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13 February 2007
The Ministry of Immigration and Citizenship (formerly known as the Ministry of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) announced that Alexander Downer, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, would sign an agreement on behalf of Australia during his visit to Berlin.
The Working Holiday Programme allows young people from 18 to 30 years old to take a 12 month working holiday in another country if both countries have an agreement. The programmed is designed to promote cross-cultural relations.
The benefits of the renewed agreement include extending the work rights for working holiday makers in both countries and formalizing the opportunity for Germans to apply for an extension of their visa while visiting Australia.
Because of this, working holiday makers currently working in a primary industry in regional Australia may be eligible to apply for a further 12 month stay.
Germany, the fourth largest source of working holiday makers for Australia, has more than 12,000 people each year in the programmed. Every year, over 130,000 German tourists visit Australia.
"The arrangement with Germany is a win-win for young people from both our countries. This agreement will ensure that our strong bilateral relations will continue in the future," said Downer.
"The boost provided to the Australian economy by young German travelers is welcomed by both our tourism sector and employers," said Teresa Gambaro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
According to Gambaro, over 58,000 German nationals had been granted a working holiday visa since 2000.
Related:• Australia, Estonia, establish working holiday maker program