The Prime Ministers of Australia and Singapore recently announced an exciting visa option for young people from both countries – the Work and Holiday Maker Programme.
Australians and Singaporeans aged between 18 and 30 will be able to complement their holiday and cultural experience by completing short term work while travelling to each other’s country.
It is expected that under this one-year visa, Singaporeans travelling to Australia will be able to work up to six months with any one employer, study a short course and leave and re-enter Australia while their visa is valid. The option to apply for an extension on their visa may also be made available.
It is expected the initiative will start with 500 people from each country for the first year, with this amount expected to increase in the coming years.
These changes are part of a broader ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ signed in June 2015 to promote the joint economic, defence, and people to people links between the two countries.
In addition to this Work and Holiday Maker Programme, Singaporean students will benefit from a new internship program being offered with prominent Australian companies, as well as a range of degrees, like the Australian Juris Doctor law degree, now being recognised in Singapore.
Singapore nationals who are vetted by the Singapore government may also be eligible for a new multi-year visa to allow for travel and multiple entry between the two countries.
These new initiatives are currently in development and once formalised will provide for greater travel, integration and appreciation between the two nations.
For more information, have a look at the following media releases:
- Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Hon Peter Dutton MP, ‘Australia enhances visa programme with Singapore’, http://www.minister.border.gov.au/peterdutton/2016/Pages/Australia-enhances-visa-programme-with-Singapore.aspx
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore, ‘Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Package’ https://www.mfa.gov.sg/content/mfa/media_centre/press_room/pr/2016/201605/press_20160506.html
- DFAT, Australia, ‘Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership- fact sheet: Project 2025’ http://dfat.gov.au/geo/singapore/Pages/australia-singapore-comprehensive-strategic-partnership-fact-sheet-project-2025.aspx