Discussion paper

Visa simplification: transforming Australia’s visa system - policy consultation paper

Immigration Visas Australia

Australia is an open and welcoming country. People come to Australia for a range of reasons and their stay in Australia might be on a temporary or permanent basis.

The eligibility of people other than citizens to enter and remain in Australia is underpinned by Australia’s visa system. This system needs to be efficient in facilitating the arrival of people who have a legitimate purpose for coming to Australia, be it for tourism, study or as an entrant under the permanent migration programme. It also needs to be robust in protecting Australia from those who have no legitimate purpose or who could even wish to do us harm.

Australia's migration settings and underlying visa system must meet our nation’s needs. As a nation built on migration, it is important that the public has confidence that migration is being managed well.

While our visa system has served the nation well, it needs modernising. Australia needs a visa system that is more responsive to our economic, social and security interests.

The Australian Government is seeking your views on what our future visa system should look like.

This paper provides a general overview of those aspects of Australia’s visa system, which the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been tasked with reviewing. Key areas for consideration include:

  • the scope for a reduction in the number of visas from 99 at present, to approximately ten visas;
  • the delineation between temporary entry and long-term or permanent residence;
  • the role a period of provisional residence could play in enhancing the integrity of the visa system and easing the burden on taxpayers; and
  • ensuring that our visa system supports Australia as a competitive and attractive destination for temporary and longer-term entrants.

This paper presents a number of key statements and questions that underpin each of the visa simplification priorities, but do not presuppose any specific outcome. Your responses will be used to inform advice to Government on a future design of our visa system.

Submissions can be provided until 15 September 2017.

Publication Details