On 18 June 2015, the Australian Government released its White Paper on Developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future. The White Paper includes a range of visa initiatives to encourage tourism to northern Australia, and to support development in the north.
For further details please refer to White Paper on Developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future.
The visa initiatives will include:
Visitor visa (subclass 600) initiatives to support tourism from China
The following announcements set out our forward plan to manage growth in China and provide better, faster and easier Visitor visas into the future. Generally, these will be introduced over the next few years in a staged and orderly manner to maintain our existing high levels of service.
• Trial of 10 year validity Visitor visas for Chinese tourists
• Trial of a visa fast-track service in China
• Trial an online visa application product to allow Chinese tourists to complete a Visitor visa application form in Simplified Chinese
Trial of a 10 year validity Visitor visa for Chinese tourists
From 1 July 2014 to 31 May 2015, we processed more than 636,000 Visitor visas for Chinese nationals. This is more Visitor visas than for any other country, and an increase of 20.5 per cent on the same period last year. Whilst growth remains strong, visas are still processed quickly. From 1 July 2014 to 31 May 2015, 84.3 per cent of Visitor visa applications from Chinese nationals were decided within 10 calendar days.
But we know we need to continue to innovate to manage ongoing growth from China. Therefore, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will introduce a 10 year validity Visitor visa for Chinese nationals, for a fee of AUD 1000 per application, as part of a trial in China. This service will be optional and applicants who choose to avail themselves of this service will be entitled to visit Australia for up to 3 months stay on each entry.
Once a visa is approved, 10 year visa holders will be subject to certain conditions, including they must not work in Australia. Additionally, like all visitors, Chinese tourists granted a 10 year Visitor visa are expected to maintain extended periods of absence between visits to Australia. Further details of visa requirements and eligibility criteria will be provided once available.
It is anticipated that the 10 year visa will be implemented by the end of 2016.
Further details about this new service will be provided closer to implementation and we encourage prospective applicants to check our website for updates.
Trial of a fast track service for Chinese tourists
This initiative will trial for Chinese nationals a fast-track service (48-hour) for processing Visitor visa applications, to qualified applicants.
This service will be optional and applicants who choose this service will be charged an additional fee of AUD 1000 in addition to the standard base visa application charge.
It is anticipated that the fast-track trial will be implemented by the end of 2016. Further details about this new service will be provided closer to implementation.
Trial of an online visa application product in Simplified Chinese
This initiative will trial an online Visitor visa (subclass 600) application in Simplified Chinese (Mandarin) so that Chinese tourists can complete an application in their preferred language (both questions and answers).
It is anticipated that the Simplified Chinese application will be implemented by the end of 2016. Further details will be provided in due course.
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Page last updated 24 July 2015