Australia’s visa system to be modernised

The Australian Government will undertake a public consultation on transforming the Australia’s visa system to simplify it and better align it with the country’s long-term economic and social priorities.

The government believes that Australia’s visa system needs modernising to meet future needs of rising traveller volumes and complex risks at the border. International arrivals and departures are expected to grow from 40 million to 50 million by 2020. Short-term visitors alone will reach nearly 10 million by 2022-23.

“Australia needs a visa system that will better harness the economic and social opportunities of these legitimate travellers and better detect threats before they arrive at the border,” said Peter Dutton, Australia’s Immigration Minister.

To help inform its consideration of reform options, the Government will consult the public, including stakeholders, on design elements of a new visa system. The consultation will consider:

– The scope for reducing the number of visa types from the current 99 visas to around 10;

– The delineation between temporary entry and long-term or permanent residence;

– The role a period of provisional residence could play in enhancing the integrity of the visa system and easing the burden on taxpayers; and

– Options to ensure sufficient flexibility within the reformed visa system to enable Australia to remain a competitive destination for temporary and longer-term visitors.

Reform of Australia’s visa system will aim to build on measures designed to enhance assessments of visa applicants and holders and to support decisions on the grant or revocation of visas

The public consultation will be held over coming months and will be the first step in a long-term project. There is no immediate impact on users of Australia’s visa system from the announcement.

The findings of the consultation will inform a final package of changes which will be subject to further Government approval.

Article published 1st August 2017