Young people from Luxembourg and San Marino can now look forward to applying for working holiday visas to spend time in Australia, as these two countries are the latest to sign agreements under the Australian Government's work and holiday arrangements. This allows young people from these countries to visit each other's nations.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Borer Protection Alex Hawke is calling this a great development, as it will encourage young people to add Australia as another holiday destination when going abroad to travel, work and study.

h'Under the arrangement, people aged 18 to 30 years will be able to travel to each other's country for one year and undertake short term work and study under the Work and Holiday subclass 462 visa,' he explained.

The date when young people from Luxembourg can begin applying is expected to be announced soon, but the number of visas for these individuals as well as those from San Marino will be capped at 100 per year.

'Both countries will be working closely over the coming months to implement these changes, and to complete all necessary legal and administrative processes to bring this visa into effect,' Hawke says.

The Work and Holiday visa programme requires applicants to have the support of their Government, to hold or be studying towards tertiary qualifications and to speak functional English.

Australia currently has reciprocal working holiday agreements in place with 35 countries and wants to encourage more young people to get involved. Numbers fell this year amid speculation that working holiday makers would have to pay tax on their earnings from 2017.

While these workers must start paying tax on 01 January, it is at a much lower rate than originally planned by the Australian Government. Policy makers' proposed rate of 32.5% was heavily critiicsed and has now been reduced to 19%, making it more in line with other countries such as New Zealand.

Campaigners warned that young people would be put off coming to Australia if such a high tax rate was introduced, and that it would have had a significant impact on agriculture, tourism and hospitality sectors which rely on seasonal workers.