Manila and Canberra hold negotiations on work and holiday visas for youth


SOON, young people from the Philippines and Australia can work while they are on holiday in each other’s countries.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo of the Philippines and Minister Penny Wong of Australia announced this Thursday during the latter’s visit to Manila.

“Both looked forward to further strengthening people-to-people connections through the Work and Holiday Visa Arrangement being negotiated between the two countries,” the foreign ministries said in a joint press statement released after Manalo and Wong’s bilateral meeting.

Australia has been issuing visas to foreigners from selected countries that allow them to work while on holiday. Work and Holiday Visas are also extended to Australians by partner countries where they have agreement.

If the deal pushes through, Filipinos aged 18 to 30 years can travel in Australia for extended periods and to support themselves during their stay with short-term employment in any industry.

There were 160,000 Filipino tourists who came to Australia in 2019. Around 31 percent came for holiday vacation, while 43 percent came to visit their relatives and friends.

There are around 400,000 Filipinos in Australia.

Australia is keen on tapping the Philippine growing high net worth tourism market.

Meanwhile, Australians can come to the Philippines without visas and stay for a maximum of 30 days.

In 2022, Australia is the fourth top tourist source in the Philippines with less than 500,000 arrivals. This is a more than 50 percent increase from the pre-pandemic level of 286,000 in 2019.

More than 30 direct flights are offered by Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Qantas from the Philippines to Australia.