New three year multiple entry visa for Chinese visitors to Australia

by Ray Clancy on February 20, 2014

in Australia Immigration, Australia Travel, General Information

A new three year multiple entry visitor visa for Chinese business visitors to Australia has been announced as part of an ongoing policy to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Currently, Chinese business visitors are only able to apply for an entry visa for up to 12 months but changes to the business visitor stream will extend the timescale to three years.

CHINAustralia

China is the largest source of business visitors to Australia with 18.5% of all applications in the business visitor stream

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said that both Chinese business visitors and the Australian tourism sector will benefit from the increased flexibility offered by the new visa.

‘Chinese business visitors will now be eligible to apply for a three year multiple entry visa, increasing the prospect of repeat visits to Australia, which would be warmly welcomed by our tourism sector,’ he pointed out.

Robb explained that the change would bring economic benefits to the tourism industry, including airlines, hotels, restaurants, the business events sector and other providers catering to Chinese visitors.

‘These changes will also support the government’s ambitious trade and investment agenda and increase the opportunities to do business with China. Total Chinese investment in Australia grew more than eight fold between 2002 and 2012, to $23 billion and we want to see stronger continued growth,’ he added.

China is the largest source of business visitors with 18.5% of all applications in the business visitor stream. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the change is a significant opportunity to make the visa application process easier for Chinese visitors as well as opening up Australia for business while still maintaining Australia’s strict visa integrity.

But officials are still clamping down on visa abuse. In the latest crackdown a former registered migration agent has been charged with 49 offences relating to his alleged involvement in arranging fake marriages between Indian nationals and Australian citizens. Applications for spouse visas were lodged with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection containing false information that the male suspect is alleged to have fabricated and provided to his clients.

The man’s partner, a marriage celebrant, was charged with 17 offences for her role in the scam. The department alleges she performed the marriage ceremonies between Indian and Australian citizens that then formed the basis for the spouse visa applications.

‘The government takes fraud allegations very seriously. We will act against those who attempt to cheat our migration programmes,’ said Michaelia Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Control.

Many of the charges faced by this couple carry a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $170 000 fine. The couple was granted bail under strict conditions ahead of their next appearance in court on March 14.

The DIBP encourages the community to provide information relating to immigration and citizenship offences and fraud. These can be reported by telephone or online.

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