Canadian leader agrees to expand working holiday program quota with S. Korea

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : May 18, 2023, 17:53 Updated : May 21, 2023, 15:05

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to increase an annual quota for the working holiday program with South Korea at a summit meeting held in Seoul. The exchange program was established to encourage the nations' young people to engage in employment activities in each country while learning each other's language and culture.  
South Koreans and Canadians aged between 18 and 30 are currently allowed to participate in the exchange program after gaining a working holiday visa. South Korea has working holiday partnerships with 23 countries including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain. Canada signed the agreement with South Korea in 1996. The quota, which was 200 in 1996, has increased to the current 4,000.
"Following the consensus, a total of 12,000 Canadians will be allowed to visit South Korea," an official from South Korea's working holiday information center told Aju Business Daily on May 18. The agreement would be effective starting in 2024. According to the information center affiliated with the foreign affairs ministry, most Canadian visitors engage in service industries such as restaurants.
During a summit meeting on May 17, the Canadian leader also reached a consensus with South Korean President Yoon Suk to expand the employment program's age limit from the current 18~30 to 18~35. The limit on working hours will also be increased from 25 hours per week to 40 hours. 
Trudeau attended the summit meeting designed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with South Korea. Both leaders have agreed to cooperate in the mineral resource and energy sectors and for the improvement of human rights in North Korea.
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