Chinese visitor visa reform hailed as a positive step

Multiple-entry visas for Chinese visitors was hailed as another positive step forward in Australia’s visa reform process after Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb announced an extension of the current trial of online visa processing for Chinese visitors.
This facilitates three-year, multiple-entry visas for approved visitors.
The tourism industry has been advocating simpler, quicker and cheaper visas for Chinese visitors as a driver for economic growth and jobs in Australia.
Margy Osmond, chief exec of the tourism body TTF, said that combined with a previously-announced move to a permanent online application system for Chinese visitors by the end of 2015, the new move would help repeat visitors, the highest-spending category of visitors coming to Australia.
“With more than 100 million Chinese nationals travelling internationally in the last year, there is enormous potential for Australia to grow its market share,” she said.
However, the welcome came with a warning that competitor destinations like the United States offered 10-year multiple-entry visas while Australian visitor visas for Chinese people still cost a minimum of $130, making them almost seven times more expensive than visas for visitors from the US and from Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia.
“Australia must continue reforming our visa regime to stay ahead,” Ms Osmand said.

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