Chinese nationals are now able to apply online for a Visitor visa as part of the continued expansion of online access to Visitor visas globally.
With more than 840,000 Visitor visa applications received from Chinese nationals in 2015-16, the online application option will make the process smoother and faster for Chinese visitors to Australia.
Australia has a long history of innovation in visa services – managing increasing application numbers, improving access to visas and streamlining processes.
China is the largest citizenship country for Visitor visa applications to Australia and this capability will offer convenient 24/7 lodgement as well as the ability to check the status of applications online.
This capability complements other visa initiatives introduced for Chinese visitors during 2016, including the trial of a 'fast-track' visa service for Visitor visa applicants in China which started last March.
Australia also started a trial of a 10-year validity 'Frequent Traveller' visa for Chinese nationals in December and a trial of an online Visitor visa lodgement service in Mandarin through the Department's service delivery partner in China.
At current growth rates, the number of Visitor visa applications from Chinese nationals is expected to exceed one million by 2018.
This is another boost to tourism while at the same time reducing unnecessary red tape and ensuring we maintain the integrity of our visa programme.
Today's announcement comes as the China Australia Year of Tourism is launched in Beijing by Minister Ciobo.