Portugal to join Australian work and holiday visa scheme

The global footprint of Australia’s working holiday programme has expanded again, with the signing of a reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangement between Australia and Portugal.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, said it means that young people from Australia and Portugal will have the opportunity to experience short term work and study arrangements in each other’s country.

She also said that the signing of the agreement was indicative of the strength of the relationship that Australia enjoys with Portugal, and would give 200 young people from each country a unique experience, which presents long term benefits for all.

‘The working holiday programme allows young citizens of participating countries to share knowledge, culture and experiences, and as a result, strengthens ties between countries,’ explained Cash.

‘At the heart of the programme is the opportunity to acquire new skills and develop an appreciation of another culture, to the benefit of both the individual and their home country. I am excited that this signing will result in more opportunities for young people to experience a vibrant opportunity overseas,’ she added.

The work and holiday visa differs from a working holiday visa, as it requires applicants to have the support of their government, hold or be studying towards tertiary qualifications, and to speak functional English.

‘Over the coming months, Australia and Portugal will work closely together to implement the necessary legal and administrative processes to bring this visa into effect,’ Cash concluded.

This visa is for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. Applicants must be at least 18 but not yet 31 years of age, must not have a dependent child at any time during their Australian stay and must have a passport from eligible countries.

The current list includes Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Uruguay. Spain and Greece have also recently been added, with beginning soon.

The visa allows people to stay in Australia for up to 12 months, to work in Australia for up to six months with each employer, to study for up to four months and to leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.

There is an annual limit to the number of work and holiday visas issued to each country. No applications will be approved once this limit is reached.

Courtesy of Australia Forum

 Administrator’s note

This is a great opportunity for young people from both countries to experience a different life-style.

Unfortunately it also puts additional pressure on new graduates in Australia (and possibly Portugal) by allowing more young  overseas graduates and educated persons into the local workforce to compete for entry type positions – an impact ignored in the climate of high youth unemployment in this country!