There are currently 11 Agreements on Working Holiday Programmes, most of them with European countries. Thanks to these Programmes, over 3,000 young Argentines have travelled and worked abroad, while Argentina has welcomed approximately 500 young foreign nationals, especially from France.
Working Holiday Programmes have proven to be an appropriate instrument to strengthen mutual understanding between the respective civil societies. In this regard, and since most young people participating in these Programmes enter Argentina through Ezeiza airport, the Tourism Agency of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires provides a wide range of benefits for them, in addition to general information for those newly arrived. Benefits include special rates at a large number of youth hostels; discounts on the purchase and booking of airport shuttle services; withdrawal of a free prepaid SIM card at the Tourist Assistance Centre located in Recoleta; and savings accounts with no maintenance fee, available at any Banco Ciudad branch.
Visitors may use the free bike system of the City of Buenos Aires and receive information on activities for young people which take place in Buenos Aires, including must-see attractions to experience the famous night life of Buenos Aires. Finally, the Tourism Agency also provides assistance on which are the best job search websites and how to properly log your information, so as to complete a productive stay in Argentina.
Among the current Agreements in force, the one signed between Argentina and France deserves to be highlighted given the intensity of bilateral exchanges. Last year, the Argentine Consulate in France issued 615 Working Holiday visas, making it the most successful of all programmes.
These Agreements play an important role in strengthening bonds between signatory countries. They provide a chance for beneficiaries of the Programme to acquire greater and better knowledge of Argentine culture, food, customs, sports, music and much more. Young people from both countries can remain in the territory of the other State for a year to holiday or study. In this regard, temporary jobs are offered to foreign nationals to cover their expenses in the respective country.
These Agreements foster tourism since foreign nationals are usually visited by their relatives during their stay, and, after finishing the Programme, a high percentage of them returns to Argentina in order to visit their newly-made friends. These Programmes are highly beneficial for national tourism.
Another benefit relates to the occupation of the foreign beneficiaries of the Programme. In 2015, for instance, most Working Holiday visas were issued to French students (12%) and young people doing jobs related to the restaurant industry (7%), administrative tasks (7%), international communication (5%), engineering (4%), sales (4%), sports (3%), tourism (3%), law (3%), teaching (3%), oenology (2%), psychology (2%) and medicine (2%). Only 10% of them stated that they had no professional occupation.
As regards the Programme itself, foreign nationals must currently fulfil several requirements such as submitting proof of having sufficient economic means, hotel bookings for the initial period of their stay and a background check certificate, among others. Foreign nationals must contact the Argentine representation in their country to file the application, which is fast, free and not in-person.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry is also currently working together with various national agencies to coordinate at a domestic level the promotion and facilitation of the stay of foreign nationals in Argentina. Nowadays, thanks to the cooperation with the administration of the City of Buenos Aires, beneficiaries of the Programme entering Argentina through Ezeiza airport can obtain free SUBE travel cards and SIM cards, discounts on youth hostels and transport, information on how to generate their Worker's Identification Number (CUIL) and the bank account required for them to work.