Taiwan, Belgium to launch working holiday program soon

03/12/2013 05:05 PM
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Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Taiwan and Belgium have inked an agreement on a reciprocal working holiday program for young adults, which will start later this month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

Under the program, which will take effect March 29, each side will provide an annual quota of 200 visas for citizens aged 18-30, said Hsu Mien-sheng, director-general of the ministry's Department of European Affairs.

This will allow young people from Taiwan and Belgium to work, travel and study in each other's country for up to one year, Hsu said at a news briefing.

"This program serves as a good opportunity for young Taiwanese adults to learn more about Europe," he said.

Taiwan is the first Asian country to ink such a pact with Belgium, which has similar agreements with Australia, New Zealand and Canada, according to the foreign ministry. Belgium is the fourth European country to sign a working holiday agreement with Taiwan, after Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Under Taiwan's working holiday programs, young Taiwanese can also travel to Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Hsu said he is optimistic that Taiwan and France will finalize a working holiday agreement by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, he said, the Czech government has streamlined the process for Taiwanese nationals to apply for work and resident permits.

In late February, Taiwanese citizens became eligible to apply for a two-in-one certificate to work and live in the Czech Republic, Hsu said.

Previously, two separate permits were required -- one for residence and the other for work, he added.

(By Elaine Hou)ENDITEM/pc/tc

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