The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton has announced the introduction of two new visa initiatives designed to enhance tourism, youth, mobility and business links between Australia and Singapore.
The new visa arrangements were negotiated as part of the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both countries have agreed to implement a Work and Holiday visa arrangement for 500 young adults in each country per year, with the potential for this number to be extended in future years.
“This reciprocal Work and Holiday arrangement with Singapore will allow residents aged 18 to 30 years to travel, live, work and study in each other’s country,” Mr Dutton said.
“This new arrangement will promote cultural exchange and strengthen people-to-people links by creating opportunities for young people to travel and undertake short-term work and study to supplement their holiday experience.”
In addition to the Work and Holiday visa initiative, Mr Dutton stated the Australian Government will soon introduce an option of a long validity, multiple-entry visitor visa for Singaporeans to visit Australia. The new arrangement would be an extension of the current one-year visa.
“Singapore is one of the top countries for visitors to Australia, with more than 203,000 visitor visas granted in 2014-15, up 4.6 percent compared to 2013-14,” Mr Dutton said.
The long validity, multiple-entry visitor visa option for Singaporeans will be targeted at frequent short-term travellers to Australia, with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection set to implement the arrangements as soon as possible.