Online visas drive Australia’s rising Indian tourist arrivals

    Australia‘s Department of Immigration and Border Protection Chief Migration Officer Tania Gerlach stated India has emerged as Australia’s fastest-growing source market for tourist arrivals (Tourism Breaking News, 21-Dec-2017). One of the main reasons for this is the introduction of electronic lodgement of visa applications for Indian passport holders, which is likely to further boost arrivals. Arrivals from India to Australia grew by 15% in the 12 months to Oct-2017 to 294,000 visitors, making India the ninth largest inbound market for Australia. Ms Gerlach said: “We are extremely pleased with the success of the e-lodgement process, with over 60 per cent of the total tourist visa applications now received online. The month of November 2017 has witnessed the highest-ever tourist visa lodgements. Online lodgment offers benefits such as 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications lodged online. Processing times for these visas will now be faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office”.