Australia And Malaysia Strengthen Immigration Cooperation

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7th August 2008, 08:35pm - Views: 925
Australia and Malaysia Strengthen Imigration Coperation

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said today that Australia would continue to work together with Malaysia and other regional partners, to strengthen their borders against people-smuggling, human trafficking, terrorism and other forms of trans-national crime.

On his first visit to Malaysia as Minister for Immigration, Senator Evans and the Minister for Home Affairs, Dato' Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar, held talks in Kuala Lumpur earlier today.

Following the meeting, the ministers agreed to a range of initiatives aimed at strengthening immigration cooperation between Australia and the Federation of Malaysia. These initiatives include collaborative forensic document examination training programs and increased information sharing and cooperation to improve border security, migration management and people-smuggling issues.

Both ministers confirmed their commitment to support the continuation of the Malaysian- Australia Working Group to consider and discuss further ways to strengthen immigration cooperation between Australia and Malaysia to prevent people-smuggling and irregular movement in the region, while facilitating the safe and secure movement of travellers.

"Our continuing cooperation with the government of Malaysia demonstrates a deepening relationship between our two countries," Senator Evans said. "This relationship continues to provide positive results on a broad range of issues, from sharing immigration-related information to detecting people-smuggling networks in the region.

"The Australian Government has reinvigorated efforts to work closely with countries to our north to combat people-smuggling and prevent attempts at dangerous sea journeys by people seeking to improperly enter Australia."

The ministers also announced that Australia and Malaysia had agreed to introduce reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangements.

It will enable 100 university graduates or students from each country who have completed two years of their course to work and holiday in the other country for up to 12 months.

They must be aged between 18 and 30 and have the support of their government, meet health and character requirements and have no dependent children. Work and holiday visa holders may do temporary or casual work for up to six months with any one employer.

"The work and holiday visa allows young people from Australia and our partner countries who want to travel and experience a different lifestyle and culture to work and subsidise their travel," Senator Evans said.

Australia also has reciprocal work and holiday arrangements with Thailand, Chile, Turkey and the USA. Earlier this week, Australia and Indonesia agreed to introduce reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangements.

SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans

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