Australia enhances visa programme with Singapore

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton today announced the introduction of two new visa initiatives that will enhance tourism, youth mobility and business links between Australia and Singapore.

The new visa arrangements have been developed as part of the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Australia and Singapore have agreed to implement a Work and Holiday visa arrangement for young adults from both countries.

“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.”

The Work and Holiday arrangement will make available 500 places in each country per year with the potential for growth in future years.

This brings Australia’s overall Working Holiday Maker visa programme to a total of 39 partner countries.

In addition to the Work and Holiday visa initiative, the Australian Government will also soon introduce an option of a long validity, multiple-entry visitor visa for Singaporean nationals to visit Australia – 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 per cent compared to 2013-14,” Mr Dutton said.

“The new visitor visa arrangement will further boost tourism and business links between Australia and Singapore and allowing for a longer validity period will encourage repeat visits and align with the Government’s agenda to reduce unnecessary red tape.”

The option of a long validity, multiple-entry visitor visa for Singaporeans will be targeted at frequent short-term travellers to Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to work closely with its counterparts in Singapore to implement the arrangements as soon as possible