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Expansion of visas for young Americans welcomed

Media release – 26 July 2006

For immediate release

NZ US Council welcomes expansion of visa scheme for young Americans

The New Zealand United States Council today welcomed the Government’s decision to increase the number of visas available to young Americans wanting to visit and work temporarily in New Zealand.

Under the expanded Working Holiday Scheme up to 5000 American citizens aged between 18 and 30 will be able to gain the visas in 2006-07 - an increase of 4000 on 2005-06.

NZ US Council Executive Director Stephen Jacobi said “People to people exchanges are a vital component of New Zealand’s multifaceted relationship with the United States. Visits in both directions help foster understanding and make important contacts for the future. The Government is to be congratulated in making this new facility available to young Americans.”

Mr Jacobi said the expanded Working Holiday scheme reflected the continuing strengthening of the relationship. It would provide a boost to tourism and complement the efforts of organisations like Fulbright New Zealand which make available scholarships for study and research in both countries as well as growing links between universities and research organisations.

ENDS

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