More than 123,000 business visas applications received by DIAC

Date: Feb 15, 2012

Of the 881,688 visitor visa applications received by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in the September quarter of 2011, nearly 14 per cent were for short-stay business trips.

Otherwise known as the 456 subclass, these popular visas have enjoyed an increase in use despite the sustained growth demonstrated by the Australian dollar.

The visa grants travellers the right to reside in Australia and perform business-related activities for a period of up to three months - making them ideal for extended commercial meetings and conferences.

While they do not allow the bearer to engage in employment activities that can be carried out by a citizen or permanent resident, the visas can be used by individuals exploring possible business opportunities, attending conferences and special, one-off tasks as determined by the DIAC.

With Australia's growing economic stability and sustained dollar value, it is understandable that the country will be attracting more international attention from commercial sources.

This could help to explain why the short-term visa experienced the highest amount of growth out of any single visitor visa type.

When compared to the same time last year, the 2011 September quarter yielded an increase in the number of 456 subclass applications lodged of 16.8 per cent.

This puts the total number of 62,968 over the three-month period - the highest volume of the specific visa issued in any quarter for the last five years.

This could indicate that Australia is fast becoming a popular destination for business prospects - with a combination of stable economic factors, a steady interest rate, relatively high exchange rate and healthy reputation combining to help promote interest in domestic infrastructure investments.

With the increase in prospects, more international businesses have begun to investigate their opportunities.

However, the submissions process can require a number of fees that are non-refundable, making it important that visa applications are accepted the first time they are submitted.

A migration lawyer can help improve a visas chance of success by providing the applicant with advice on the subclasses that suit their needs.

While the number of tourist visas has declined slightly, the short-stay business subclass has been lifted by increased volumes, specifically from China.

The DIAC notes that the number of applications from Chinese citizens has increased 23.5 per cent over the quarter and may be reflecting "strong business ties between China and Australia".