Australia may expand its Working Holiday Visa program
Australia will capitalize on its status as a popular tourist destination. The latest statistics released from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship show that the increased number of new visitors to the country brings significant benefits for the Australian economy. In the six months between July and December 2012 there were almost 6 percent more visitor visas granted than the same period during 2011. The demand from Asia is the largest contributor for the growth. Tourism visa applications from China were up 16.5% to 194 204, while applications from Singapore increased 28.7% to 81 364.
In December 2012 there were 401 000 Australian visitor visa holders which represent 9% increase in comparison with the same period in 2011. Tourism from Asia injected billions of dollars revenue into the Australian economy which is the reason why many of the regulators worked towards making the Australian tourist visa application process simpler for Asian people. According to recent statement of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship the new online visa lodgment system is part of the new improved service offered for Asian visitors.
In addition to that, there is an increase in the number of Working Holiday Visas that were issued during 2012. This continues the strong growth in the programme during 2011 to 2012 when there was a record 222,992 grants. There were 162,475 working holiday maker visa holders in Australia at December 2012, a 20.5% increase over December 2011. United Kingdom continues to be the largest source of Australian Working Holiday Makers with 24,135 grants in the six months to December 2012. It is followed by Taiwan which increased almost 100% to 17,969. South Korea, Germany and France. Negotiations for new working holiday visa programs which countries such as Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Poland and the Slovak Republic are currently carried out as well.