Australian Visa Requirements On Chinese 'Demeaning'

By Editorial 21 April, 2014

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) chair John King has slammed the Australian immigration system's treatment of Chinese visitors as "antiquated."

Calling for reform, he warned the Government that many potential Chinese travelers regard the application process as "onerous, and in some cases demeaning." King explained that he had heard "high level and consistent" complaints about the system from Chinese industry partners during Australia's recent trade mission to China. He said that the problem was not the amount of time taken for visa processing, but rather the 18-page application form and the type of documentation required.

He added that Australia was currently at a disadvantage compared with Canada, the USA, and the UK in attracting Chinese visitors.

While welcoming recent announcements about multi-entry visas for Chinese business travelers, he said: "The need for action to review and streamline the visa application itself has now become urgent."

King in particular highlighted rules that require Chinese persons to produce their official family registration book as a form of identification. He explained that these registration books often contain details of many other family members, and these often remain in the possession of senior family members until they are passed down the family.

King also highlighted that some work and study visas can be applied for online, but not tourist visas.

King's observations were echoed by James Packer, who was also part of the trade delegation. Packer, chairperson of Crown Resorts, said: "I think we should make it as easy for a wealthy Chinese citizen to come to Australia as we do for a wealthy American citizen. Australia can't afford to be middle of the pack on visa processing."

Tags: Australia | China | Expats | Visas And Passports |


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