Mon, Oct 04, 2004 - Page 4 News List

`Working holiday' visa deal made with Australia

LONGER VISITS The new agreement will allow Taiwanese between 18 and 30 to take on short-term employment in Australia and stay for up to a year

CNA , TAIPEI

Taiwan and Australia will begin issuing working holiday visas to each other's young citizens starting Nov. 1.

Taiwan and Australia signed an agreement July 15 on the exchange of working holiday visas to facilitate tourism in both countries.

Australia is the second country to sign such an agreement with Taiwan after New Zealand. The Taiwan-New Zealand working holiday visa agreement was implemented in June.

Under the Taiwan-Australia working holiday agreement -- signed in Taipei by Timothy Yang (楊進添), Taiwan's representative to Australia, and his Australian counterpart, Frances Adamson -- Taiwan citizens aged between 18 and 30 can apply for working holiday visas for a maximum one-year stay in Australia.

Such citizens can take on short-term employment during their stay, but their main purpose of entry must be for vacation or pleasure trips, and not work. Therefore, they cannot work for the same employer for more than three months and cannot take full-time jobs.

Australian officials at the opening of the Australian Education Exhibition in Taipei yesterday solicited Taiwan students and young working people to go to Australia for leisure trips or study by taking advantage of the new agreement.

The Australian officials said that Australia offers much better treatment to Taiwan students and young working people than the US does. They noted that the US only allows foreign students to "work and tour" during summer vacations, and that the applicants must be between 18 and 28 years old.

There will be no limit in terms of the number of Taiwan students or young working people who can apply for Australian working holiday visas, the Australian officials said. The applicants cannot take any children with them on their trip, and they must produce proof that they have at least A$5,000 (US$3,598), the officials added.

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