The Philippines and New Zealand inked a new agreement that will allow citizens a chance for one year to work or travel for leisure in both countries.
Considered as another “significant milestone” in the bilateral relations of the Philippines and New Zealand, the agreement called Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) will allow for the entry of their citizens whether for temporary work, leisure or holiday.
The scheme will be effective starting February 5, and is open to Filipinos and New Zealanders ages 18 to 30 years old.
“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,” a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Those who will enter New Zealand and the Philippines would 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 statement said.
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 del Rosario and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully.
It was witnessed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Prime Minister John Key in Wellington on October 23, 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, the department said.
It will also allow young participants from the Philippines and New Zealand to experience first-hand the “thriving way of life in the communities and engage more closely with the local people in each other’s country.”
Applicants from the Philippines may contact the Embassy of New Zealand in Makati through http://www.nzembassy.com/philippines while those from New Zealand can get in touch with the Embassy of the Philippines in Wellington through http://www.philembassy.org.nz/ for the requirements and relevant details of the WHS arrangement. BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON