A new pilot program for online lodgement of subclass 600 visas for Indian business and tourism visitors will be rolled out through selected travel agents in India.
The program comes as part of a bid to increase trade and tourism between Australia and India, with statistics showing Indian tourists contributed $800 million to the Australian economy last year.
Launching the pilot, Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said “India is one of the world’s fastest growing outbound travel markets. This trial will make it easier for Indian visitors to apply for visas to travel to Australia.”
“Under the Australian Government’s national tourism strategy, Tourism 2020, India has the potential to contribute between $1.9 and $2.3 billion annually to our tourism industry by 2020. That’s why in the first half of 2015, the Australian Government is rolling out a trial of online visa applications to capitalise on this rapidly growing visitor market and create jobs,” Mr Robb said.
Under the MOU, Australia and India will work together to encourage cooperation and information sharing on tourism policy, and encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders in Australia and India.
Last year, Indian visitors to Australia reached 189,866, an increase of 14.5 per cent on the previous year.
Tourism Research Australia forecasts arrivals from India to Australia will reach almost 300,000 by 2022-23.
Not sure how these changes might affect your visa application? Contact Migration Solutions today to discuss your options.