The Australian government has announced the implementation of a bilateral agreement between Greece and Australia that will allow Greeks and Australians to work and study in each others countries under the Work and Holiday Visa programme.

The agreement has been in the works since 2014 and was ratified by the Greek Parliament in December 2015.

The commencement date has been set for the 1 July 2019 and will allow 500 places to be made available in each country for Greeks and Australians between 18 and 30 years old to visit and work in each others respective countries for a period of 12 months.

The agreement was finalised during the Greek Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Terens Quick’s visit to Australia who first made the announcement of the finalised agreement at a Greek Independence Day function in Melbourne on Monday.

The Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman issued the following written announcement:

“Australia enjoys a great friendship with Greece and there has been much interest from Greece in participating in the Work and Holiday visa program. This announcement will provide more opportunities for work and cultural exchange between our nations,” Mr Coleman said. “The Morrison Government is committed to the working holiday program which provides regional areas and farmers with access to more workers.”

The Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa allows people aged between 18 to 30 (inclusive) to visit Australia and work for up to 6 months with each employer. The visa subclass requires applicants to have specified education qualifications, possess at least ‘Functional English’, have at least A$5,000 for their initial stay in Australia and meet the health and character requirements.\

It is not clear yet whether Greek’s will require a letter of support from their Government like some countries that participate in this program currently.

Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa holders that wish to extend their visa to have a second year in Australia are required to complete three months of specified subclass 462 work whilst they held their first subclass 462 visa.

Currently the following countries are able to access the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Chile
  • China, People’s Republic of
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam

 

As only 500 spots will be available per migration planning year it is anticipated that this visa programme will be highly sought after by Greeks wishing to work in Australia on a temporary basis.