February 2012: Business Visitor Visa Increases

February 2012: Increase in Business Visa Applications

Overview

There has been an 11.5% increase in business Visitor visa applications in the September 2011 quarter (123,888) compared to the same quarter in 2010 (111,138).  The largest increase was in Business (Short Stay) (subclass 456) visa lodgements which increased 16.8% (53,931 to 62,968).  This is the highest number of subclass 456 lodgements for this quarter in the last five years.

There were 62,968 Business (Short Stay) (subclass 456) visa applications lodged in the September2011 quarter.  This is 16.8% higher than the same period in 2010 (53,931).  This is also the highest number of lodgements for this quarter in the last five years.  This can be attributed to ongoing growth in subclass 456 lodgements by Chinese citizens (up 23.4% to 20,625), reflecting strong business ties between China and Australia.

Visas granted

Visitor visa grants decreased by 4.3% in the September 2011 quarter (854,279) compared with the same period in 2010 (892,962). This can be partially attributed to a 11.6% decrease in subclass 976 (visitor visa) grants (517,956 to 457,712) compared to the same quarter in 2010.

However, the decrease has been softened by the 9.9% increase (172 196 to 189 200) in subclass 676 (tourist visa) visa grants and the 13.8% increase (51 563 to 58 703) in subclass 456 grants compared to the same quarter in 2010.

Arrivals data

There were 62,686 arrivals on subclass 456 visas (business short stay) in the September 2011 quarter. This was slightly higher than the same period in 2010 (58,327 arrivals) and significantly higher than the same period in 2009 (47,808 arrivals).

There were 82,751 arrivals on subclass 651 (eVisitor) visas in the September 2011 quarter. This is lower than the same period in 2010 (87,736 arrivals). This can be primarily attributed to a decrease in citizens of the United Kingdom applying for subclass 651 visas.

There were 202,487 arrivals on subclass 676 (tourist) visas in the September 2011 quarter. This is the highest number of arrivals in this quarter in five years. This can be primarily attributed to the increase in inbound tourism by Chinese citizens.

There were 432,310 arrivals on subclass 976 (visitor) visas in the September 2011 quarter. This is a decrease compared to the same quarters in 2011 (489,015) and 2009 (450,700).

There were 59,052 arrivals on subclass 977 (business entrant) visas in the September 2011 quarter. This is a small increase compared to the same quarter in 2010 (54,818). This can be partly attributed to an increase in subclass 977 visa grants to citizens of the United States of America (up 9.6%) and the United Kingdom (up 14%).

* Couresty of the Department of Immigrations Visitor visa program quarterly report, Quarter ending at 30 September 2011