19 November 2009

Australia’s working holiday program envied by America

A young Australian‘s opinion piece for The New York Times newspaper has highlighted the differences between the two countries policies towards young people’s travel and work.

Ayden Fabien Férdeline, who works for the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in Canada, says he is ambitious and adventurous who more than anything wants to see the world.

“And because I hold an Australian passport, I’ve been able to do just that, because I can travel on Working Holiday visas — a benefit that young Americans should envy,” he wrote.

Australia has reciprocal agreements with 26 governments to allow its young citizens, usually those under the age of 30, to work temporarily in each other’s countries.

For example, British citizens under the age of 30 can live and work in Australia for a year under the working holiday program, even gaining a second Australia visa for another year in the country if they work in specified employment within regional Australian. The working holiday visas are also easy to apply for online or through an Australian Embassy.

“I’ve travelled from Asia to Europe to the Americas with these visas, and applying for one for Canada, where I’m now working, took me only a few minutes,” he wrote.

Férdeline wrote that the United States has no similarly accessible working holiday program for its citizens, only small pilot exchanges, but if it followed Australia’s lead and expand its program it could gain some similar good will by making it easier for Americans to work abroad, and by opening its doors to the world’s young.

 The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian Working Holiday Visa

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