Australia introduces new simplified visitor visa program

As part of an ongoing program to cut red tape across a range of public services, Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Citizenship announced that from 23 March 2013, the number of visitor visas will be cut from nine to four, and a number of visa requirements will beĀ standardized.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling, welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement to introduce a new simplified visa program for tourists and business visitors to Australia.

For the 150,000 Indian tourists and business visitors that travel to Australia each year, selecting the right visa they need for a short-stay to see Australia, visit relatives and friends, or hold business meetings will now be much easier.“These latest changes build on other recent improvements to our visa system including longer tourist visas for parents of Australian migrants, a simplified temporary residence visa program and label-free travel, making travel and short-term visits to Australia from India easier than ever,” said Suckling.

The former Visitor and Business visitor (short-stay) visas will be replaced by a new Visitor visa (subclass 600) that will cover tourism, sponsored family visits, and business visitor activities such as meetings, conferences and contract negotiations. A new Temporary work (short-stay activity) visa (subclass 400) has been created specifically for people who need to come to Australia to undertake highly specialised work on a short-term basis.

A new streamlined Medical Treatment visa (subclass 602), that provides for a stay period of up to 12 months, has also been developed.While there are no substantial changes to the current eligibility requirements for medical treatment, tourism or business visitor visas, applicants should ensure they use the new application forms for any applications submitted in India from Monday, 25 March 2013.

Ishan Srivastava

March 23, 2013




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