This Article is From Jan 12, 2015

Australia Launches Online Visa Pilot Programme for Indians

Australia Launches Online Visa Pilot Programme for Indians

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New Delhi: A pilot programme was launched today to make it easier for Indian business and tourism visitors to apply online for travel to Australia.

The pilot programme, which has been kicked off on a trial basis, covers online lodgement of subclass 600 visas for Indian business and tourism visitors. It will be rolled out through selected travel agents across India.

"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," Australia Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, who also has the responsibility for tourism, said at the launch.

"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 of 2015, the Australian Government is rolling out a trial of online visa applications to capitalise on this rapidly growing visitor market and create jobs," Robb said.

Robb is leading Australia's largest ever trade mission to India, made up of 450 delegates, for Australia Business Week in India from January 9-16.

"The trade mission and this visa trial are putting runs on the board under the Australia-India Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Australia in November last year," Robb said.

Under the MoU, Australia and India will work together to encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders in Australia and India.