People travelling to Australia for the Cricket World Cup next year who also want to attend matches in New Zealand will be able to do so with one visa.

Immigration minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that permitted travellers to both countries can apply for a bilateral visa for the duration of the sporting event in February and March 2015.


Travellers to both Australia and New Zealand can apply for a bilateral visa for the Cricket World Cup in February and March 2015​

'This visa will be issued in accordance with Australia's existing visa framework and will streamline procedures for genuine Cricket World Cup spectators and participants. My department will work closely with New Zealand counterparts to determine the best means of implementing the new visa arrangement,' he said.

He also explained that Australia's SmartGate System available at international airports is going from strength to strength, allowing passengers travelling on eligible passports to self-process through passport control and it is now in operation at all eight major Australian international airports.

'We expect that uptake will continue to increase significantly and estimate that by 2016/2017 more than 25% of the 42.9 million passengers expected to pass through Australian airports will use the system,' he added.

January 2014 was a record month for SmartGate use, with over 500 000 passengers, a total of 28.3% of all arriving travellers, using the system. This represents a 57.5% increase in volume compared to January 2013.

'We have continued to expand the physical presence of SmartGates in Australian airports. Additional gates were installed in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in 2013 and further units in Brisbane and Darwin are expected to be installed by the middle of 2014,' Morrison pointed out.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service is working with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and other key stakeholders to expand SmartGate access to additional nationalities arriving into Australia.

Since November 2012, SmartGate has been open, either on a trial or permanent basis, to four countries; the UK, USA, Switzerland and Singapore. Including Australia and New Zealand this brings the total number of nationalities with access to the SmartGate system to six.

American, Swiss and Singaporean nationals currently have access to the SmartGate system on a trial basis, with Singapore the most recent participant, commencing access in February this year and these nationalities will be able to progress to permanent access, assuming the continued success of the trial.

'We will continue to work towards identifying and testing additional nationalities that may be offered access to the SmartGate system, with the aim of commencing additional trials in the near future. Our goal is to provide all major ePassport holders access to self-service arrivals processing by the end of 2015,' said Morrison.

'On the airport departures front, we continue to explore the possible introduction of automated border processing. Late last year, the Customs and Border Protection Service completed stage one of a feasibility study into automated departures processing. This phase examined the selection of new eGate house testing on two units has commenced in house, with live trials expected to start in Brisbane airport in July 2014,' he explained.

He also explained that the introduction of expanded electronic lodgement options for visa applicants means that the department is able to accurately identify risk but also streamline applications accordingly.

Currently, 73 nationalities are eligible to lodge online visitor visa applications. Further expansion of online lodgement is being managed as part of a phased global rollout.

'Beyond expanded functional capacities, our visa products continue to be developed and reactive to key market trends and evolving economic conditions,' added Morrison.