Indians planning a trip to Australia can rejoice as the Australian government has announced the online application of visitor visa from July 1. Australia’s Alex Hawke, the assistant manager for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), emphasized on the ease of visa application through the online mode. He also said that it would make for an enhanced experience for the Indians. In 2017, between January and April, the DIBP sanctioned more than 65,000 visitor visas to Indians due to Australia being a popular holiday destination. The online application process would be available 24/7 complete with electronic payment for the visa application charges and the users can check the status of their applications through the ImmiAccount portal of the department. “Online lodgement for visitor visa applications is a significant enhancement that will benefit Indian applicants seeking to visit Australia as tourists or business visitors, or those wanting to reconnect with family and friends. Being able to check the status of an application online, as soon as it is finalised, will allow Indian applicants to finalise their travel arrangements as soon as possible,” Hawke told PTI.
Presently, the Australian High Commission based at New Delhi processes the visa applications for Indian, Nepalese and Bhutanese residents. An individual has to lodge the visitor visa application in person after getting an appointment, or via mail or through a Service Delivery Partner, according to the DIPB. With the visitor visa, a person can visit Australia for holiday, business purposes, or visiting family for up to three, six or 12 months. In April this year, Australia had decided to abolish its 457 visa, which lets foreigners work in the country for up to four years. It was replaced by a temporary visa whose applicants were required to be Australian residents for four years instead of three.