Canada Signs Youth Mobility Agreement with Estonia

(No. 384 - December 14, 2009 - 11 a.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 Estonia under Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s International Youth Programs. Under this agreement, qualified young Canadians and Estonians between the ages of 18 and 35 can travel and work in each other’s country for up to one year.

“This agreement will benefit Canadian and Estonian youth by simplifying the process for them to travel and work in each other’s country,” said Minister Cannon. “Such exchanges will also strengthen the Canada-Estonia relationship.”

The agreement, signed in Tallinn, Estonia, by Ambassador Heatherington and Tõnis Lukas, the Minister of Education and Research for Estonia, will be tabled in Canada’s House of Commons in the coming months and implemented next year.

Canada currently has 20 bilateral arrangements in place on youth mobility. Four additional bilateral arrangements were signed this year—with Spain, Slovenia, Lithuania and Hong Kong—and their implementation is expected to take place in 2010. Furthermore, Canada expects to conclude negotiations in the coming months with Hungary and Slovakia.

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 documentation for work permits to foreign participants. 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