POSITIVE POLICY

Immigration – Tourism Visa Reform

A Shorten Labor Government will undertake an audit of Australia’s tourist visa offering for each of our main target markets, and undertake an assessment of how that offering compares to our major competitors. 

Australia’s position in the Asia-Pacific presents an unparalleled opportunity to respond to the increasing number of Asian visitors, particularly from China, who want to visit Australia.

However, the tourism industry is increasingly concerned that Australia’s current policy settings around visa charges and the interaction with our border are not conducive to capitalising on our position in the region. 

The tourist visa audit will assess the competitiveness of our visa fees, visa processing arrangements and the ease of interaction with the Australian border. 

In addition, with a view to the growing Chinese market, Labor will review:

  • The cost of the 10-year multiple entry visa so that it is competitive with that for Chinese citizens visiting the US and the EU.
  • Introducing an online visa application, in both English and Mandarin, which can be submitted online at any time.
  • Reducing the processing time for visas submitted online to within 48 hours.
  • The feasibility of reforming the Tourist Refund Scheme by introducing an online, streamlined claiming process based on the Singapore model.
  • The factors which have an impact on passenger facilitation at International Airports, with Perth International Airport to be looked at as a priority.