Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Taiwan, Belgium ink working holiday program agreement

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan and Belgium have inked an agreement on a reciprocal working holiday program for young adults, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Under the program, which is set to take effect on March 29, each nation would provide an annual quota of 200 visas for nationals aged between 18 and 30, the ministry’s Department of European Affairs director-general Hsu Mien-sheng (徐勉生) said.

This would allow young people from Taiwan and Belgium to work, travel and study in each other’s country for up to one year, Hsu said at a news briefing.

“This program serves as a good opportunity for young Taiwanese adults to learn more about Europe,” he said.

Taiwan is the first Asian country to ink such a pact with Belgium, which has similar agreements with Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the ministry said.

Belgium is the fourth European country to sign a working holiday agreement with Taiwan, after Germany, the UK and Ireland.

Under Taiwan’s working holiday programs, young Taiwanese can also travel to Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Hsu said he is optimistic that Taiwan and France would finalize a working holiday agreement by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the government of the Czech Republic has decided to include Taiwan in its green card program, under which Taiwanese hired to work there can apply for a permit for long-term residence for employment purposes, Hsu said.

Under the program, which was implemented on Feb. 20, Taiwanese working in the Czech Republic have been able to apply for a green card that combines a residence permit and a work permit in a single document, intended to simplify entry to the job market for foreigners, Hsu said.

The green cards are valid for up to three years.

The cards will only be issued to people taking jobs that have not been successfully filled by workers from the Czech Republic or other members of the EU.

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