The global footprint of Australia’s working holiday programme has expanded again, with the signing of a reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangement between Australia and Portugal, the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said today.

The arrangement, signed at Parliament House today, means young people from Australia and Portugal will have the opportunity to experience short-term work and study arrangements in each other’s country.

Minister Cash said that the signing of the agreement was indicative of the strength of the relationship that Australia enjoys with Portugal, and would give 200 young people from each country a unique experience which presents long term benefits for all.

“The working holiday programme allows young citizens of participating countries to share knowledge, culture and experiences, and as a result, strengthens ties between countries,” Minister Cash said.

“At the heart of the programme is the opportunity to acquire new skills and develop an appreciation of another culture, to the benefit of both the individual and their home country. I am excited that today’s signing will result in more opportunities for young people to experience a vibrant opportunity overseas.”

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

Over the coming months Australia and Portugal will work closely together to implement the necessary legal and administrative processes to bring this visa into effect. Announcements on the implementation of the Work and Holiday visa, as well as further information on the programme, can be found at www.immi.gov.au.