A new report, released today by the Department of Immigration, reveals that 4,938 permanent migrants in the year to June 2012, came from the Republic of Ireland. This marks an increase of over 33 per cent.
Those from Northern Ireland are included in the UK figure which is 25, 274 for the 2011/12 financial year.
In 2010/11, Ireland was the 10th highest source of new migrants with 3,700. In 2009/10, Ireland was not among the top ten source countries.
The statistics include those granted permanent residency onshore and offshore but do not include, for instance, those on 457 sponsored visas or other temporary residents.
The top source country for migrants in 2011/12 was India with 29,018 followed by China with 25,509.
For the first time, the UK has dropped to third with 25,274 migrants. However, this figure is slightly higher than the 2010/11 intake from Britain and Northern Ireland.
The total migration program outcome for the year to June 2012 was 184,998, only two short of the planning level.
Of these, 125,755 people came in through the skilled stream while 58,604 places were taken up through the family stream.
Of the skilled migrants, over 46,000 were sponsored by their employer and the vast majority of those – over 35,000 – were onshore applicants.
The number of migrant visas issued to workers sponsored by their employers has more than doubled since 2006/07.
Many of those workers granted migrant visas were already on temporary residency visas like the 457, another indicator that this is the most desirable path to permanent residency.
The top five occupations among sponsored workers were accountant, cook, software programmers, software engineers and developer programmers.