By 1 January 2018, Singaporeans will have exclusive access to a new long-term, multiple-entry visa option, making it easier to travel to Australia for business and pleasure. This new visa option was announced on the first day of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's official three-day visit to Singapore.
According to a media release by the Australian authorities, the Visitor (Subclass 600) visa will allow travellers to visit Australia for up to three months at a time, over a six-year period, with a single application.
Alongside Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister Turnbull also announced a new reciprocal Work and Holiday Maker programme will commence on 1 August 2017. With up to 500 places per year, the programme will allow young people from Australia and Singapore to undertake short term work or study.
These new visa arrangements will make it easier for Singaporeans to visit friends and family, while also enabling business operators to conduct regular meetings or attend conferences in Australia; further boosting tourism and business links between the two countries.
However, it is noted that applicants must satisfy all usual visa criteria, including health and character requirements and have adequate funds to support themselves for the period of the visit.
According to the statement, last financial year, more than 230,000 visitor visas to Australia were granted to travellers from Singapore, an increase of 16% compared with the previous year.
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