Chinese nationals may obtain 10-year visitor visas

19 Jun 15

AUSTRALIA, CHINA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Under a pilot program, Australia will offer 10-year multiple-entry visitor visas to Chinese nationals.

What does the change mean? Chinese travellers will be able to make repeat visits to Australia without having to renew their visas for 10 years.

  • Implementation time frame: The program was announced 17 June, but an implementation date has not been set.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visitor Visas (Subclass 600).
  • Who is affected: Chinese nationals applying for visitor visas to Australia.
  • Impact on processing times: The longer validity period will reduce the need to re-apply for visas as frequently.
  • Business impact: While the program is primarily aimed at boosting tourism from China, business travellers making repeat business trips should also benefit from the reduced cost and red tape associated with applying for visitor visas.

Background: The visas aim to attract the growing number of Chinese tourists and compete with the U.S. and Canada, who have both recently extended 10-year visas to Chinese nationals. The number of tourists from China is expected to top 200 million by 2020, and Chinese visitors already contribute A$5 billion to the Australian economy. Business travellers conducting permitted business activities are also eligible for Visitor Visas.

BAL Analysis: The move comes on the heels of the China-Australia free trade deal signed Wednesday and represents another provision to liberalise movement and trade between China and Australia.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact australia@balglobal.com.

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