Australia, Chile, sign work and holiday visa agreement

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Starting on 31 March, Chile and Australia have agreed on a work and holiday visa that will allow young people to work and travel for up to 12 months in the other country. Chile is the first Latin American country to agree to a reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangement with Australia.

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Amanda Vanstone said the arrangements would give young people from both countries new opportunities to travel and experience different cultures.

The work and holiday visa differs from a working holiday visa as it requires an applicant to have the support of their government, hold tertiary qualifications or be studying towards a tertiary qualification, and to speak functional English.

The arrangement with Chile, open to students and professionals aged between 18 and 30 years, was signed by Senator Vanstone and Chilean Foreign Minister Ignacio Walker in Canberra in July, 2005.

There will be an annual limit of 100 visas on both sides, with this figure to be reviewed annually.