Philippines, Australia establish 'work and holiday' visa scheme

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Philippines, Australia establish 'work and holiday' visa scheme
The Sydney Opera House and boats are illuminated with projections and lights at the start of the Vivid Sydney festival in Sydney on May 26, 2023.
AFP / David Gray

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Australia agreed to issue multiple-entry visas that will allow citizens of both countries to seek short-term employment while on vacation to help fund their trips.

The Presidential Communications Office said Sunday that Manila and Canberra signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a “work and holiday” visa arrangement, which will allow eligible Filipino and Australian nationals to stay and work in the host country for a non-extendable period of 12 months. 

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Ku signed the MOU during the official visit of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last Friday. 

Requirements for eligibility, conditions

The visa arrangement is available to Filipinos and Australians aged 18 to 31 at the time of the application. Eligible candidates should have either completed tertiary education or finished at least two years of undergraduate or post-secondary education.

They must also meet health, character and national security requirements, and have medical insurance for the duration of their stay. 

The 12-month period will commence from the date of the first entry into the host country. Eligible individuals may leave and re-enter using the same visa. 

Both Filipino and Australian nationals are required to comply with the laws and regulations of the host country during their stay. 

“Nationals of one participant who have been granted a ‘Work and Holiday’ visa under this Memorandum of Understanding may be denied entry or removed from the territory of the other participant in accordance with the laws and regulations of that participant,” the agreement read. 

The memorandum also stated that work and holiday visa holders who work during their visit “will be covered by the same diplomatic labor laws of the host government as local workers, subject to the employment conditions.” 

According to Malacañang, the MOU will take effect on a date mutually determined by both parties and will remain valid for an indefinite period of time unless terminated by written notice. 

Australia currently has reciprocal work and holiday arrangements with 26 countries, including the United States of America, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

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