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Hong Kong signs Working Holiday Scheme with Austria (with photos)

     Hong Kong and Austria today (January 12) signed a Declaration of Intent to mark the establishment of a bilateral Working Holiday Scheme for young people of the two economies from March 2, 2015.

     The Declaration was signed by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and the Consul General of Austria to Hong Kong and Macao, Dr Claudia Reinprecht.

     Mr Cheung welcomed the establishment of the scheme with Austria. He said, "This scheme provides an opportunity for young people in Hong Kong and Austria to broaden their horizons and to gain living and working experience in a foreign culture. It will also further reinforce the long-standing bilateral ties between Hong Kong and Austria."

     The scheme with Austria is the 10th bilateral working holiday scheme that Hong Kong has set up since 2001, with the other economies being New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Canada, Korea, France and the United Kingdom. So far, more than 46 000 Hong Kong youths have benefited from the schemes.

     Under the Declaration, 100 participants from each side will be allowed to stay for up to six months in Austria or Hong Kong each year for holidaying and taking up short-term employment to finance their stay.

     The Hong Kong Immigration Department or the Austrian Consulate General Hong Kong will respectively issue a working holiday visa to a successful applicant from Austria or Hong Kong who meets, among other items, the eligibility criteria.

     The applicant must be an ordinary resident of Hong Kong possessing a valid Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or British National (Overseas) passport, or an Austrian national in possession of a valid Austrian national passport, who is aged between 18 and 30 and intends primarily to holiday in Austria or Hong Kong for a period of not more than six months. The applicant must not be accompanied by dependent family members. The applicant must hold a return ticket or sufficient funds for the purchase of such a ticket, and sufficient funds for his or her maintenance during the period of initial stay in Austria or Hong Kong. He or she must hold comprehensive liability and medical insurance for the entire duration of stay in Austria or Hong Kong.

     Details on visa application procedures for Hong Kong applicants can be found on the website of the Austrian Consulate General Hong Kong at Austrian applicants may contact the Hong Kong Immigration Department by telephone on 2824 6111 or obtain the necessary information from the department's website

Ends/Monday, January 12, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:12


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