Another significant milestone in Philippines-New Zealand bilateral relations has been reached with the launch of the Working Holiday Scheme (WHS).
Effective February 5, 2014, Filipinos and New Zealanders, ages 18 to 30 years, will be able to apply for the WHS visa allowing them the opportunity to stay for one year in New Zealand and the Philippines, respectively, for leisure, holiday or temporary work.
WHS participants may enroll in training or study for a maximum period of three months or work for one year with a limit of three months per employer. They will have to leave the country at the end of the temporary 12-month entry visa. A quota of 100 WHS visas per year will be issued to successful Filipino applicants and the same number to successful New Zealand applicants.
The arrangement on the WHS, the first of its kind for the Philippines and one of 34 arrangements with other countries for New Zealand, was signed between Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully and witnessed by President Benigno S. Aquino III and Prime Minister John Key in Wellington on 23 October 2012.
The implementation of the WHS is expected to generate closer people-to-people understanding and goodwill through tourism, cultural and educational exchanges and short-term employment and allow young participants from the Philippines and New Zealand to experience first-hand the thriving way of life in the communitiesand engage more closely with the local people in each other’s country.
Interested applicants from the Philippines may contact the Embassy of New Zealand in Makati (http://www.nzembassy.com/philippines) while those from New Zealand can get in touch with the Embassy of the Philippines in Wellington (http://www.philembassy.org.nz/) or they could also click this link (www.immigration.govt.NZ) for the requirements and relevant details of the WHS Arrangement. (DFA)