Australia and Israel Sign Mutual Travel-work Visa Deal

Allies will issue 500 visas to allow young Aussies and Israelis to work in one another's countries for up to a year.

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Pro-Israel protest in Melbourne, Australia, July 20, 2014.Credit: Brenda Segal / Eileen Freed

A new agreement with Australia will allow Israelis to work Down Under, Dave Sharma, Australia's ambassador in Israel, announced on Wednesday.

"Aus just signed work & holiday visa arrangement with Israel," Sharma tweeted. "Young Israelis can now work + travel in Aus & vice versa."

The agreement provides for 500 work-travel visas to be awarded annually to Israelis and Australians between the ages of 18 and 30 for one another's country, Ynet reported Thursday.

Criteria to receive such a visa include having done military or national service, according to Ynet. Visa holders will be able to stay for one year and to leave multiple times.

The deal was signed between Senator Michaelia Cash, Australia's assistant minister for immigration and border protection, and Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, the Israeli ambassador to Australia.

"The agreement was reached after long and constructive negotiations with the Australian side and now Israel joins other countries that have similar agreements with the government of Australia," said Ben-Shmuel at the signing ceremony in Canberra.

Ben-Shmuel described the deal as "another important means of strengthening the good bilateral relationship between Israel and Australia and will also enable the strengthening of ties between the two nations and for us to get to know each other's culture," Ynet reported.

Israel has similar agreements with Germany, New Zealand and South Korea, among other nations.