Australia takes global lead with e-visa technology

by Ray Clancy on August 1, 2014

in Australia Travel

Australia is taking a world lead in e-visa technology with officials announcing that an extra 66 countries and territories will have access to online visitor visa applications.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, said the addition of these countries, including New Zealand, the Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, and Bosnia and Herzegovina will be part of a phased global rollout.

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People from 66 more nations will now be able to apply online for an Oz visitor visa

“I am delighted to announce that I have expanded the list of countries and territories that are eligible for electronic lodgement of subclass 600 (Visitor) visa applications. This is part of a significant advancement for both Australia and its visitors, because it means that we’re even more competitive and can boast more efficient and streamlined visa processing,” she explained.

The expansion means that around 190 countries and territories will now have the ability to apply online for an Australian visitor visa.

Applicants seeking to visit Australia as a visitor for business visitor activities or to visit friends or family can get access to the subclass 600 visitor visa and lodge visa applications online, from their office or home, making it much easier and more convenient to travel to Australia.

Cash said there are strong checks in place to ensure the integrity of the programme. “Visa integrity is of paramount importance to the Australian government, which is why we are expanding online lodgement incrementally to ensure we get the settings right. It’s about allowing streamlined access while maintaining all the necessary safeguards and checks,” she pointed out.

Also, young people from Australia and Poland will have the opportunity to experience a slice of each other’s culture, with a reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangement between the two countries.

Now open for visa applications, the arrangement means that young people from Australia and Poland will have the opportunity to experience short term work and study arrangements in each other’s countries.

Cash said the agreement reflected the close and positive relationship between the two countries, and will strengthen cultural exchange and widen economic ties and links between Australia and Poland.

“This arrangement will enable up to 200 young adults from Poland and 200 young adults from Australia to enjoy a holiday in each other’s country, during which they may engage in short-term work and study,” she said.

“I am excited that young adults from both countries will be able to experience a once in a lifetime cultural experience, while at the same time strengthening links between our two countries,” she added.

The work and holiday visa differs from a working holiday visa as it requires applicants to have the support of their government, hold or be studying towards tertiary qualifications and to speak functional English.

Poland is the latest country to have a reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangement with Australia, joining a number of other countries including Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Turkey, the United States and Uruguay.

“The reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangement fosters people to people links between the two countries and increases opportunities for young people to experience a new culture first hand,” Cash added.

 

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