IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Australia and Singapore have moved to implement a work and holiday visa arrangement the two countries agreed to in May of 2016.

What does the change mean? Australian and Singaporean nationals ages 18 to 30 may now apply to travel, live work and study in each other’s countries. The visas issued by the respective countries will be valid for one year.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Australian Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas; Singaporean Work Holiday Passes (issued under the Work and Holiday Visa Programme).
  • Who is affected: Eligible Australian and Singaporean nationals, ages 18 to 30, interested in travelling, studying and working in Australia or Singapore.
  • Business impact: Employers may hire Work and Holiday visa holders for short-term work.

Background: Australia and Singapore entered into an agreement for a reciprocal Work and Holiday visa programme last year. Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in June that the visas would become available this month. Australia has now added Singapore to a group of 21 countries that can apply for Work and Holiday visas. For its part, Singapore moved to create the Work and Holiday Visa Programme specifically for Australian students and recent graduates.

BAL Analysis: The Work and Holiday visas provide an opportunity for employers with global programs to employ Australian or Singaporean nationals for short-term work and provide young Australians and Singaporeans a dedicated route to travel, work and study in each other’s countries.