NEW PILOT VISA FOR INDIAN VISITORS
In an effort to bring about more cooperation and friendliness between Australia and India, the Immigration Department is putting up a trial pilot visa for business visitors and tourists, by allowing online applications via selected travel agents.
Now, business and tourist visitors to Australia from India can apply online with a click of a button. This is part of a new pilot visa programme started by the Immigation Department, aiming to tap the fast-growing business opportunities to come out of India and also its vast tourist potential without letting bureaucracy and red tape get in the way.
Andrew Robb, Trade and Investment Minister 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.’
According to this pilot programme, Indians can make online applications under the sub-class 600 as long as the applications are made via registered travel agents across India. The sub-class visa is meant for travel on business or pleasure purposes.
This new visa trial comes as under the Australia-India Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism (MoU) signed last year between the two countries during Narendra Modi’s famous visit to Australia. The purpose of the MoU is to encourage cooperation and to promote tourism between the two countries.
Under the Australian Government’s national tourism strategy, Tourism 2020, India has the potential to contribute between $ 1.9 billion and $ 2.3 billion annually to our tourism industry by 2020. That’s why in the first half on 2015, the Australian Government is rolling out a trial of online visa applications to capitalise on this rapidly growing visitor market and create jobs.
We hope that this is the first step of many that will be taken to bring Australia and India closer together as nations and people.