The Australian Government says it will test changes to current visa arrangements in key markets in a bid to boost visitor and investor numbers to Australia. The announcement has been made during the federal budget on Tuesday 3 May, 2016.
Changes in the visa arrangement will include a user-pays visa fast-track service for nationals from India and the United Arab Emirates, and a three-year multiple entry visa for low-risk nationals from India, Thailand, Vietnam and Chile. The new measure is expected to raise revenue of roughly $1.5 million over a four year period from 2016-17. As the world’s second-most populated country, India is now being viewed by many Australian’s as the country’s new China.
Treasurer Scott Morrison says the strategy builds on the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) 2015-16 measure which included a trial of a user-pays visa fast-track service for selected Chinese nationals.
The Australian Government has also stated that it will save over $180 million in the next three years from the start of the next financial year by improving automation in visa processing, providing self-service options and using more sophisticated assessment capabilities.
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