Australia continues to draw high levels of interest from international visitors according to the latest departmental report.
The department has granted more than 3.1 million visitor visas this financial year to 31 March 2014, which is nearly 6 per cent higher than last year.
Interest from Asia continues to rise significantly with tourism visa applications from China up 22 per cent (to more than 380 000 applications), Malaysia up nearly 26 per cent (to more than 187 000 applications) and applications from India up 19 per cent (to more than 102 000 applications).
The report also outlines some key initiatives of the Visitor visa programme including the introduction of a three-year validity, multiple entry visa for Chinese business visitors to enable them to engage in important bilateral trade and investment activities along with the opening of new Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in additional countries, including India in June 2014.
Visitor visa quarterly reports are located on the department’s website at: www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/visitor.htm These results aren’t unexpected as changes were made to the Visitor visa programme last year to make it easier to apply. Also the expansion of online visitor visa applications in May 2014 means it is now possible for visitors from an additional 51 countries and regions to apply for their visitor visa online.
Watch this space for further posts about the Visitor visa programme.