More work and holiday visas available to Singaporeans

More young Singaporeans will be able to study and fill critical labour shortages in Australia under expanded visa arrangements announced by the Prime Minister today in Singapore.

From 1 July 2019, the number of Work and Holiday visas available to Singaporean citizens aged 18-30 will increase from 500 to 2,500 per year.

The expansion follows changes to the programme announced in November 2018 to assist farmers and regional businesses fill critical work shortages. These are positions that are unable to be filled domestically.

While on their first visa, Singaporean nationals may undertake specified work in regional areas to become eligible for a second Work and Holiday visa and extend their stay. From 1 July 2019, the option of a third-year stay will also be available to them if they undertake six months of regional work in their second year in Australia.

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The Work and Holiday visa requires first-time Singaporean applicants to hold or be studying towards tertiary qualifications and to speak a functional level of English.

Australia and Singapore have had a Work and Holiday visa arrangement in place since August 2017. In its first year of operation, 446 Work and Holiday visas were granted to Singaporean citizens, fostering closer ties and people-to-people links between young adults from our two countries. These ties and links are expected to grow under the expanded arrangements announced today, providing tangible long-term benefits for Australia.

Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program currently has arrangements in place with 42 countries, across the globe.

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The number of places available to Spanish, Israeli, Peruvian and Chilean nationals under the program has all recently increased. For Spain an increase from 1,500 to 3,400 places (December 2018), for Israel an increase from 500 to 2,500 places (December 2018), for Peru an increase from 100 to 1,500 places (January 2019) and for Chile an increase from 2,000 to 3,400 places (February 2019).

We look forward to welcoming more young Singaporeans to Australia and continuing to strengthen our bilateral relationship.