Australia Opens 5000 Work and Holiday Visas to Young Chinese People
CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Guo
The file photo shows the Sidney Harbour Bridge with the Opera House in the background , Sydney , Australia. [Photo: CFP]
Australia has unveiled a new visa policy targeting young Chinese people. Qualified applicants are eligible to stay in Australia for up to one year for the purpose of working and traveling.
The new policy comes weeks following the approval of a free trade agreement between the two sides.
CRI's Sophie Williams has more.
Assistant Minister for Australia's Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash says it is Australia's largest short-term Work and Holiday visa program so far.
"As of September 2015, the first 1,500 places in the Working and Holiday Visa program are going to be open for application. We will then release more places, up to 2,500 sustained, until we reach our annual cap of 5,000 places."
Cash says any Chinese national aged between 18 and 30 with at least two years of higher education is eligible to apply for the new visa online. Applicants also need to score at least 4.5 in the IELTS English test and prove they have at least 5000 Australian dollars in the bank.
People who hold this kind of Visa can stay in Australia for up to 12 months. Visa holders can spend up to four months in school and six months working.
The new measures were signed alongside the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement approved last month.
Cash says the new visa policy will bring great opportunities to people from both sides.
"It is a very exciting time for the relationship between Australia and China. China is Australia's largest and fastest growing source of tourism and business visitor's visas, and China is also the largest source of our International students, and is the second largest source of permanent migrants to Australia. So it's just absolutely fantastic today, we can now wait the Work and Holiday arrangement to the numerous options available to people from China to come to Australia."
Tim Jones, General Manager of Asia and Strategic Partnerships with Tourism Australia, says the new policy will significantly benefit the people-to-people communications between China and Australia.
"I think it is a fantastic opportunity for young Chinese people to travel to Australia and to experience Australia, to meet and share their life experiences with Australian people. We are a very welcoming country. We welcome people from around the world."
Meantime, the Australian government has announced several other changes to its visa policies in China which will take effect next year, including issuing 10-year visitor's visa. Applicants can also request for doing the visa interview in Mandarin and a 48-hour urgent service.
Assistant Minister for Australia's Immigration and Border Protection Cash says these polices will further simplify the visa application procedure and bring great economic benefits to Australia.
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