Australia already shares Work and Holiday visa arrangements with a number participating countries and, as of this week, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has announced that Australia will commence negotiations with the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Poland, and the Slovak Republic. The agreements, when implemented will serve as mechanism for establishing reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangements between the participating countries.
Mr. Bowen commented: The start of discussions for these new work and holiday arrangements recognises the value of Australia’s evolving bilateral relationships with these countries and will strengthen our cultural and people-to-people links.
As soon as the agreements are finalised, they will allow young Australians and citizens of the partner countries to benefit from extended holidays in the guest country. In order to apply for the Work and Holiday visa, candidates must be aged 18 to 30.
Participants holding a work and holiday visa will be able to stay in the guest country for up to 12 months, and during this time will be permitted to engage in short-term work and study. The number of visas granted under the new work and holiday agreements will be capped on an annual basis.
Negotiating work and holiday arrangements, which must be reciprocal and agreeable to both partner governments, can take some time to finalise and implement. We must ensure all key stakeholders are consulted and necessary administrative processes are in place, Mr Bowen said.
The main difference between a Working Holiday visa and a Work and Holiday visa is that the applicant is required to gain backing from it’s national government. In addition to this requirement, applicant must be able to show that they are studying towards tertiary qualifications and have a functional command of the English language.
Pending a successful outcome, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Poland, and the Slovak Republic will join the list of already participating countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Turkey and the United States.