postal ballots, and others organise for citizens to vote in person at consulates or embassies.

Some of the countries that allow their citizens abroad to vote include Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Britain, the Philippines and Mexico. Countries that, like Ireland, do not allow their emigrants to vote include India, Hungary, South Africa, Zimbabwe, El Salvador and Nepal.

Some people object to emigrant voting because they fear that voters who live in Ireland would be outnumbered by the number of people who would be eligible to vote from abroad. Sometimes people suggest that everyone who is eligible for Irish citizenship might be eligible to vote from abroad - but most proposals around emigrant voting are limited to only Irish-born people living abroad. There are just over 1 million of them, but international experience would suggest that only a small proportion of those would be interested in voting.

In any case, there is an increasing trend for countries to allow their emigrants to vote, as international travel increases and it becomes easier to keep up with the news and maintain closer ties with home through the internet. Ireland is becoming more unusual in its stance on the issue.

Do you have strong feelings on this issue, either way? Let us know - drop a line to

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Members' Query: Re-migration

Following the disappointment concerning this year's attempts at immigration reform in the US, we have heard some suggestions that some undocumented Irish there who would prefer to explore options that would allow them to re-migrate to countries other than Ireland.

Later in the year, Emigrant Advice in Dublin will be coming out with their updated series of books covering migration to Australia, Canada and Britain as well as the US.  This will no doubt be an extremely useful resource - In the meantime, however, here is a quick rundown of options for those interested in migrating to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This information appeared in the current edition of the Irish Apostolate USA's newsletter.


Australia is actively encouraging migration and has a variety of options for those interested in emigrating. The country is experiencing a particularly acute shortage of tradespeople, but is also recruiting internationally for a vast range of occupations, including accountants, medical and IT professionals, cooks and hairdressers.

Options include: 

General skilled migration visa - This is an option for those between 18 and 45, who have skills for occupations needed in Australia.. There are substantial fees involved and applicants must have their skills assessed before applying for the visa. The programme covers a wide range of skills. These visa applications can take as long as a year.

Employer-sponsored visas - These visas are for skilled people to be employed on a temporary or permanent basis. The visa applicant must have found an employer willing to sponsor his or her application.

Working holiday visa - this is an option for those aged 18 to 30, and offers a working holiday for a period of up to 12 months. (Working as a seasonal worker in regional Australia will allow the participant eligibility for a second year). The primary purpose of the visa, according to the Australian government, is to supplement the cost of the holiday through incidental employment; those whose primary purpose in going to Australia is to participate in the work force should consider one of the other types of visas.

The Australian government has set up a very comprehensive website at with more information.


Like Australia, Canada offers both a path to permanent residency for skilled workers (which operates through points system evaluating a number of criteria), and a one-year programme that young people may apply for.

Skilled workers

Canada allows skilled workers to move to Canada and become permanent residents. There are six selection factors:

    * education,
    * ability in England and/or French,
    * experience,
    * age,
    * arranged employment in Canada and
    * adaptability.  

A married or common-law partner can apply on behalf of both partners; the partner likely to receive fewer points on the assessment scale can be considered as a dependent in the application.

An applicant will need to have proof of sufficient funds to support him- or herself and any dependents, or proof of arranged employment.

The official Citizenship and Immigration Canada website is at

Work and Travel Programme

There is an agreement between Ireland and Canada allowing for Irish residents under 35 to work in Canada for a year. The programme is run by USIT. Please note that only Irish citizens who are resident in Ireland when they apply are eligible for this programme. It takes six weeks to process the application, and the programme costs 379 euro. This visa is not renewable.

USIT has more information on their website.


New Zealand

New Zealand also has a Skilled Migrant Category for those aged from 20 to 55. Partners and children can be included in the application process. The process appears somewhat complicated and begins with filling out an 'Expression of Interest' form, which is then evaluated and assigned a point score; those with high enough scores and those with certain qualifying factors are invited to apply to a residence permit.

New Zealand has a skill shortage and has a strong demand for skilled people in fields including:

    * Education
    * Health and medical groups
    * Information and communications technology
    * Agriculture and farming
    * Engineering
    * Trades.

Visit the New Zealand government's website for more information.

Working holiday visa

New Zealand has a working holiday visa for people from 18-30; the scheme, which runs from 1 July every year, has a limit of 2,800 places annually. The programme requires at least $4,200 in New Zealand funds to meet living costs.

The New Zealand government offers more information at their website.

Another good online resource for those interested in moving to New Zealand is The New Zealand Immigration Guide at This is an independent site covering many aspects of the immigrant experience in New Zealand; it carries many stories from individual immigrants describing their experiences, as well as practical information on the cost of living, salaries, housing and employment.

Do you have a question you've been wondering about? Drop a line to, and I'll do my best to answer it and share the information with our members.

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Academic conferences
There are several upcoming academic conferences coming up that will touch on the experience of Irish emigrants:

'The New Irish': Dundalk IT, 27-28 September 2007 - The conference will focus on questions about the Irish diaspora, immigration, young people, and globalisation following Ireland's change from a nation plagued by poverty and emigration to a booming, self-confident nation of immigration.

British Association for Irish Studies conference will be held 14-16 September 2007 at the University of Liverpool. Returning Irish migrants will be the focus of a panel at this conference, titled "New Irelands".

See more on these and other upcoming conferences in our website's Events section.

Have an event you'd like to publicise to our members? Drop a line to

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Research: Children and 'return' migration

Ean member Dr. Caitriona Ni Laoire, who has completed a research project on returning Irish migrants, is now looking into the issue of the children of returning emigrants. She has issued this summary of her ongoing research:

Marie Curie Migrant Children Project

Strand D

Children and "Return" Migration:
Children's and young people's experiences of moving to Ireland with their return migrant parent(s)

Dr. Caitriona Ni Laoire
Dept. of Geography, University College Cork

This research is funded by the EU Commission through a Marie Curie Excellence Grant.

Returning Irish migrants are a numerically important and often overlooked in-migrant group in contemporary Ireland. A significant number of the 1980s generation of emigrants have been returning to Ireland in recent years, many of them with children who were born elsewhere, reflecting a strong desire among return migrants to bring up their children in Ireland. These children and young people are a particularly under-researched group, a generation who have been born in England, the US or elsewhere, into an Irish migrant family, and have "returned" to live in Ireland in recent years with their parents. The notion of "coming home" for them raises many issues of identity and belonging. On the one hand, they are likely to share similar experiences with other migrant children, associated with moving from a familiar to an unfamiliar place, and with possible experiences of dislocation, loss and exclusion. On the other hand, their familial ties and support structures in Ireland, and their pre-migration knowledge of Ireland, are likely to be stronger or more complex than they are for other immigrant children.

This new research aims to contribute to understandings of the experiences of children and young people who move to Ireland with their return migrant parent(s) and, in this, to prioritise the voices of the children themselves.

The research explores:

  • the migration experiences, everyday lives and social worlds of children and young people who move to Ireland with their return migrant parent(s)
  • family, kin and intergenerational relations in the context of return migration
  • negotiation of identities among children of return migrants

The methodology draws on recent developments in children's geographies and new social studies of childhood. It is guided by the principle of children's and young people's agency and subjectivity, as well as the "children in families" approach. The approach will be primarily qualitative, incorporating participatory and child-centered techniques, together with some background analysis of Census 2006 data.

The research involves undertaking participative activities with children and interviews with parents. These usually take place over the course of two to three visits to participants' homes. The activities with the children are adapted to their ages, and include activities such as artwork, 'play and talk', photography, discussion and diaries. Interviews are also conducted with adults who themselves moved to Ireland with return migrant parents when they were younger.

If you would like to get involved in any way, or would like some more information, do not hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Caitriona Ni Laoire by post, email or phone.
a: Marie Curie Migrant Children Project, Department of Geography, 6 Bloomfield Terrace, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
t: +353-21-4903656

Would you like to publicise your research to our members? Drop a line to

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On our website

Stay on top of emigrant-related news and media in Ireland through our Newswatch section on our website. Through this blog-style feature we'll track media articles related to emigrants, with brief posts and links to additional information.

Here are links to a few of the latest articles:

"Irish Prisoners Abroad" published by DFA
Aer Lingus' Shannon shift means end to repatriation
J-1ers go west as traditional spots lose pull
Seanad loses emigrant advocate
Book highlights Irish contribution to US slang
Atlantic Arc to encourage research cooperation
Emigrant drama takes Irish award
Intrepid Cork miner honoured by Cowgirl Hall of Fame

The Newswatch section is updated several times a week. Feel free to send on suggestions!

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Ean - Ireland's emigrant network