The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Patrick O’Donovan has announced the age limit for Irish nationals applying for the working Holiday programme has increased to 35. The reciprocal agreement, which also allows Australians to come to work in Ireland, gives participants the ability to work abroad for up to two years.
The current age limit was up to 30, the new age limit will come into effect from November, Thursday the 1st.
Overall the rates of Irish people moving to Australia has recently slowed down. In the 12 months to April 2017, just 5,300 people moved from Ireland to Australia, according to the Central Statistics Office, just over a third of the total in 2012, when numbers peaked at 17,400.
Mr O’Donovan announced the age extension on his official Visit to Australia. Speaking about the programme he said the purpose of the programme was to promote ‘cultural exchange and strengthen people-to-people links’ by creating more opportunities for young people to work and travel.
“This extension of the eligible age not only allows a more diverse group of people to avail of this scheme, but also helps to strengthen those links between our two countries even further.”
Mr O’Donovan said the age extension underscores the “wide-reaching success” of the programme.
Minister of State O’Donovan added: “Since the Working Holiday Programme began in 1975, it is estimated that more than 275,000 young Irish people have spent up to two years in Australia under this scheme.
“In 2017 alone, some 8,653 visas were issued to Irish citizens under the Working Holiday Programme.
“The agreement to extend the age eligibility on a reciprocal basis underscores the wide-reaching success of this programme to date.”
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