Reforms to Modernise Australia's Visa System

Visa simplification: transforming Australia’s visa system

The Government has tasked the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) with transforming Australia’s visa system to make it easier to understand, easier to navigate and more responsive to our economic, social and security interests.

Australia’s visa system has served us well, but it needs modernising to meet the future needs of rising traveller volumes and complex risks at the border.  

To help inform consideration of visa simplification, the Department consulted the public, including stakeholders, on design elements of the new visa system. 

The consultation process considered:

  • the scope for a reduction in the number of visas from 99 at present, to approximately ten visas;
  • the delineation between temporary entry and long-term or permanent residence;
  • the role a period of provisional residence could play in enhancing the integrity of the visa system and easing the burden on taxpayers; and
  • ensuring that our visa system supports Australia as a competitive and attractive destination for temporary and longer-term entrants.

AACB Submission

Australia needs a visa system that is easier to understand, better suited to the rapidly growing number of visitors, and flexible enough for Australia to remain a competitive destination for temporary visitors and the longer-term entrants Australia needs.

In its presentation to the Department, the AACB emphasised the high yield of business visitors, especially delegates coming to Australia for business events or incentive experiences. Delegate expenditure from this group can be up to 9% higher than the holiday visitor, which translates to a need for a simpler visa system that benefits low-risk, high yield business travellers.

A simpler visa system should enable the government to marry its two priorities of delivering faster, simpler services, and mitigating risk. Through greater digitisation and innovative technology, it will be possible to focus on low-risk, but high yield travellers.

Business visitors are among the highest yielding travellers to Australia. One in five dollars spent by international visitors to Australia is spent by a business event delegate. Looking at the reward travel sector, the figures are even starker: international incentive delegate expenditure is on average 6.5 times more than holiday visitors; and can be up to 9.4 times more than holiday visitor spend. As well as being higher yielding visitors, business delegates are also lower risk. International convention delegates are far less likely to overstay a visa and have a higher visa grant rate than leisure travellers.

Postal Address
PO Box 6308, O’Connor, ACT 2602
Physical Address
c/- Canberra Business Chamber
Ground Floor, 216 Northbourne Avenue
Braddon ACT 2612
Telephone 1300 692222