New six-year Aussie visa for Singaporeans

From Jan 1 next year, Singaporeans travelling to Australia can get a six-year visa that lets them stay in the country for up to three months at a stretch. The visa, exclusive to Singaporeans, is for leisure or business.

Now, Singaporeans enter Australia on permits that could be for three, six or 12 months.

Another new visa will let Singaporeans and Australians aged 18 to 30 work and holiday in each other's country for up to a year. It is available from Aug 1 this year for up to 500 young people from each country.

The new visas were announced by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday, when he began his three-day visit to Singapore. He is here for the second Singapore- Australia Leaders' Summit.

"We are doing everything we can to facilitate more engagement, more connections, between Australia and Singapore," Mr Turnbull said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Last year, one million Australians visited Singapore and 400,000 Singaporeans went to Australia.

Young Singaporeans who want the work and holiday visa must hold a polytechnic diploma or university degree. Or, they must have completed two years of full-time study at a polytechnic or university.

Australian applicants need a university degree, or should have completed two years of full-time undergraduate study at a university.

The six-year visa was welcomed by Mr Getty Goh, 39, who travels to Australia every one to two months for work, as his crowdfunding company Coassets is listed on Australia's National Stock Exchange."This will help open up Australia as a market for Singapore businesses," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2017, with the headline 'New six-year Aussie visa for Singaporeans'. Print Edition | Subscribe