Emigration enquiries on the rise
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by Gill Montia
HiFX, the money transfer business, has published the results of a survey that suggests the number of Britons considering an overseas property purchase has reached record levels.
According to HiFX’s Global Emigration Hotspots Report, the number of Britons making enquires about moving abroad increased 22% in 2007, compared to 2006.
Mark Bodega, a director of HiFX comments: “A strong pound, rising house prices and good job opportunities abroad tend to be main reasons for Brits to emigrate.”
The study uses migration trends for 2007 to predict the most popular destinations for 2008; last year, the favourite destination for potential emigrants was Australia, although strong interest was also recorded for Spain, the US, New Zealand, France and Canada.
Mr Bodega is wary of Australia’s current top destination status, explaining: “In September 2007, the Australian government introduced changes to the skills assessment process for trades people. The changes have already had a significant impact on the numbers of visa applications being lodged from the UK; in particular among applicants who have no formal qualifications.”
While New Zealand has been decreasing in popularity, with enquiries dropping by 7% in 2007 compared with 2006, HiFX expects the trend to reverse because the country will attract those who fail the new eligibility criteria in Australia.
The Office of National Statistics’ most recent figures estimate that a record 400,000 people will leave the UK in the coming year, up from 359,000 in the previous 12 months.
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