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PH, Australia okay work visa for vacationers

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The Philippines and Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the establishment of a “Work and Holiday” visa arrangement that would allow nationals of both countries to seek employment while on a holiday to supplement the cost of their stay.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu signed the agreement during the official visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Malacanang on September 8.

Based on MOU, both countries would issue multiple entry visas allowing its citizens to work during their stay for an non-extendable period of not over one year.

Manila and Canberra would grant eligible participants a “Work and Holiday” visa, which would permit them to stay and work in the host country.

The visa arrangement is open to Filipino and Australian nationals who are 18 to 31 years old at the time of the application and who are graduates of tertiary education or have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate study or post-secondary education.

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

The 12-month period will commence from the date of first entry and eligible nationals may leave and re-enter the territory of the host participant using the same visa.

All nationals under the arrangement will be required to comply with the respective laws and regulations of the host country during their stay.

“Each participant (the Philippines and Australia) may deny any particular application for a ‘Work and Holiday’ visa it receives, in accordance with its domestic laws and regulations,” read the MOU.

“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,” it added.

Applicants must pay any fees associated with the visa application.

“Work and Holiday visa holders who work during their visit pursuant to this arrangement will be covered by the same diplomatic labor laws of the host government as local workers, subject to the employment conditions.”

The MOU will take effect next year on a date mutually determined by both countries and will be valid until it is terminated by written notice through diplomatic channels.

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