Improving Your Online Experience

The Department is changing the way it interacts with our clients by investing in technology that provides access to online self-service options at any time, anywhere.

What can you do online?ImmiAccount

ImmiAccount turned one in December 2014, with more than 1.5 million users signing up in its first year. ImmiAccount helps reduce the need for you to attend an office or ring our general enquiries number to access the majority of our services, saving you time and allowing you to interact with the Department at your convenience.

To complement the ImmiAccount service, our website also hosts a range of useful forms and general information on our visa products.  These online services take away the need for you to wait in a long line at an office or in a queue on the phone.

Our user friendly online facilities allow us to deliver you better and more efficient services including:

Why is online better for you?

ImmiAccount allows for your applications to be submitted instantly.  Attachments can be loaded at any time, meaning there is a reduced processing time for some visas.

For an increasing number of visa subclasses, ImmiAccount can provide you with a complete online processing experience, from beginning to end.

Our online environment has been designed to be convenient for you and we are working hard to make sure you have reliable support available.

Delivering services online allows our interactions with you to be personal and local, tailored to you and your circumstances. We have focussed on understanding your journey to effectively accommodate and enhance your immigration experience.

There is only one place to be in 2015 – the ICC Cricket World Cup.

The ICC Cricket World Cup starts in 64 days. Don’t forget to secure your visa to watch the world’s best cricket teams battle it out for cricket’s biggest international prize.

It is now even easier to be a part of the ICC Cricket World Cup and follow your team as you only need an Australian visa to travel between Australia and New Zealand.

The arrangement is valid for travel between 26 January and 5 April 2015 for eligible visitors thanks to the new Trans-Tasman Visa Arrangement. New Zealand will grant eligible visitors with a three-month visa on arrival during this period.

So don’t be caught out with the wrong visa for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

For more information on applying or to determine if you are eligible for the Trans-Tasman Visa arrangement, visit www.immi.gov.au/cwc

ICC Cricket World Cup 2014 Image cropped

 

 

Two countries – one visa. Howzat!?!*?

Did you know you can visit Australia and New Zealand for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with one visa?

From 14 February to 29 March 2015, Australia and New Zealand will co-host the ICC Cricket World Cup.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2014 Image cropped2

Under a new Trans‑Tasman Visa Arrangement, eligible visitors will only need to apply for an Australian visa to travel to and between both countries for the period of 26 January to 5 April 2015.

For this 10-week window, New Zealand will grant eligible visitors with a three-month visa on arrival.  This new arrangement will change the visa process for participants and spectators of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 by only requiring them to apply for one visa in order to follow their teams to both countries. Not only will international visitors benefit from this arrangement, but people already in Australia on most permanent or temporary visa types will as well.

For more information on applying for a visa for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 or to determine your eligibility for the Trans-Tasman Visa Arrangement, international visitors should see: www.immi.gov.au/cwc

Don’t be caught out with the wrong visa for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Apply now: www.immi.gov.au/cwc

Millionth visa granted supporting Australian tourism

The one millionth visa was granted on 23 July 2013 under the approved destination status (ADS) scheme. This scheme is for group travellers from the People’s Republic of China.

Established in 1999 between the governments of Australia and China, the ADS scheme is a bilateral tourism arrangement which provides streamlined travel opportunities for Chinese tourists to undertake leisure travel in groups to Australia.

ADS continues to be popular for first-time Chinese travellers to Australia and record numbers are using the scheme. In 2012–13, a total of 163 894 tourists travelled to Australia under the scheme, an increase of 19 per cent from the previous program year.

China is Australia’s second largest, and fastest growing, tourism market. More than 411 000 tourist visa applications were lodged by Chinese citizens in 2012–13, a 22 per cent increase from 2011–12.

 

Latest visitor visa statistics now available

Australia continues to draw high levels of interest from international visitors according to the latest departmental Visitor visa program quarterly report for the period ending 31 March 2013.

The report shows there were more than 247 000 visitor visa holders in Australia at the end of March, an increase of 12 per cent compared to the same time last year.

The department has granted almost three million visitor visas this financial year to 31 March, which is about six per cent higher than last year.

Interest from Asia continues to rise with tourism visa applications from China up 19 per cent (more than 310 000 applications), Malaysia up 14 per cent (more than 149 000 applications) and applications from Singapore up almost 29 per cent (more than 107 000 applications).  

The report also outlines the key initiatives for the visitor visa program in 2012–13, including the simplification of the visitor visa group to five new visitor visa subclasses on 23 March.  

Further enhancements are planned for the visitor visa program with the expansion of online visitor visa applications later in the year. These enhancements will make it possible for visitors from a growing list of countries to apply for their visa online.

Record interest in Australia’s visitor visa programs

New reports from the department show that Australia experienced record interest from international visitors and working holiday makers in 2012.

In the second half of 2012, just under two million visitor visas were granted, an increase of almost six per cent compared to the same period last year.

Interest from Asia is on the rise too—tourism visa applications from China increased by 16.5 per cent or more than 194 000 applications and applications from Singapore showed an increase of almost 29 per cent or more than 81 000 applications. There were more than 400 000 visitor visa holders in Australia at the end of 2012. 

More than 220 000 working holiday maker (WHM) visas were granted in 2011–12 and the program appears set for another big year in 2012–13. In the second half of 2012, more than 136 000 WHM visas were granted, an increase of more than 23 per cent compared to the same period last year. At the end of 2012 there were more than 162 000 working holiday makers in Australia.

The top five countries for WHM visa grants in the second half of 2012 were the United Kingdom, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany and France.

The latest visitor visa report and working holiday maker report are now available on our website.

Emergency Alert—being aware this summer

This guest post was written by the Attorney-General’s Department.

Are you travelling to Australia this summer? Did you know that emergency services in Australia have an emergency telephone warning system they may use to warn people if there is a disaster nearby?

Emergency Alert sends voice warnings to landline telephones and SMS text warnings to mobile phones based on the physical address of the owner and the location of some mobile phones at the time of an emergency.

If you are an international visitor to Australia (using global roaming on your phone) and you’re in an area threatened by a bushfire, cyclone, flood, or any other kind of disaster, you may receive a telephone warning from emergency services advising you of the emergency and what you should do next. This will depend on the networks with which your mobile phone provider is affiliated in Australia.

Do not rely solely on receiving a telephone warning—emergency services in Australia have a number of ways to warn communities of a disaster, and an Emergency Alert warning may not always be used. Be aware of conditions and seek further information from radio, TV, and emergency services websites.

Remember, for urgent Police, Fire or Ambulance assistance in a life threatening or emergency situation, call Triple Zero (000).

Further information about Emergency Alert, including fact sheets and DVD videos in other languages, is available from www.emergencyalert.gov.au

Quarterly visitor visa statistics now available

The visitor visa program quarterly report for the period ending June 30 (2012) is now available.

 For the nine visitor visa subclasses, the report provides information on applications, grants, arrivals and processing times. Highlights from the report include:

  • Tourism visitor visa applications remained steady in 2011–12. A decrease in lodgements from citizens of the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and South Korea were offset by growth in lodgements  from citizens of China, India and Indonesia.
  • The UK remained the largest source country for tourists to Australia in 2011–12 and China has replaced the USA as the second largest source country.
  • Business visitor visa applications increased in 2011–12 by 4.9 per cent compared to 2010–11 and included an increase in applications from citizens of the USA.
  • The grant rate for visitor visas for the quarter ending June 30 remained stable at 96.9 per cent, compared with 97 per cent for the same quarter in 2011.
  • In the quarter ending June 30, there were 22 587 subclass 676 visas granted under the Approved Destination Status scheme. This is the highest number of visas granted under the scheme for this quarter in the last five years. 
  • On June 30, there were 202 265 visitor visa holders in Australia. 

 The quarterly report for the period ending September 30 is expected to be published in late October.

 

March 2012 quarterly visitor visa statistics now available

The Visitor Visa Program Quarterly Report for the period ending 31 March 2012 is now available at: www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/visitor.htm.

For the nine visitor visa subclasses, the report provides information on applications, grants, arrivals and processing times. Highlights from the report include: 

  • Tourism Visitor visa application lodgements fell by 0.6 per cent in 2011-12 to 31 March compared to the same period in  2010-11 (down from 2 540 382 to 2 526 231).  However, lodgements by Chinese citizens continued to grow (up 28.2 per cent to 260 450).
  • There were 358 815 Business Visitor visa applications lodged in 2011-12 to 31 March.  This was a three per cent increase compared to the same period in 2010-11 (348 371).  It can be partially attributed to an increase in applications from the United States of America (up 8.6 per cent to 52 058).
  • There were 115 016 Tourist (subclass 676) visas granted under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme in 2011-12 to 31 March.  This was a 29.4 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2010-11 (88 893).
  • On 31 March 2012, there were 219 672 Visitor visa holders inAustralia. 

 The quarterly report for the period ending 30 June 2012 is expected to be published in late July 2012.

December 2011 quarterly visitor visa statistics now available

The Visitor Visa Program Quarterly Report for the period ending 31 December 2011 is now available at www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/visitor.htm

For the nine Visitor visa subclasses, the report provides information on applications, grants, arrivals and processing times. Highlights from the report include:

  •  Tourism Visitor visa applications fell by 3.1 per cent in 2011-12 to 31 December compared to the same period in 2010-11 (down from 1 759 797 to 1 704 779).  This largely reflects a decline in applications by Japanese and UK citizens.  Lodgements by Chinese citizens continue to grow (up 27.8 per cent to 166 721 applications).
  • 237 529 business Visitor visa applications were lodged in 2011-12 to 31 December.  This is a 6.1 per cent increase over the same period in 2010-11 (223 879 applications).
  • There were 64 900 subclass 676 visas granted under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme in 2011-12 to  31 December 2011.  This is a 29.8 per cent increase over the same period in 2010-11 (49 984 grants).
  • On 31 December 2011, there were 367 413 Visitor visa holders inAustralia. 

 The quarterly report for the period ending 31 March 2012 is expected to be published in late April 2012.