July 14, 2016
The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the French Republic completed the signing of a joint declaration on a youth working holiday program on July 13, 2016.
The program is scheduled to be formally launched on August 8 after the completion of preparatory work. The ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs will publicize at a later date related guidelines as well as the official date on which it will begin accepting applications.
Following in the footsteps of Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic, France is the 10th European nation to implement a working holiday scheme with the Republic of China, and the 15th worldwide. These schemes have taken the form of an agreement, a memorandum, or a joint declaration.
Under the terms of this scheme, Taiwan and France will each provide an annual quota of 500 visas for people between the ages of 18 and 30. For Republic of China citizens, French working holiday visas allowing for stays of one year will be made available, while for French citizens, working holiday visas for stays of 180 days will be granted, which may be extended for a further 180 days. This will enable program participants to visit the partner country to study language through tourism, short-term employment, or privately funded short-term study, thus allowing them to build friendships as well as gain an in-depth understanding of the culture, customs, society, and lifestyle of the host country.
The youth working holiday program is an ROC overseas cooperation project meant to boost international youth exchanges and help the nation’s young people foster an international perspective. The working holiday program, a new bilateral aviation agreement, and additional direct flights between Taipei and Paris, to be launched in October under this agreement, will all further upgrade bilateral tourism, culture, and trade exchanges.
Taiwan and France enjoy a friendly, close relationship. Bilateral exchanges on a variety of fronts are flourishing. The launch of new flights and the working holiday program mentioned above show that both sides have a consensus on and the willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation on youth exchanges, tourism, and aviation. Taiwan and France will continue to promote and strengthen various substantive exchanges and cooperation on the solid foundation that has been laid. (E)