Australia increases working holiday maker visa quota with Hong Kong

02 February 2006

The quota for the Hong Kong and Australia Working Holiday Scheme will increase from 200 to 1,000 in order to meet increasing demand.

The scheme, which began in September 2001, aims to help young people gain valuable experience while holidaying and working abroad.

Apart from Australia, the Hong Kong Government has signed similiar agreements with New Zealand, in April 2001, and Ireland, in March 2005. For both sides, the quota is 200 for New Zealand and 100 for Ireland.

Successful applicants to these schemes are issued a working holiday visa.

During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment to have a better understanding of the cultural and social developments of the host countries. Those who choose to go to New Zealand/Australia may also sign up for short-term study courses.

In the past four years, more than 1,000 Hong Kong people have joined the scheme and most chose to visit Australia, Assistant Commissioner for Labour Do Pang Wai-yee said.

To meet the demand, Hong Kong and Australia have agreed to raise the quota to 1,000 from February 1, while the quotas for New Zealand and Ireland remained unchanged.

To be eligible, an applicant must:

* be aged 18 to 30, and not be accompanied by any children during the journey;

* be a Hong Kong resident and holder of a valid HKSAR or British National (Overseas) passport;

* be going abroad primarily for holidaying; and

* hold a return or onward ticket, and be able to produce financial proof of available funds to meet his/her living costs while staying in the host country.

For more information please visit the Australia working holiday maker guide on our website.