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Published on : Monday, June 29, 2015
Australia has introduced some new visa policies and adjusted some others, which are expected to play an important part in welcoming more Chinese visitors to Australia, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash told Xinhua over the weekend before she departed for her six- day China visit on Sunday.
Part of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement signed earlier this month is the annual provision of up to 5,000 visa places for young Chinese nationals between 18 and 30 years old in Australia’s largest capped Work and Holiday program.
“Set to commence in just a few months, this arrangement will provide young Chinese adults with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Australia through an extended holiday, with the option of undertaking short-term work and study,” Cash said in a telephone interview with Xinhua.
Also in June, the government announced a trial visa program to offer 10-year Visitor visa for Chinese nationals (with a maximum three-month stay provision) at a cost of 1,000 AU dollars (770 U.S. dollars) since 2016, aiming at repeat travelers.
A Mandarin Visitor visa lodgment option will be developed and trialed in 2016. Australia already offers significant Chinese language support for visa lodgment, but this new initiative will make it even easier and more convenient for Chinese travelers wanting to visit Australia.
Yet another measure is the expansion of online lodgment for Visitor visas to Chinese and Indian nationals, with a full roll- out in China expected by the end of 2016, and India in 2017.
Further, in 2016 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will trial a fast-track (48-hour) Visitor visa processing for Chinese tourists for a 1,000 AU dollar (770 U.S. dollar) fee, designed to attract high-value travelers who have the potential to inject substantial funds into the Australian economy.
Cash said amendments to the Work and Holiday visa program and enhanced Visitor visa products will further foster cultural and tourism exchange while simultaneously facilitating growth in Australia’s northern regions.