Hong Kong/Austria Working Holiday Scheme to extend period of stay

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The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has agreed with the Government of the Republic of Austria to extend the period of stay under the Hong Kong/Austria Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) from six months to 12 months from February 1, 2018 onwards.

Welcoming the extension of period of stay, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong said, "We are delighted to see that the WHS has been well received by the youth, allowing them the opportunity to broaden their horizons and to gain living and working experience in a foreign culture. The extended period of stay under the Hong Kong/Austria WHS will provide more flexibility for participants and increase the attractiveness of the scheme."

The Consul-General of Austria in Hong Kong, Mrs Monika Mueller-Fembeck said, "We are very proud to be able to offer young people in Hong Kong as well as in Austria the possibility to extend their stays under the Working Holiday Scheme up to one year. This is a wonderful chance for them to gain insights into all aspects of life, like culture, education, working methods, etc. It will contribute to further deepening mutual respect and understanding and create ties of lasting friendship."

The working holiday visa will allow young people from Hong Kong and Austria to stay in the host economy for up to 12 months. During the period, they may work to finance their stay and/or take up short-term study courses. The annual reciprocal quota is 100.

Details of visa application procedures for applicants from Hong Kong can be found on the website of the Austrian Consulate General in Hong Kong at www.bmeia.gv.at/en/general-consulate-hongkong/travels-to-austria/working-in-austria/. Applicants from Austria may contact the Hong Kong Immigration Department by telephone on 2824 6111 or obtain the necessary information from the Department's website at www.immd.gov.hk.

Since 2001, Hong Kong has established working holiday schemes with New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Canada, Korea, France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. So far, some 84 000 Hong Kong youths have participated in these schemes.

Ends/Monday, January 29, 2018