Australia grants 10-year visa for tourists from Southeast Asia

By Hoang Vu   March 6, 2024 | 01:31 am PT
Australia grants 10-year visa for tourists from Southeast Asia
People walk through the city center in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 4, 2020. Photo by Reuters
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday announced the 10-year frequent traveler visa scheme will be extended to eligible ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste.

His announcement was made at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne where he hosted the leaders of Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor-Leste, according to statement from the official website of the Australian PM.

In addition, the business visitor visa will be extended from three to five years.

The frequent traveler visa scheme allows visitors to stay for up to three months each time.

Australia previously allowed Chinese tourists to apply for the 10-year visa scheme as part of its effort to boost arrivals from the world's second largest population.

However, Australia is losing out as Chinese tourists have been flocking to Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia thanks to visa-free policy, tourism insiders said.

Prior to the pandemic, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia were among the biggest tourism markets of Australia's inbound tourism.

In 2019, Southeast Asian visitor arrivals peaked at 1.5 million visitors, and added an estimated A$4.2 billion (US$2.7 billion) to the Australian economy, according to the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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