More visitor visas being granted in Australia, stats show

by Ray Clancy on December 13, 2011

in Australia Immigration

Increase in visitor visas attributed to rise in visas granted to Chinese citizens

Visitor visa grants in Australia increased by 2.8% in 2010/11 compared to 2009/10 due to a 31.8% increase in visitor visas granted to Chinese citizens, a new report shows.

The inaugural Visitor Visa Programme Quarterly Report shows that in the June 2011 quarter there were 54, 552 Business (Short Stay) visa lodgements, the highest number in the last five years.

It also shows that there 110,609 visas granted under the ADS program during the 2010/11 programme year which is the highest number of ADS visa grants in the last four years.

The report provides information about the nine visa subclasses that are within the Visitor visa program with the aim of increasing openness, accountability and accessibility to statistics.

The report provides information on applications, grants, arrivals and processing times relating to Business Visitor short stay visas, Sponsored Business Visitor visas, eVisitor visas, Tourist visas, Sponsored Family Visitor visas, ETA Business Entrant visas and Superyacht Crew visas.

The report says that stronger business ties between Australia and China have pushed up the number of visa applications in certain sectors. While applications from British people are up 11.2% for business and 10% for tourists.

The number of visitor visa granted decreased in the June 2011 quarter to 727,564 compared with 743,363 in the same period in 2010. However, over the 2010/11 programme year there was an overall increase of 2.8% to 3,540,774 compared to 3,444,546 in 2009/10.

The report says that this can be partially attributed to a 31.8% increase in visitor visas granted to Chinese citizens and a 16.2% increase in visitor visas granted to Malaysian citizens.

However, the increase in visitor visas granted to these citizens has been partially offset by a decrease in visitor visas to citizens from countries such as the United Kingdom, down 2.9%, the United States down 5.2%, Japan down 0.5%, Germany down 2.6%, Canada down 3.4% and Taiwan which is down 13.4%.

The grant rate for visitor visas, including Electronic Travel Authorities (ETAs) for the second half of the 2010/11 programme year remained relatively stable at 97.3% compared with the 97.7% grant rate for the same period in 2009/10.

The grant rate for subclass 679 visas decreased from 74.4% in the final six months of the 2009/10 programme year to 55% in the final six months of the 2010/11 programme year. This can be attributed to an increased scrutiny of claims and referrals to posts, says the report.

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