Canada Signs Youth Mobility Agreement with Lithuania

(No. 351 - November 19, 2009 - 2:10 p.m. EST) On behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Scott Heatherington, Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, today signed an agreement with Lithuania under Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s International Youth Programs. Under this agreement, qualified Canadian and Lithuanian youths between the ages of 18 and 35 will be able to travel and work in each other’s country for up to a year.

“This agreement will facilitate youth exchanges by making it easier for Canadian and Lithuanian youths to travel and work in each other’s country,” said Minister Cannon. “Such exchanges will not only give the participating youths a competitive edge in the job market, but also promote greater cooperation between Canada and Lithuania.”

The agreement was signed in Vilnius by Ambassador Heatherington and Donatas Jankauskas, Lithuania’s Minister of Social Security and Labour. It will be tabled in Canada’s Parliament in the coming months and implemented next year.

Canada currently has bilateral arrangements on youth mobility in effect with 20 countries. Two more were signed with Spain and Slovenia in March and October, respectively, and will likely be implemented in 2010. Similar agreements are expected in the coming months with Hong Kong, Estonia, Slovakia and Hungary.

The mission of International Youth Programs is to foster close bilateral relations between Canada and other countries through exchanges that give young people an understanding of other cultures through travel, life and work experience abroad. This experience enhances the personal and professional development of participants, giving them a competitive edge in the job market.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is responsible for issuing proper documentation for work permits to foreign participants of the program. For details, consult Visiting Canada.

For more information, consult International Youth Programs.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874