MOFA proposal for "working holidaymaker visas"

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. . . . . the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was considering signing accords with developed countries on the issuance of “working holidaymaker visas.”

“Japan has signed memorandums of understanding with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France and South Korea on the exchange of `working holidaymaker visas’ to encourage exchanges of their youth,” a ministry official said.

Under these bilateral accords, Japan allows young people from the five countries to enter its territory for sightseeing and to take up part-time or short-term work.

South Korea has signed similar agreements with Australia, New Zealand and Canada to promote bilateral youth exchanges.

The official said that the “working holidaymaker visas” program has achieved satisfactory results in both Japan and South Korea and has become a welcome forum for international youth exchanges.

“Therefore Taiwan should learn from the Japanese and South Korean experiences in this regard,” the official said.

“Allowing a large number of youths from advanced countries [to come to Taiwan] for vacation and short-term work would enable them to have first-hand information about Taiwan’s culture and its liberal and democratic lifestyle,” he said, adding that those youths could become “friends of Taiwan” in the long run.

Moreover, the official said the program could also be conducive to the government’s drive to upgrade local people’s English proficiency as visiting foreign youths could serve as English teachers during their vacation in Taiwan.