Following the recent summit held in Singapore, it was announced that two new visa measures will come into place. These are the availability for Singaporeans to apply for Australia’s Work and Holiday Visa programme and the new six-year multiple-entry visa for business and tourism in 1 August 2017 and 1 January 2018 respectively.

From 1 August onwards, 500 Singaporeans will be permitted to enter Australia each year under the Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) for short-term work for six months at a time or study for up to four months. This multiple-entry visa will allow the individual to stay in Australia for up to 12 months but will only be available to applicants under the age of 30. Under the bilateral agreement between the two countries, it is very likely that Singapore will implement a similar visa opportunity for Australians to visit Singapore.

From 1 January 2018 onwards, the new six-year multiple entry visa will allow Singaporeans to enter Australia for 90-day stays each time either for business for tourism purposes. Although the details are not yet clear, the measure has been put in place to further capitalise on the growing business and tourist visits from Singapore, similar to the 10-year multiple entry visa made available to Chinese citizens since November 2016 under the Australian Subclass 600 visa.

The Australian government anticipates that these two new visa measures should further increase trade and mobility between Singapore and Australia. The current statistics from the government shows that approximately 400,000 Singaporeans visited Australia either for business or for tourism and more than one million Australians visited Singapore in just the last year. We can expect these numbers to increase following the implementation of the above.