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NZ-Philippines working holiday deal may lead to more

An Auckland immigration consultant expects to see more working holiday schemes after the government signed a deal with the Philippines today.

Philippines president Benigno Aquino was in New Zealand with a number of senior colleagues and a business delegation of 70 people.

Prime Minister John Key and Mr Aquino met to discuss the growing relationship between the two countries and later witnessed the signing of the new agreement.

Under the scheme, 100 Philippines’ residents between the ages of 18 and 30 will be granted temporary visas for a year-long stay in New Zealand.

They will be able to take up work but cannot stay with the same employer for more than three months.

Likewise, 100 New Zealanders will be able to travel to the Philippines every year under the same conditions.

It is the Philippines first working holiday arrangement but just one of many for New Zealand, which already has agreements with the likes of the Czech Republic, Israel, Spain and Brazil.

Malcolm Pacific Migration operations manager David Cooper told NBR ONLINE he expects many more such schemes to be approved over the coming years as New Zealand looks to strengthen trade relationships worldwide.

The working holiday scheme is a fantastic idea as it provides a great experience for those who are young, full of energy, and often light in the wallet, he says.

It will also strengthen immigration links between the two countries as those who visit may end up wanting to stay.

However, the decision to put a three-month limit on time with any one employer has left Mr Cooper scratching his head.

“Most people will stay in a job longer than three months. I don’t see people staying in a job for longer as a problem. Mind you, that’s what all of the arrangements have in place anyway.”

Mr Key says it is an opportunity for people to work in various industries.

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