11 August 2008

Immigration Minister strengthening Malaysia-Australia ties

In his first visit to Malaysia as the Immigration Minister, Senator Chris Evans is hoping to strengthen border security and discuss resolutions for people-smuggling issues with the Minister for Home Affairs Dato' Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar in Kuala Lumpur.

The meeting last Thursday included discussions about people smuggling, human trafficking, terrorism and trans-national crime.   It resulted in several initiatives designed to strengthen border security and immigration cooperation between the two countries, including forensic document examination training and increased information sharing.

The development of the Malaysian-Australian Working Group remained a top priority for the Ministers to maintain regular movement between both countries.  This follows a recent announcement that citizens of both countries can now participate in a working holiday visa program.  Young students, aged 18 to 30 years, who have completed two years of their course can work and live in the other country for up to 12 months, provided they meet the basic requirements as determined by the government.  The conditions of the visa mean that those on an Australian working holiday visa can work with an employer for a maximum of six months.

Senator Evans also announced last week that Indonesia is now a part of the working holiday visa program.  "The work and holiday visa allows young people from Australia and our partner countries who want to travel and experience a different lifestyle and culture to work and subsidise their travel," he said.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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